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Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog-related accidents can be debilitating and distressing in nature. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, the injuries inflicted could cause considerable damage. When dangerous dogs cause injuries, a Hollywood dog bite attorney will help you file a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner. Florida law surrounding dangerous dogs and dog-related injuries are outlined below.

Florida’s Dangerous Dog Statute

Florida’s Dangerous Dog Statute sets guidelines on what constitutes a dangerous dog and how their owners should assume responsibility for their dogs’ actions. According to Florida’s statute, a dangerous dog:

  • Is aggressive toward humans. This includes biting, attacking, or inflicting injury. Dangerous aggressive behavior includes breaking bones, biting multiple times, and leaving bite marks that are lacerations.
  • Is aggressive, or prone to attack, other individuals’ pets when off their owner’s premises.
  • Acts aggressively without provocation. Dangerous dogs approach other humans and animals with the intent to attack. This includes in public and on the owner’s premises while guests are present.

A dog’s owner might not know they own dangerous a dog. The moment even a previously docile dog exhibits any of the listed behaviors, they automatically qualify as a dangerous dog.

In Florida, the state considers one specific breed a dangerous dog. Restrictions or bans apply to Pit Bulls via an aggressive dog breed ban in several counties.

Were you the victim of a dog bite? | Hollywood personal injury lawyers

Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?

Any citizen can sue a dog owner for a bite injury their canine created. This is a type of personal injury claim. Personal injury lawsuits fall under negligence law. Negligence law is based upon the assertion that a third-party caused injury through negligence. Negligence is not necessarily malicious – it denotes a lack of overall regard for those around the individual. The Hollywood dog bite lawyers at Fischer Redavid, PLLC can help you sort out the details of your claim.

Liability in Dog Bite Incidents 

Florida enforces strict liability. The court holds the dangerous dog’s owner completely responsible for all damages incurred by the animal. However, Florida also practices comparative negligence. This means the court splits each party’s percentage of fault based on the evidence that both parties provide. No matter the specific percentage, as long as your percentage is less than 50%, you can sue for personal injury. The court subtracts this percentage from your overall compensation, so the lower the percentage the better.

Florida Statutes §767.04 establishes that dog owners are liable if their dog attacks someone, even if the dog never before displayed any viciousness and the owner had no reason to believe the dog would attack. This is in contrast to most personal injury liability, which depends on the injury having been foreseeable. Landlords may also be responsible for a tenant’s dog attacking someone. This, however, does require the plaintiff to show that the attack was foreseeable.

It’s important to note you don’t have to suffer an actual bite in order to seek compensation. You may have been knocked down, chased, or had a dog injure your pet or damage your property. The dog owner may be liable in each of these cases.

What Responsibility Do Dog Owners Have?

Every dog owner in Florida has the responsibility to keep the public safe from their dangerous dog. This requires them to take several precautions to ensure they keep their dog under control.

  • The owner of the dog keep it secured both while indoors and outdoors. They must confine their animal to a sound structure that will secure them at all times.
  • The owner of must utilize a muzzle and heavy-duty leashing (like chain) to secure the dog while out. Only someone who is competent and able to handle the dog can hold the dog in public.
  • The dog’s owner must post signs around all entry points of their premises that warn all strangers there is a dangerous dog on the property.
  • The owner must get a tattoo placed on the dog’s inner thigh, or an electronic implant inserted, to indicate the dog is dangerous.
  • The owner must notify the local animal control clinic if their dog is re-located for any reason or if it has attacked a human or an animal.

Any dog owner who breaks these laws is liable in dog-related accidents.

aggressive dog biting man's arm

Florida Dog Bite Statistics

In 2016, there were 378,957 dog-related injuries and/or hospitalizations. This is over 1,000 dog-related incidences each day. Dog bites aren’t always debilitating, but they can cause significant damage.

In 2018, the top 6 dog breeds with the most reported attacks were: Pitbull (3397) Rottweiler (535), German Shepherd (113), Bullmastiff (111), Wolf hybrids (85), and Husky (83). Pitbulls initiated the most attacks with 3,397 reports within the year. This figure differs greatly from the rest of the breeds, which is why some counties ban them.

Recent research has revealed several trends within the realm of dog-related injuries:

  • Dogs attack males two-and-a-half more times than they attack females.
  • Dogs attack males aged six to fourteen-years-old most often.
  • 26% of all incidences involving protective, aggressive dogs are a consequence of inadequate behavioral management in the moment.
  • Off their owner’s property, dogs are most likely to attack males fifteen and older.

Is Florida a One-Bite State?

A one-bite state grants leniency to dogs and dog owners after their first dangerous dog offense. This policy acknowledges the innate wild quality of dogs, providing one initial chance for an owner to get their dog under control.

Florida is not a one-bite state. Law dictates that the state holds owners in dog-related accidents explicitly responsible for the actions of their dogs. Florida practices strict liability. The injured party can sue the dog’s owner in small claims court.

Dangerous Dog Laws

Dangerous dog laws in Florida label dogs that have previously been a threat. Courts typically order dangerous dogs put into pounds or put down. If the court rules that the owner can keep the dog, they must follow a strict set of rules, one key rule being they would have secure the dog at all times.

A Hollywood dog bite attorney can check public record to determine if a dog that has injured you has past offenses, too.

What Damages are Available for Hollywood Dog Bite Victims?

Fischer Redavid PLLC is a big believer in responsible pet ownership. Dog owners must know their duty to others’ safety, and if they neglect that duty, they must be held accountable. Our Hollywood dog bite lawyers will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

You can claim various damages after a dangerous dog attacks and injures you. Some of the most common damages are:

  • Immediate emergency room or doctor visits and treatment – Medical bills and records.
  • Recurring medical costs: Medication, equipment, physical therapy, therapy
  • Lost wages to account for your time spent recovering after the accident, away from work. This also takes into account lost wages in the future depending on disability
  • Disability if you are severely, chronically injured.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Cost of adapting your home and/or car to accommodate disability.

Suffering serious injury from a dog attack can be emotionally and psychologically traumatizing. This mental damage is a viable form of damages to recover compensation for. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can claim as many damages as you can for your specific case. Attorneys also provide valuable knowledge on how to prepare a claim and its evidence.

Statute of Limitations

Each state possesses a statutes of limitation that dictates the time period in which claimants can safely file a claim. In Florida, the statute of limitation period is four years. Statutes of limitation are set to ensure two things – maintaining relevant, accurate evidence and preventing claimants from indefinitely holding legal threats over a potential defendant’s head.

Dog attacks and injuries can be brutal when facing dangerous dogs. If you sustained an injury in a dog-related incident, contact a Hollywood dog bite lawyer to help file, and gather evidence for, your claim.

Filing a Claim with a Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyer

Working with an experienced Hollywood dog bite lawyer makes filing a claim easy. Your attorney knows they need to cover four bases when operating under negligence law:

  • The defendant (dog owner) owed the claimant a duty. In dog bite cases, this duty is to secure and control your dog so that they don’t pose a threat to the public.
  • The defendant failed to fulfill their duty. This would be allowing the dog to escape and injure someone.
  • The defendant’s failure to fulfill these duties directly caused the claimant’s injuries. Bite marks often serve as valid proof of animal involvement.
  • The claimant sustained significant, verifiable damage. Your medical records often reflect this as evidence of the injury cause by the animal.

If you or a loved one are attacked by an animal, first seek medical attention immediately then call our firm at (954) 860-8434 for a free initial consultation!

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