Being attacked by a dog can not only leave permanent scars and disfigurement but also psychological trauma that can take years to heal. What’s worse, some of these dog bites occur due to human negligence.
This guide provides some of the common resources a dog bite victim will need to take legal action. For more comprehensive guidance, including whether your injuries qualify for compensation, consider reviewing your case with a Lakeland dog bite lawyer.
Florida Dog Bite Laws You Should Know About
Most dog bite claims end up unpaid because victims don’t quite understand the laws surrounding such injuries. Below are just a few of them and how they can affect your dog bite claim:
- Strict Liability for Dog Bites – You can hold a dog owner liable for any injuries arising from a dog bite whether or not the animal has a history of aggressive behavior, and regardless of the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. Under this law too, the victim does not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to pursue compensation.
- Intentional Tort – Victims of dog bites can also file an intentional tort claim if they have reasons to believe that the dog owner intended to harm them through the animal attack.
- Shared Fault or Liability – Your settlement award might be reduced if the investigations determine that you were somehow responsible for the bite, such as provoking the dog.
- Statute of Limitations – The period within which you can file a claim for a dog bite is four years from when the injury happens, after which you’ll be barred from pursuing compensation.
Reporting a Dog Bite in Lakeland
It’s important that you report a dog bite to an animal control agency, health department, or the police. Not only will this help prevent other attacks by the same dog, but the following investigation can help support your claim for compensation. Here’s how you can report a bite in Lakeland:
- Contact the Polk County Animal Control by calling the toll-free line at 1-888-275-8941 or send your animal bite report to their address.
- You can also ask your doctor to report the dog bite on your behalf.
Get More Answers From a Dog Bite Attorney
Florida’s dog bite laws make it easy for victims to find justice by holding a dog owner liable for injuries or other losses. However, the process, from filing a claim, collecting evidence, to negotiating and receiving a settlement is not always straightforward. To navigate these legal complexities, including the insurance company, you’ll need an experienced dog bite lawyer in your corner.
If you’re wondering whether you have a case in the first place, the professionals at Lopez & Humphries, PA, are ready to review the circumstances of your attack and advise you accordingly. We don’t get paid to lose, schedule a free consultation by calling (863) 774-3573 or use the contact form on this page.