Proving a Dog Bite Claim in Florida
Under Florida law, you’ll have to prove two things: your right to be at a location at the time of the bite, and that you didn’t cause the dog to bite you. In Florida, the dog’s prior history of aggression or biting is not considered, so you don’t have to prove that as a part of your claim.
You need to prove that you were legally allowed on the property where the bite took place. This could be somewhere like a public park, or it could be in a private residence where you were a guest. This is an important part of the case because, in Florida, you may not be able to recover compensation if you were bitten while trespassing.
Florida follows a strict liability rule, meaning that the owner is liable for a dog bite in nearly all situations. However, if you antagonized the dog or otherwise brought about the conditions for the bite, your claim may be reduced or rejected.
Who Pays for a Dog Bite Claim in Florida?
There may be many parties who pay for a dog bite claim, including owners, insurance companies, and those who were keeping the dog at the time of the bite.
It’s important to note though, that even if the owner is someone you know, such as a friend or a family member, you may be able to obtain compensation without costing the owner anything. The owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy or other insurance may cover your injuries.
Homeowners’ insurance, commercial liability policies, and others may cover your injuries depending on the circumstances of the bite. Owners and animal keepers may hold insurance policies that can provide you with the compensation you need.
In some dog bite cases, those who had control of the dog at the time of the bite are not the dog owners. In those cases, the person or organization responsible for the dog may be liable.
How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Florida?
In the state of Florida, you typically have four years after a dog bite to file a suit. This action may cover your physical and psychological injuries after a dog bite, and it may cover damage to your personal possessions such as your clothing. Although four years may seem like a long time, it’s better to get your case started sooner rather than later. This time limit is strict. You may lose your claim if you delay too long.
If you’ve suffered a dog bite, contact the lawyers at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A. Our dedicated dog bite lawyers can review your case, advise you on next steps, and start the process of building your claim.
Compensation for a Dog Bite in Florida
When a dog bite injures you, you may be entitled to several forms of compensation, including:
Dog bites may require stitches, powerful antibiotics, and physical therapy afterward. In severe cases, dog bites can lead to disfigurement, nerve damage, and lasting damage to a victim. A personal injury claim may include the cost of any past or future treatment related to treating your injuries.
After a dog bite, you may have to miss work while you recover. In more severe cases, infection and serious wounds may mean that you’re out of work for quite a while. A claim can compensate you for the income you lost due to the injury, and for damage to your future earnings that result from the bite.
Dog bites can lead to nerve damage and pain that follow you around for years. A claim may seek compensation for your physical pain, and your mental pain as well. After a dog bite, you may experience extreme anxiety, and other severe consequences that can disrupt your quality of life. A claim for compensation can help you find the compensation you deserve for your pain.
A dog bite can take you by surprise and leave your clothing and other possessions such as your phone ruined. A claim can help you find the resources to repair or replace the property you lost during the attack.
Common Defenses to Dog Bite Claims
In Florida, those who are defending against a dog bite claim will usually base their defense on where the bite took place and what role you played in the bite. In Florida, the prior history of the dog doesn’t matter. The owner can be liable even in cases where the dog had no prior history of biting.
Where the bite took place is an important consideration in a dog bite claim. Under Florida law, you must lawfully be on the property where the bite happened. This could be a public place or a business, or it could be as a guest on private property. If you were trespassing on the property when the bite happened, you may not be able to get compensation from the owner or others who were responsible.
Another common defense is the argument that you played a role in the dog bite. If you were teasing the dog, abusing it, scaring it, or engaging in behavior that could antagonize it, the defense may argue that you were responsible for the bite. In Florida, this argument may be used to reduce your claim for compensation or to eliminate it altogether. In a case like this, it’s important to have clear proof that shows what happened before and during the bite.
Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites may result in serious injuries, including:
After a bite, you may lose sensation in the area of the bite, or you may feel extreme pain. This numbness or pain may last for years after a dog bite.
Dogs have powerful jaws that can cause significant damage to skin and flesh. After a bite, you may be left with permanent scars that can impair you and harm your appearance.
When a dog ruptures your skin, a flood of harmful bacteria and viruses can enter your body. These can lead to life-threatening infections that can take you out of work and disrupt your entire life.
Dog attacks can leave you with permanent injuries that even the best medicine can’t repair. When you’re harmed by a dog, disfigurement is a real possibility that can shape the rest of your life.