Every year, over 600 Floridians are involved in a dog bite or animal attack incident. In many cases, dog bite victims have a legal right to recover damages from the dog’s owner and other liable individuals. If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a dog bite or animal attack incident, then contacting a dog bite injury lawyer to help navigate how to proceed with a dog bite claim is imperative for receiving the compensation you deserve.
Dog Bites & Animal Attacks in Pompano Beach
Florida has precise laws to protect dog bite victims, and they all involve giving a high level of responsibility and accountability to the dog owner. For starters, Florida statute 767.04 says:
The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private residence, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.
If you have recently been injured in a dog bite or animal attack in South Florida, know you have rights as a victim. After a dog bite, you can be looking at long-term injuries including scratches, facial injuries, broken bones, contusions, permanent scarring, and so on. Dog bite victims are often left with hundreds of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more. Seeking compensation for your injuries is not only necessary, but it is your right.
Depending on the seriousness of the dog bite injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Getting help from an experienced animal attack attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Who’s Liable in an Animal Attack?
Most dog bite victims instantly label the animal owner as the person liable for the attack. However, in Florida, there are two specific dog bite laws:
Strict Liability – In this case, the owner of the dog or animal is responsible for the attack and liable for the damages caused. Under this law, a dog owner is instantly found at fault, which gives you the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries.
However, this law does not apply if you’re trespassing on private property at the time of the attack. If you provoked the animal in any way before the attack, you might not be awarded compensation for your injuries, as you will be held liable.
Negligence – On top of the strict liability laws in Florida, you can file a dog bite claim on the grounds of negligence. In this case, you must prove the dog owner failed in his duty of care. Some examples of negligence include leaving a dog loose on public land and walking a dog off-the-leash, especially when the local area has a leash law in place.
Besides the animal owners, other individuals could also be liable in a dog bite or animal attack:
- Animal keepers: anyone responsible for the custody of an animal.
- Property owners: if they allowed an animal onto their property.
- Landlords: if the landlord knew a tenant owned a dangerous animal.
What to do After a Dog Bite or Animal Attack?
Build Your Personal Injury Defense Team
If an animal bites or attacks you, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. Not treating an animal bite can cause serious infection, and on rare occasions even lead to death. Immediately after being medically evaluated, consider consulting with an animal attack attorney to start building your personal injury and dog bite case. An attorney will be able to determine if you have a valid legal claim, the type of damages you may be able to recover, and how to proceed to fight for compensation.
To prepare for a dog bite claim, it is essential to gather as much information as possible. A victim should follow specific steps after an attack, including:
- Getting the animal’s owner information
- Identifying witnesses and gathering their information
- Seeking medical attention
- Documenting all expenses related to the accident
- Report the attack to animal control
The more information you can collect about the incident, the stronger case you’ll have for compensation for your injuries. Keep in mind that in these cases, dog owners will often try to settle immediately. Always contact a trusted attorney to make sure your rights are being upheld.
Working with Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in South Florida
If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a dog bite or animal attack incident, working with a trusted personal injury attorney can make all the difference. Please call LJ Law Group today at 954-597-6770 or contact us online to start your free legal consultation. Our injury attorneys will aggressively fight for your rights so that you can put this traumatic experience behind you.