Most dogs make wonderful pets and companions. However, there are times when animals can lash out and cause serious harm. Dog bite laws in Florida allow victims of these attacks to pursue compensation from negligent pet owners to cover their losses.
If you or a loved one suffered injury because of someone else’s pet, schedule a no-cost consultation with a Miami dog bite lawyer to learn your legal rights. At Redondo Law, an experienced attorney can take the lead in your case and allow you to focus on your recovery.
Rights afforded to dogs, dog owners, and victims
Florida has strict dog bite laws. According to Florida Statute § 767.04, the owner of a dog who bites another individual on public or private property may owe the victim damages. This is the case even if the animal has no history of violence, meaning that a bite victim can seek compensation from the dog’s owner or their insurer even if the attack is the dog’s first and only offense.
Liability after a dog bite in Miami
While Florida law holds a dog’s owner accountable for that animal’s actions, they may not be the only party responsible for a victim’s losses. If a dog bite occurs on a rental property, and the rental property owner knew about the dog’s proclivity for dangerous behavior, then the property owner can also be held liable. A skilled local attorney can investigate a dog attack to determine who may be held accountable for a victim’s injuries.
Comparative negligence in canine attacks
It is important to note that Florida operates on a shared-fault basis. This means that the victim of a dog bite attack may hold some responsibility for the dog’s actions. For instance, a person who provoked the dog may be found partially at fault.
The jury will determine the degree of fault for all parties involved in a dog bite incident should a case proceed to trial. Victims determined to be partially at fault for their own losses can only recoup damages for the owner’s percentage of the blame.
What to do after a dog attack
Getting bit by a dog can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience, making it difficult to know how to respond immediately after an attack. Before anything else, an injured victim should seek medical attention and call 911. This is crucial to ensure they receive prompt treatment for their injuries and that authorities are able to verify the dog doesn’t carry any dangerous illnesses (e.g., rabies). Additionally, a medical professional can help a victim assess their losses and potential compensation.
Filing a claim
To seek out compensation for losses related to a dog bite, a victim or their attorney must first contact the dog owner and, if the claim cannot be resolved directly, file a complaint with the local court. In Miami, these claims must include the name of the dog’s owner, details describing the attack, and an estimate of the victim’s damages.
According to Florida Statute § 95.11(3), dog bite victims generally have four years from the date of the attack to file this complaint with a local court. Failure to file within this time period normally causes the victim to forfeit their right to compensation. As such, it is critical to reach out to a dog bite attorney at our Miami office as soon as possible.
Seek help from a Miami dog attack lawyer
Florida’s dog bite laws exist to protect people from vicious animal attacks. After an incident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses and hold the negligent pet owner accountable. Schedule a free consultation with a Miami dog bite lawyer at Redondo Law to discuss your case. Our legal team is here to help you recover from your losses and move forward with your life.