Our dog bite attorneys in Tampa can help you if you’re the victim of a dog bite. Even though dogs can be wonderful companions who live in many residential neighborhoods, dogs can be unpredictable. Any dog can bite.
If you become the victim of a dog bite, you might wonder what you can do to recover for your financial losses and emotional suffering. Our lawyers for dog bites in Tampa can help you address what happened and find relief after a dog bite.
Having experienced dog bite lawyers on your side can help you exercise your rights in Tampa. Unfortunately, dog bites are quite common and send many people to the emergency room each year.
In some cases – especially for a child or an elderly person – these injuries could potentially be life-threatening. You may miss days, weeks or even months of work. A dog bite may be severe enough to change the course of your career. In extreme cases, a dog bite can cause intense, lifelong difficulties.
Dog bite laws in Tampa, Florida come from state laws. There are additional county laws that cover licensing and animal control issues, but state law is the basis for dog bite laws in Florida. When a dog bite occurs, animal control authorities should be notified so that they can ensure that the dog is safely contained, vaccinated for zoonotic disease as required by law and cite the owner for any violation of ordinances such as leash or nuisance laws.
If you are bitten by a dog who is unlicensed, unvaccinated or whose ownership and vaccination status is unknown, you may need to receive preventative vaccinations for rabies which will add considerable cost to your medical care. It is imperative to work with local animal control authorities, your doctor, and your attorney to ensure that your medical needs are thoroughly evaluated.
No, Florida law does not have a “one bite” rule for dog bites. A dog owner does not escape liability for a dog bite in Florida if the dog has never bitten before. Instead, Florida dog bite owners are generally liable to the victims even the very first time it bites. Some exceptions apply.
Florida law 767.04 is Florida’s dog bite law. Florida law says that a dog owner is liable for damages because of a dog bite even if the owner has no prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite. In other words, if a dog bites, the dog owner pays for the victim’s damages. The bite victim doesn’t have to show how the dog owner acted unreasonably or created an unsafe situation. Instead, any time that the dog bites, it’s the legal responsibility of the dog owner to cover the damages of the victim.
There are some notable exceptions in Florida’s dog bite laws. For the dog owner to be liable for a bite, the dog bite must occur on public property or on private property where the victim has a right to be. A dog owner can be liable even if the dog bite happens on the dog owner’s property as long as the dog bite victim is lawfully on the property. Social guests, mail and package delivery workers, law enforcement, and home service professionals can all use Florida dog bite laws to hold a dog owner responsible for a bite if the victim is lawfully on the owner’s property when the bite occurs.
A dog owner is not legally liable if a dog bite victim is trespassing at the time of the dog bite. In addition, a dog owner may escape liability by posting a warning sign that says “bad dog.” Finally, a victim may not claim damages if they provoke or antagonize the dog to bite.
Recovery from a dog bite is not always as simple as receiving medical care for the wounds. Depending on the situation, the severity of the bite and the victim’s level of pain, a dog bite can cause many emotional scars that may be difficult to resolve. If you’re walking down a sidewalk and are surprised by a dog attack, you might not feel comfortable walking in your neighborhood. If the dog bite happens on your property, you may not feel safe in your yard or home. Pursuing compensation for your injuries does not repair the emotional and physical damage, but it does give you the resources to seek the medical and mental health care you might need to resume your normal activities without ongoing fear.
Homeowner’s insurance may cover medical expenses and lost wages. You may also be able to request damages from the dog’s owner and from the owner of the property where the bite occurs such as the dog owner’s landlord. The landlord can also be held liable if they know that the dog has a history of biting and aggression towards people.
When you’re hurt because of a dog bite, you know that your damages are mental and emotional as well as physical. Covering your medical bills may not do justice to what you’ve endured. Florida law allows you to claim financial payments as compensation for mental injuries, physical pain, and the disruption in your lifestyle. Experienced dog bite attorneys can help you determine the extent of your losses and value them as part of your claim for compensation.
Your attorney can assist you with the details of your Florida dog bite case and determine how to assert your rights. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers represents victims of dog bites in Tampa and throughout Florida. We know that a dog bite can be a sudden disruption in your life. The experts at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys can help you work quickly and effectively to claim compensation under Florida law. The time to bring your claim is limited. Call us today for a free consultation with our team.