Dog Bite Accident Attorneys
Although we refer to dogs as “man’s best friend,” the reality is that dogs are still animals that can turn on us under the right circumstances. When a dog does attack, this can result in serious physical injuries and trauma that may last a lifetime. If you were injured in a dog bite accident, the team at Bailey Fisher is committed to helping you secure compensation for the physical and emotional injuries caused by the attack.
Florida Dog Bite Laws
Florida is one of many states that impose strict liability when a dog bite injures someone. Florida Statute 767.01 reads as follows:
“Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of “domestic animal” and “livestock” as provided by s. 585.01.”
When strict liability applies in a personal injury case it means that an injured victim is not required to prove negligence, or fault, on the part of a defendant. In the case of a dog bite injury in Florida, the statute holds a dog’s owner responsible for damages sustained when that dog injures a victim who was in a public place or who was lawfully on private property.
There is an exception to the general imposition of strict liability in a Florida dog bite case. Florida Statute 767.04 removes strict liability under certain circumstances, reading in pertinent part as follows:
“However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.”
In essence, the exception means that if the victim is over the age of six and the owner had a “Beware of Dog” sign prominently displayed, the owner will not be held strictly liable for damages if the dog attacks. That does not mean that a victim has no recourse. It simply means that strict liability does not apply. The victim of a dog bite may still be able to pursue compensation using any of the following legal concepts:
- Negligence – negligence requires an injured victim to show that the defendant failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harm from occurring.
- Negligence per se – negligence per se occurs when a defendant violated a statute or regulation that was intended to protect and ensure the safety of the public. For example, violating a mandatory dog leash law.
- Scienter – commonly referred to as the “one bite rule,” scienter allows anyone with knowledge of a dog’s attack history or attempted bites to be held liable for damages.
Note that the Florida strict liability statute only applies to the owner of a dog; however, other defendants (such as a landlord, pet caregiver, or business owner) could be held liable for damages using negligence, negligence per se, or scienter theory.
Get Help from Experienced Dog Bite Accident Attorneys
If you were injured in a Florida dog bite accident, or you are the parent of a child who was, the dog bite accidents attorneys at Bailey Fisher Law are dedicated to ensuring that you are fairly and fully compensated for your injuries and the responsible party is held accountable.
As the victim of a dog bite accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for both the physical injuries and emotional trauma you experienced as a result of the attack. At Bailey Fisher, we will work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement, or we will aggressively pursue your case at trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando dog bite accident attorneys will evaluate your case for free. For viable personal injury cases, we will follow up with the necessary legal action to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and losses.