Liability for Dog Bite Attacks
In an article recently published by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, it was asserted that a Coral Springs woman and her two sons were recently bitten by a dog they were caring for. Authorities have asserted that the family was providing foster care for the pit bull when it turned on them and attacked her 11-year-old son. The mom was then reportedly attacked herself when she got involved in an attempt to help her child and the pit bull turned on her. Her 12-year-old son then grabbed a knife and stabbed the dog which finally caused it to loosen its grip. While the mother and older boy were treated at the scene afterward and the dog was taken to a facility to be treated and quarantined, the 11-year-old boy was airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center with severe injuries to his face after it was reportedly “chewed” by the dog.
Becoming the Victim of a Dog Bite
Many Americans have furry friends and for some, a dog truly can become a best friend. However, not every interaction between people and domestic animals ends so blissfully. As demonstrated in the tragic example outlined above, even people who have opened their homes to dogs with the best of intentions can find themselves becoming injured. Every year, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites in this country, roughly 800,000 of which result in requiring medical care. Even otherwise friendly animals can become aggressive in certain circumstances which can unfortunately result in a bite. These circumstances can include the dog:
- Feeling threatened
- Becoming startled
- Guarding puppies
- Being injured and in pain
- Playing roughly
Liability in Florida for Dog Bites
In the unfortunate event of being bitten by a dog in Florida, you should know that dog owners are strictly liable, which means that Florida dog owners are automatically responsible when their dog bites someone. Because of that, any defense a dog owner could argue would be totally irrelevant in almost every situation. However, the “Bad Dog” Law represents an exception to the strict liability law. An owner will not be liable for resulting dog bites if the owner has prominently displayed a sign on the property that clearly warns others about a “bad dog”. This includes those dogs who are known to have:
- aggressively bitten, attacked, endangered or severely injured someone on public or private property;
- killed or severely injured other domestic animals at least twice while off the owner’s property; or
- chased or approached someone in a menacing way (when unprovoked).
Trust the Right Personal Injury Legal Team
The good news is that you may be eligible for legal compensation if you have been bitten by someone else’s dog. For most victims of dog bites, it takes legal help from a distinguished personal injury firm in order to obtain the kind of compensation that is deserved. As the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we strive to offer our clients compassion and the best legal services possible and we understand how serious the injuries resulting from a dog bite can be. You can rely on us to afford you the dependable legal help you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Bradenton, Miami, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.