This week a local family lost their baby girl when one of the family dogs mauled her. The little girl was only 8 months old and was playing in a bouncy chair at her grandma’s house when the dog got loose and attacked her. Sadly, these attacks aren’t all that rare. Every year there are about 4.5 million dog bites in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Due to the commonality of these injuries many states have laws specific to dog bites, Florida included. In Florida, dog owners have strict liability if their dogs bite someone. This means that, save for a few specific exceptions, dog owners have liability in any situation in which their dog bites someone, even if they had no way to know it would happen. The only exceptions are trespassing and comparative negligence.
Dog Attack Liability in Florida
A dog owner isn’t liable for their dog attacking any trespassers, according to Florida law. Comparative negligence, alternatively, doesn’t exempt the owner from the liability of the bite, but it does limit their liability. Comparative negligence means that if the bite victim provoked the dog or otherwise created the danger of the bite they incur a percentage of the liability. Whatever percent of liability a court finds the victim responsible for is deducted from the damages they would otherwise be awarded. For instance, if someone is awarded $1000 in damages but was found to be responsible for 10% of the injury, they would only be awarded $900.
Florida law also establishes a four-year statute of limitations, after that time is up dog bite victims can typically no longer file for damages. Within those four years bite victims can file and argue for damages to cover medical bills and costs incurred due to the injury. If you do find that you or a family member may require a seasoned Miami Personal Injury attorney for an accident or injury related to a dog bite or attack, Aigen Law Firm, is here to assist you. We understand that in this moment, especially when there is a death or an injured individual, that litigation may not be on your mind. However, your lawyer at Aigen Law Firm will be available to guide you, protect your rights, answer all your questions, and fight to ensure that you maximize your recovery against all responsible parties.
Please do not hesitate to submit an online FREE CASE REVIEW. At Aigen Law Firm, an experienced lawyer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week working relentlessly on behalf of victims who suffer from all types of accidents. We offer a free consultation for your personal injury case and there is no fee unless we recover for you.