Have you or someone close to you been bitten by a dog in Fort Lauderdale? Dog bites can result in serious injuries that may require medical attention and cause emotional distress. Fortunately, Florida law offers protection for victims of dog bites.
If you were the victim of an unprovoked dog attack, you can file a dog bite claim against the owner and recover compensation for your injuries. You need to hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Florida Does Not Follow the One Bite Rule
Unlike some other states, Florida does not follow the “one bite rule” when it comes to dog bites. The one-bite rule essentially means that a dog owner is only liable for damages if they knew or should have known that their dog had dangerous tendencies.
However, in Florida, a dog owner is strictly liable for any damages caused by their animal. This means that even if the dog has never shown aggression before and the owner had no reason to believe it would attack someone, they can still be held responsible if their pet bites someone.
It’s worth noting that there are exceptions and defenses available to a dog owner, but strict liability remains the general rule in Florida when it comes to dog bites.
An experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve in your dog bite claim. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering caused by physical injuries, and emotional distress resulting from trauma.
Defenses to a Dog Bite Claim
When filing a dog bite claim against a dog owner, it’s essential to understand that there may be defenses and exceptions that the owner can use to avoid liability. One common defense is provocation. If the victim provoked the dog before getting bitten, this could reduce or eliminate the damages awarded.
Another defense is trespassing. If the victim was unlawfully on private property when they got bitten, this could also affect their ability to recover compensation from the owner.
An exception is the existence of warning signs on the dog owner’s property. In order to invoke this exception, the dog owner must prove that:
- The sign is placed in a prominent place where any reasonable person would notice it.
- The sign is clear and easily readable.
- The sign communicates a simple message that the dog is on the premises and is dangerous.
However, it’s important to note that these defenses are not absolute and depend on various factors surrounding each case. Additionally, Florida law provides limited exceptions for certain individuals who work with dogs professionally or in law enforcement.
A Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Lawyer Will Build a Strong Case
An experienced lawyer knows that not a dog owner may attempt to shift blame onto you as the victim by claiming you provoked the animal. Your Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyer will carefully examine any evidence presented by the other party and conduct an investigation into what really happened.
This includes interviewing witnesses who were present during the attack, reviewing medical records detailing your injuries, and analyzing any available video footage or photographs taken at the scene.
This thorough investigation enables them to build a strong case on your behalf and presents compelling evidence in court if necessary.
Damages You Can Seek in a Dog Bite Claim
In a dog bite claim, you may be entitled to recover various types of damages. These damages can include both economic and non-economic losses that result from the attack.
Economic damages are those that have a clear monetary value, such as medical expenses and lost wages due to missed work. These costs can add up quickly, especially if the victim requires ongoing medical treatment or is unable to work due to their injuries.
Non-economic damages refer to losses that do not have a specific dollar amount attached. These can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. While it may be more difficult to assign a value to these types of losses, they are just as important as economic damages in terms of compensating the victim.
Punitive damages may also be available in some cases where the dog owner’s behavior was particularly egregious or reckless. These types of damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the victim directly.
Your Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorney will gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf in order to secure fair compensation for your losses.
Contact an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer!
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Fort Lauderdale, it is crucial to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. The laws governing dog bites can be complicated, and navigating them alone is not recommended.
At Miami Lawyers 360, we have a team of skilled attorneys with years of experience handling personal injury cases. We will work tirelessly to investigate your case thoroughly, gather evidence and build the strongest claim possible on your behalf.
Our goal is to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering caused by the attack. We are committed to fighting for justice for our clients.
Don’t wait any longer! We offer each new client a free case evaluation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us today at 786-686-2857!