Understanding and Preventing Dog Bite Attacks
Dogs can be our best friends but they can also become our worst enemies when they bite. The prospect of a dog bite is one that no one wants to deal with. Even the smallest of ankle biters has sharp teeth that can do damage when they make contact with the right part of the human body. And unfortunately, dog bites don’t just cause pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites can also result in serious injury or nerve damage. Additionally, dog bites can become infected, putting the bite victim at risk for illness or in rare cases, even death.
Understanding Liability in Florida for Dog Bites
Here in the Sunshine State, dog owners are strictly liable when it comes to dog bites. Under this legal principle, Florida dog owners are automatically responsible when their dog bites someone. That means it is irrelevant whether the dog has never bitten anyone previously or even if the dog had an understandable reason, such as trying to protect a litter of puppies. Almost any defense a dog owner could argue would be totally irrelevant.
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).
Preventing Dog Bite Attacks
The good news is that understanding what a potential incoming attack looks like may be enough to help you avoid a dog bite attack if you happen to find yourself in a potentially vulnerable position. In addition to preserving your own health, this is relevant because Florida’s comparative fault rules still apply. That means that if a dog bite injury victim’s own negligence is partly the cause of the dog bite, the amount of damages a liable owner must pay will be reduced by a percentage.
Warning signs that a dog attack may be imminent can include:
- Baring teeth
- Excessive barking
- Snapping at petting attempts
Don’t Get Bitten By Trusting the Wrong Personal Injury Legal Team.
If you’ve been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be eligible for legal compensation. However, it is imperative that you obtain legal help from a personal injury firm you can trust as soon as possible. As the Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we have an extensive understanding of Florida law and the legal knowledge you need to be successful in your case. Contact us today so we can begin helping you understand your next steps.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Miami, Ocala, Bradenton, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach areas.