Dog bites and animal attacks are typically met with mixed emotions from the victim, especially when the attack comes from an otherwise loving pet. When you go from playing with your friend’s dog one minute to nursing a dog bite the next, it can be hard to know how to proceed. Dog bites can certainly be serious, leading to scars and infections. The severity can be even worse when the victim is a child.
Even if the owner of the dog is a trusted friend, it is never a bad plan to reach out to an experienced south Florida dog bites and animal attacks lawyer. Speaking with an attorney can help you determine if the dog owner’s insurance company can be held liable for monetary compensation for your injuries and other damages incurred.
One of the ways the state of Florida protects its residents is by not having first-bite protection from legal liability. In many states, the owner can’t be held liable for damages if their dog hasn’t bitten anyone in the past, but Florida does not have this in place. If you are the victim of a dog bite and need legal counsel to walk you through the process, from claims to receiving your settlement, reach out to one of the professionals at LJ Law Group.
Determining Liability After a South Florida Dog Bites or Animal Attack
Florida Statute 767.01 states that “Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of ‘domestic animal’ and ‘livestock’”. This liability is imposed both in private homes and public places, as long as the victim of the attack was not trespassing when the incident occurred. This strict liability is helpful to the victim because the owner of the dog is held responsible for their pet regardless of if the owner was doing anything wrong.
However, the dog owner’s liability could potentially be eliminated, as long as the owner displays a prominent and very visible sign indicating that there is a dangerous or “bad dog” present. There are conditions that have to be met for your dog to be classified in this way:
- Previously attacked or bitten a human
- Aggressively approached the victim with no provocation
- Previously severely injured or killed another animal that is often kept as a pet (fish, hamster, cat, etc.)
While this exception is applicable for most attacks, this cannot apply if the victim of the bite is six years old or younger. If a dog attacks a child under the age of seven, the owner is liable for injuries, even if the child was provoking the dog.
Why Choose LJ Law Group?
If you find your family involved in an insurance claim or lawsuit because your dog attacked someone, you do have options. One of the many south Florida dog bites and animal attacks attorneys can help you. In fact, making a call to LJ Law Group is a great idea. Their personal injury law firm in South Florida consists of experienced lawyers that will fight in your defense. Schedule a free consultation today.