Attacks by dogs, both customarily calm and vicious, are a serious problem in Florida. Florida legislators have dedicated significant effort to developing laws regarding liability for dog bites against both humans and certain animals.
Florida legislators have found that unprovoked attacks in the state are attributable to the failure of owners to confine and properly train and control their dogs.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 4.5 million people are bitten in the United States each year. Of the reported people who were bitten in 2013, 27,000 required reconstructive surgery as a result of a dog bite and 31 dog bites resulted in death.
A dog attack can result in serious short-term and long-term consequences, including severe injuries like limb loss, permanent scarring, and permanent disability.
In addition to the physical side consequences, dog attacks cause significant financial burden. A person injured may incur expensive medical bills, lost wages or earning potential, and rehabilitation costs.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite, it is important to consult an experienced dog attack attorney. An experienced attorney will negotiate with the insurance company or pursue damages in court to get you the relief you deserve.
Tampa Dog Attack Attorney
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you can recover for the injuries you’ve suffered. The Tampa dog bite lawyers at Germain Law Group, P.A. can fight for your to recover. The attorneys at Germain Law Group, P.A. will seek to get compensation for your medical bills, lost work, pain and suffering, and any other injuries or costs you may have suffered due to a dog bite.
The experienced dog attack lawyers of Germain Law Group, P.A. will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or responsible party, or take them to court, if necessary. Contact Germain Law Group, P.A. at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
Germain Law Group, P.A. proudly represents individuals throughout Florida, including the following counties, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, Citrus, Polk, Sumter, and the surrounding areas.
Florida Dog Bite Information Center
- Who is Liable for a Dog Bite in Florida?
- Common Injuries from Dog Attacks
- Defenses to Dog Bite Liability?
- Central Florida Dog Attack Resources
Liability for Dog Bites in Florida
Under Florida law, the owner of the dog is liable for any damage done to any person or domestic animal or livestock. Florida Statutes Title 45 Chapter 767.01
The owner of the dog is not limited to the person who actually purchased the dog. According to Florida Statutes Title 45 Chapter 767.01 an owner can be a person, firm, corporation or owner that possesses, harbors, has control or custody of the animal.
If the owner of the animal is under the age of eighteen, the parents or guardian of the minor is responsible for any damage caused by the dog.
The owner of the dog is liable for damage to a person bitten if the dog bites the person in a public place or in a private place if the person bitten is there lawfully. This means that the owner of the dog may be liable for damages even in his or her home.
The owner is liable for the dog’s first bite, even if he or she had no knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite.
Common Injuries from Dog Attacks
Dogs who bite can cause serious injury or death. According to statistics from AVMA, twenty percent of individuals bitten by dogs require medical attention. Of those that require medical attention, children are the most likely to be bitten followed by senior citizens.
When bitten by a dog, the injuries could range from mild to very severe, and even deadly. There can be gashes, bleeding, internal organ damage, flesh torn from the bone, and other physical injuries.
Dogs also carry diseases, like rabies, and bites can easily cause other infections. Painful shots may be necessary. It’s important to get a thorough medical check-up after a bite, even if the bite is not too deep – both for your health and to prove, in any resulting case, that you took effort to take care of your injuries.
The following are common injuries sustained as a result of a dog attack:
- Abrasions or Bruising
- Broken Bones
- Facial Injuries
- Fractured Bones
- Severed or Amputated Limbs
- Permanent Scarring
- Permanent Disability
- Physical Disfigurement
Depending on the severity of the injury, the individual injured may be entitled to damages for medical costs, loss wages, pain, and suffering, and property damage.
Defenses to Dog Bite Liability
Generally, the owner of the dog is liable for damage caused by its bite; however, the owner may assert certain defenses.
- Negligence on behalf of the person bitten– Negligence on behalf of the person bitten reduces the liability of the dog owner if such negligence is the proximate or immediate cause of the dog bite. Florida Statutes Title 45 Chapter 767.04. Negligence of the person bitten does not complete absolve the dog owner of liability; however, it may reduce liability depending on the specific circumstances.
- Prominent Display of “Bad Dog” Sign-Generally, if the owner of the dog prominently displays a sign with the readable wording “Bad Dog”, he or she is not liable for the dog bite. Florida Statutes Title 45 Chapter 767.04. The “Bad Dog” sign does not complete preclude liability. The owner may be liable if his or her negligence or omission is a proximate cause of the damage caused by the dog bite. The owner may also be liable if the person bitten is under the age of 6.
Central Florida Dog Attack Resources
American Veterinarian Medical Academy ǀ Dog Bite Prevention– The American Veterinarian Medical Academy (AVMA) is a non-profit organization representing more than 80,000 U.S. veterinarians. The AVMA provides crucial resources, including educational information about dog bite prevention and responding to a dog attack.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ǀ Dog Bite Prevention– The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is the United States’ first human society. The ASPCA provides resources, including safety tips for pet parents and information about dog bite prevention.
Germain Law Group, P.A. ǀ Hillsborough County Dog Bite Lawyer
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you can seek recovery for your injuries, but don’t do it alone. The Tampa dog bite lawyers at the Germain Law Group, P.A. can fight for you to seek full compensation for your injuries.
Our experienced, aggressive attorneys can negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement you’re happy with and are not afraid to take them to court. Germain Law Group, P.A. proudly represents dog bite victims throughout Florida, including Tampa, Hunters Green, Sun City Center, Temple Terrace, and the surrounding areas.
Contact the Germain Law Group, P.A. today at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to schedule a consultation.