Dog Bite Victims Have Extensive Protections, Remedies Under Florida Law
Most Florida residents are happy to interact with dogs, whether they are their own, the pet of a friend, or simply a puppy and their owner walking down the street. In a perfect world, encounters with animals, including dogs, would be completely positive and worry-free. But recent statistics are showing that dog bite incidents are more common than one may think. Fortunately, however, there are extensive remedies for victims of a dog bite or dog-related injury. If you or a loved one was bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Florida has one of the most protective set of laws when it comes to the victims of dog bites and related injuries. According to Florida law, strict liability applies when it comes to dog bites. This means that if a dog bites or otherwise injures another person, the dog’s owner is responsible even if he or she wasn’t negligent. The Florida legislature has recognized that although dogs may have minds of their owns beyond the control of their owners, it would simply be unfair if the victim of a dog bite or other injury was without an avenue to recover damages for their injuries. Though, this is not to say that a victim could not have contributed to his or her own injuries by their own actions, such as taunting the dog. In situations like that, courts employ “comparative negligence”, which simply means that once damages are established, the court will determine the percentage of fault that should be assigned to the injured party and reduce his or her damages by that percentage.
Dog Bites Account for Over 1/3 of Homeowner Insurance Claims
According to Florida news outlets, dog bites are a serious problem in the Sunshine State and dog owners are paying handsomely for the viciousness of their animals. According to state statistics, Florida pet owners paid out over $7 million in damages related to dog bites. Furthermore, statistics released by the Insurance Information Institute show that the average claim for a single dog bite incident has risen and now stands at $32,072 per claim. That is a jump over 2013’s average of $27,862 per claim. Furthermore, the Insurance Information Institute’s statistics now show that dog bites and other animal-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of claims made against home insurance policies.
Although dog bites and the recovery of damages that follow may be unpleasant if the owner of the dog that bit you was a friend or neighbor, it is a necessary process in order for you to recover for the injuries that you suffered. The cost of medical care and other expenses that flow from a dog bite should not fall on the victim. If you or a loved one was injured or bit by a dog or any other animal, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer at the Pendas Law Firm as soon as possible. Contact us online for a confidential consultation on your case in Orlando, Tampa, or Fort Myers.