Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
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The Basics of Florida Dog Bite Law
If you live in Florida and have sustained a dog bite injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for some of your expenses, such as your medical costs. But before you file a lawsuit, you should understand the basics of Florida dog bite law.
There are two Florida dog bite laws. One is known as strict liability and the other is negligence. If you are considering filing a lawsuit to recover damages for your Florida dog bite injury, then you should contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience with dog bite cases.
Florida Dog Bite Law: Strict Liability
The first type of law that covers dog bites in Florida is known as strict liability. Other states in addition to Florida, such as California, Ohio, and New Jersey, have strict liability laws for dog bite injuries.
In short, these laws say that the dog owner is liable for any injuries his or her dog causes. This differs from what are known as "one bite" laws, which do not fault the dog owner unless the dog has already injured someone once before.
This means that if you are attacked by a dog, the dog owner will automatically be found liable for your injuries, which means that you could have an easy time recovering damages.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you were trespassing on private property when you were attacked, then the dog owner may not be liable. In addition, if you were provoking the dog in any way, such as by hitting it or slapping it, you may not necessarily be awarded compensation for your injuries.
Florida Dog Bite Law: Negligence
In addition to strict liability laws, you can also file a suit on the grounds of negligence. Every state has some form or another of negligence law. Dog bite injuries often fall under this area or more specifically under an area of tort law known as personal liability.
To win a negligence claim, you and your attorney will have to prove that the dog owner violated some duty of care, which resulted in your injuries.
For example, the dog owner has a duty of care to make sure his or her dog is not running loose. This means that if the dog is in a pen, but that pen is not well suited to hold the dog and the animal gets out and injures you, then you probably have a valid claim. Another example would be if the dog owner was violating a local leash law, which then allowed the animal to attack you.
In summary, under Florida dog bite law, there are two ways to bring a claim: strict liability laws and negligence. If you are unsure which law to apply to your case, consult an attorney.