Understanding Florida Dog Bite Laws

Dogs may be man’s best friend, however, not all pups are well behaved. Too often, individuals, and children in particular, are injured by dogs. To reflect this, Florida Statute 767.04 states that a dog owner may be held liable for a dog bite in particular circumstances. The following explains some of the meaning behind the Florida dog bite statute and how it may apply to different cases. To better understand whether your case may fall under the purview of statute 767.04, however, it’s important to consult a Tampa dog bite lawyer.

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When is a dog owner liable for a dog bite?

Liability is a large component of personal injury cases. Essentially, it relates to whether a person had a particular legal responsibility to act or not act in a certain way. In the case of a dog bite, for instance, it is generally presumed that owners should have their dogs on a leash when on public property.

For dog owners, the law is clear about liability when it comes to a dog bite. Dog owners are responsible for their pets’ aggressive behavior on public property and on private property. Dog owners are required to have a sign that states “Bad Dog” on their property if they are aware they own a particularly aggressive pup. As with any law, however, it is never this cut and dry. There are mitigating factors that can lessen the responsibility of a dog owner.

When is a dog owner not liable for a dog bite?

If a person provokes a dog or behaves in a negligent fashion, such as proceeding onto private property that has the aforementioned “Bad Dog” sign, the owner’s liability is lessened. In some cases, the owner may not be liable at all. Likewise, individuals who should not be on private property because they either were not invited and otherwise had no business being on the property (for example, they aren’t a mail carrier) and are bitten by a dog reduce (and quite possibly negate) the liability of the dog owner by their actions.

As with any statute, mitigating factors can confuse a lay person, however, consulting with a reputable Tampa dog bite lawyer can illuminate the law.

Common Injuries From Dog Bites

In addition to showing liability, in order to ask a judge or jury for compensation, a dog bite victim will need to show they suffered some form of injury, whether physical or mental or property damage. In addition to the psychological trauma that can accompany a dog bite, dog bite victims may suffer from scarring, torn muscles and ligaments, and damaged nerves. In severe cases, there may also be physical deformation caused by numerous bites. Photographs and medical records will help show the extent of the attack and can help inform whether a dog owner should be held liable.

Consulting With a Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or your loved one have been injured because of a dog bite or a bite from another animal, speaking with a Tampa dog bite lawyer can provide you more information about your legal options. Not all cases are the same, and it’s imperative that you discuss your specific incident with a highly-trained Tampa personal injury attorney so you can receive the most pertinent legal advice.

When someone else is responsible for your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay. Speak with a lawyer dedicated to fighting for your right to compensation today and learn more about your options.

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