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Even though a dog can be an excellent companion, dog bites send Sarasota residents to emergency rooms each day. A dog bite can cause severe complications and be life-threatening. Florida has strict laws that protect victims of dog bites.
If you’re the victim of a dog bite, the dog owner may owe you compensation for your damages. You will want to work with a Sarasota dog bite attorney to determine your rights under Florida law.
The team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys can help you evaluate your case to see if you qualify for compensation. If you’re hurt in Sarasota because of a dog bite, Florida state law applies. Florida has strong laws that protect victims of dog bites. In most cases, the dog owner is liable for your damages. There’s a good chance that you can claim compensation for your losses.
Our team works tirelessly to help dog bite victims to get the compensation that they deserve. We help our clients understand what the law has to say about dog bite cases. Then we set to work building your case and using the legal system to advocate for you.
If you’re the victim of a dog bite in Sarasota, you’re eligible to receive the full range of damages that are available to any personal injury victim in Florida. When our team of attorneys works with a client, we make sure that we include all of the types of damages that may apply for an accurate value on an injury case. You likely have medical bills for treatment. But that’s often just the beginning.
Dog bites can be serious and often painful. Florida law allows you to seek financial compensation for your pain and suffering. You can also ask for additional amounts for your emotional distress. If you’re unable to work, you can ask for coverage for your lost wages. Whatever your losses, we can help you value them and include them in your claim for compensation.
Florida has some of the strongest laws in the United States when it comes to dog bites. Florida law 767.04 addresses liability to dog bite victims. The law says that a dog owner is liable to a victim for damages resulting from a dog bite any time that the bite occurs on public property. For example, if you’re walking in a public park and you’re bitten by a dog, the owner is responsible for your damages. They’re responsible whether or not the dog is on a leash. As long as you’re on public property, the owner must pay you for your losses.
There are also many instances where a dog owner is liable for a bite that occurs on private property. A dog owner is responsible for their dog whenever the victim is lawfully on the property. If your coworker invites you for dinner and you’re bitten by their dog, your coworker is liable for your damages. If a postal worker is bitten by a dog while they’re on the property to deliver mail, the dog owner is liable for the victim’s damages. Friends, family members, utility workers, or even the person who mows the lawn might be lawfully present on someone’s property. Generally, the dog owner has strict liability for dog bites that occur.
There are few defenses to dog bite cases. If the bite occurs on private property, trespassing may be a viable defense. When a person is lawfully on the property, the dog owner is generally responsible. But if the victim trespasses on the property, the dog owner doesn’t owe the trespasser for their losses.
A dog owner can also avoid some liability by putting up a sign that says “bad dog.” They must put the sign in a place that’s easy to see. If they have a “bad dog” sign that’s easily visible on their property, they’re not liable to anyone over the age of six unless they act in a negligent way that leads to the dog bite. Even if they put up a sign, they still must use reasonable care to keep their dog from hurting others. If they act negligently, recklessly or intentionally, they may still be liable for injuries from a dog bite.
Another defense in dog bite cases is provocation. The dog owner might claim that the victim did something to cause the dog to bite. Even if provocation applies, Florida’s comparative negligence rules in dog bite cases says that the victim may still be able to recover something for their damages. It’s up to the jury to decide where the blame lies. It’s up to the dog owner to prove that the dog was provoked. Even then, the victim may still be able to recover a share of their losses.
It’s important not to make assumptions about your case. The legal team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys can help you look at the facts of your case. We can investigate your claim to reach a conclusion about the strength of your case.
We can speak with witnesses and seek surveillance video if the bite occurs in a public place. There may be things that you can do to strengthen your claim like documenting your medical bills and seeking expert opinions on the extent of your injuries. One of the ways we help victims is by investigating and building your claim.
No, a dog owner can’t avoid liability for a dog bite in Florida if the dog doesn’t have a bite history. Instead, the dog owner is generally liable for a bite regardless of whether the dog has bitten before. Florida lawmakers say that it’s most fair for dog owners to cover the costs when their dogs bite.
Are you the victim of a dog bite? Our team of Sarasota attorneys is standing by to help. We want to help you bring a legal claim for compensation. We’re ready to draft legal paperwork, appear in court and present your claim.
Along the way, we work tirelessly to build your case. At each stage, we explain how the law applies and give our honest opinions so that we can work together towards the best possible outcome in your case. Your time to file a claim may be limited. If you’re the victim of a dog bite, contact us today for a free consultation about your claim.