Florida Dog Bite Injury Guide
The Florida Dog Bite Injury Guide was created by Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law to help residents who have been injured in an accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
HERE’S OUR 3-STEP PROCESS TO FIGHT FOR YOU:
First, your Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law legal team will collect the proper documentation for your case, such as medical records and bills, insurance policies, and more. This ensures we have a solid foundation, context, and understanding of your injury, and can work to fight for the maximum compensation available for your case.
Our second step is to investigate on your behalf. Investigation is key in understanding the little details that can largely impact your case’s value. Investigation includes, but is not limited to, dashcam and security footage, police records, witness accounts, and more.
Lastly, we negotiate for you. Inside and outside of the courtroom, we negotiate with the defense to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to and deserve. Sometimes, negotiations may not be successful; at Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law, we don’t back down. We are prepared to go to trial to present our strongest case on your behalf, and fight for justice.
The Liability of the Dog Owner
If a dog attack occurs, the owner of that dog might be liable both in a civil case and a criminal case.
Florida State law is a little different. It is a state that is considered “strict liability.” That basically means that the dog owner is going to be a liable party even if they had no idea the dog had aggressive tendencies. Furthermore, Florida laws for dog attacks say that the victim does not have to prove that the injuries they sustained were due to the dog owner’s negligence.
Florida State law says that the owner of the dog is going to be held responsible for the injuries the victim sustained from the dog attack if there is proof that the dog bit the victim, regardless if it was at a public or private property.
If the incident wasn’t proved or happened under a different set of circumstances, you, as a victim, may still be able to bring a claim against the owner as a personal injury case. Our Orlando dog bite lawyers are here to help you through it all.
Compensation for Dog Attacks
As a victim of a dog bite, you may be eligible for compensation under of one these legal claims:
- Negligence: an owner will be found negligent because of things they did not do to protect potential victims from their animal.
- Negligence per se: an owner can be deemed responsible if there were statutes or regulations they violated.
- Scienter: this is commonly known as a “one bite rule” and makes any dog owner liable for damages if they knew their dog had a history of aggression.
- Intentional tort: in a rarer set of circumstances, the dog owner can be found liable if they intended for their dog to attack the victim.
Defining the Dangerous Dog Statute
You should be aware of the dangerous dog statute in Florida because the laws exist in order to protect victims from vicious dogs.
If there were a severe case of a vicious dog, that dog might be determined as dangerous under Florida law. The owner of this dog has to be very cautious and follow certain regulations with the dog. If that dog causes damage, they can be criminally liable.
The owner must register the dog with their local law enforcement and it has to be kept in a spot that is secure and they have to put signs on the property that warns of a dangerous dog. Furthermore the dog has to be on a leash with a muzzle and a harness at all times.
A dog would be considered dangerous under Florida laws if:
- the dog was involved in an attack that left a victim seriously harmed;
- the dog attacked and injured or killed another dog or animal more than one time; or,
- the dog has gone after other people aggressively without having been provoked.
If you were attacked by a dangerous dog, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Orlando dog bite lawyers.
Limitations of Responsibility for a Dog Owner
If you were seriously injured by a dog, you should be aware that Florida law offered some reduction or elimination of liability for dog owners. The limitations are as follows:
- If the dog attacked someone who was trespassing on the property.
- If the dog was provoked by the victim.
- If the dog’s owner was being protected by the dog by someone who was a possible threat.
Furthermore, you are likely going to have a harder chance of getting compensation for a dog bite case in Florida if there were proper warning signs and there were security measures taken on the property to attempt to protect victims. That’s not to say you do not have a case.
Our Orlando dog bite lawyers will guide you through your case details to tell you what next step you should be taking.
After A Dog Bite Injury
One of the questions I get from clients often is, “What should I do if I’m injured by a dog bite here in Orlando?” The first thing you should do is immediately seek medical attention. Dog bites can become infected and cause very significant injuries, so the most important thing is to immediately seek medical attention.
Once you’ve done that, you should contact a well-trained, knowledgeable, experienced trial attorney. That way, we can immediately get involved to investigate the case. We need to be able to preserve certain evidence that could be useful in proving your liability claim for the dog bite. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite case, please contact us. We’re here to help.
Beware Of Dog Sign
Recently we had a client reach out to us and ask, “How does a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign affect our case?” Here in Orlando, the answer is it actually could benefit your case. Why? Because it shows that the owner was aware the dog had a dangerous propensity. That animal has likely shown aggression towards other individuals, and the homeowner or dog owner is clearly aware of that tendency. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dog bite, please contact us. We’re here for you.
Choosing The Right Orlando Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
One of the questions I receive often is, “How do I choose the right attorney for a dog bite injury?” The answer is, in Orlando, you want to make sure you find someone who has experience and focuses on that particular area of law. There are many attorneys that are all over the map with the areas that they practice. Here, we focus only on personal injury cases. We focus on those dog bite cases. That’s one of the areas where we have a vast amount of knowledge and experience.
Secondly, you want to find a lawyer that’s not afraid to fight the insurance companies and prepare the case for trial. There are many attorneys out there that will take a case and work it up for settlement, but that’s not enough. The insurance company knows who those attorneys are, and they know who the attorneys are that will take your case to trial. We take every case and work it up as if it’s going before a jury. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, please contact us, we’re here to help.
Dog Bite Case Settlement Timeline
One of the first questions that I’m asked on almost every first phone call from a client is, “How long is my dog bite case going to take to resolve?” The answer, in Orlando, is that it depends. Every case has a unique, specific set of facts based upon the severity of the injuries and how long it will take to get a court date if we are forced to pursue the case into litigation. These are all factors that go into it. Typically, if we have to go to trial and go before a jury, the case is going to take 18 months to 24 months to resolve. If it’s a pre-suit case that we’re able to resolve without the need for litigation, however, those could resolve in six to ten months.
Again, a lot depends on the severity of the injuries and how long medical treatment is required. If someone needs medical treatment for just a few weeks, the case will resolve very, very quickly. If someone needs medical treatment for months, possibly years, those cases take much longer. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced, knowledgeable trial attorney.
Dog Bite Case Value
The other day I was sitting with a client discussing his new dog bite case, and he asked me, “How much is my case worth?” The answer I tell everyone is, obviously, it depends. There’s a lot of factors that go into that. What is the severity of the injuries? Did it leave permanent scarring, disfigurement? Where is that scarring; is it in a place that’s visible to the public, that bothers that person, that causes them to cover up or makes them afraid to go out in public? Is it something that has had a severe psychological effect on them? These are all things that go into the damages regarding scarring and disfigurement.
The amount of medical bills and the amount of medical treatment required are factors that need to be considered, as well— if there was time missed from work, if it’s impacted their ability to work in the future, if these are lifelong injuries versus and injury that eventually healedthen went away. Because there are so many factors involved in determining the value of the case, it’s crucial that someone injured in a dog bite case in Orlando reach out and contact a knowledgeable, well-educated, and well-trained trial attorney.
Dog Bite Injury Liability
The other day, I had a potential client involved in a dog bite incident ask me if there was a possibility that someone other than the dog owner could be responsible for the injuries. The answer is, yes, it’s entirely possible if it’s a rented home or apartment and the apartment owner or homeowner has knowledge of this dog’s dangerous propensities. That’s why it’s extremely important to get an attorney involved early on. The attorney can investigate and go in and get the past records of that dog to find out if there’s notice and knowledge. They can find out who else might be responsible and if there’s insurance coverage provided by those other responsible parties.
Dog Owner Does Not Have Insurance
In a past case that I handled, we had a situation where the owner of the dog himself did not actually have insurance. What can someone do in that situation? The answer is it’s very important to hire a lawyer to investigate the case in detail. In that particular case, we were able to determine that, while the owner of the dog did not have insurance, they were renting the property and the owner of the property did have insurance. What’s more, the owner of that property was aware that this dog had bitten people in the past. We were able to prove that the landowner who was renting the property to the dog owner had notice that this was a dangerous dog with a vicious propensity to injure others. Most people don’t realize this is an option.
Without the experience and knowledge of a trial lawyer, that case never would have resulted in a recovery for that injured individual. That is why it’s extremely important to reach out and contact a knowledgeable, experienced trial attorney immediately if you are injured in a dog bite case. Please contact us. We’re here to help.
Insurance For A Dog Bite Injury
One of the questions I receive from clients all the time is, “Who’s going to pay for my medical bills if a dog bites me here in Orlando, and is my insurance going to cover that?” The answer is, if you have medical insurance, your medical insurance will cover your injuries. If you don’t have insurance, however, that’s when you need to get a lawyer involved immediately because the person who owned the dog is responsible for the injuries that that dog caused. Hiring a knowledgeable, experienced trial attorney to get involved immediately and put the at-fault party’s insurance on notice is extremely important.
Qualified Dog Bite Case
One of the questions I get from clients about dog bite cases is, “How do I know if I have a qualified case?” The answer is you know when you’ve spoken with an attorney that can properly evaluate that case and make a determination whether or not there is liability, if there’s going to be insurance coverage, and if there are significant damages. That’s why it’s important that, if you’ve been involved in a dog bite case, that you contact an educated, well-trained, knowledgeable trial attorney so they can immediately get involved and determine if there is a case here to pursue.
Call Our Orlando Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you have been seriously harmed because of a vicious dog, please reach out to us as soon as you possibly can to get the best chance at full and fair compensation as possible. Our Orlando dog bite lawyers want to be your safeguard and help you fight for your rights. Call and set up your free initial consultation as soon as possible.
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