Dog bites are serious injuries that are closely associated with infections and other complications, and being attacked by someone else’s dog is likely to leave you feeling both vulnerable and terrified.
Florida takes the matter of negligent pet owners very seriously. At Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys, we do, too. If someone else’s dog leaves you injured, consult with an experienced Plantation dog bite attorney. Pick up the phone and call Scarfone at 754-465-0874 or contact us online to discuss your case.
Florida’s Dog Bite Law
The state of Florida employs what is known as strict liability when it comes to dog bites, and this means that a pet’s owner can be held legally responsible when their dog bites someone else – even if the owner had no reason to believe it was aggressive, to begin with.
So, you won’t need to prove the dog owner’s negligence in the matter as long as both of the following elements are true:
- The dog bit you, causing you to be injured and to suffer losses that are addressed by the law.
- You were either on public property or were lawfully on private property at the time of the attack.
Florida’s Stance on Dangerous Dogs
The state of Florida goes a bit further by implementing a dangerous dog statute, which is intended to protect citizens from dogs that are known to be dangerous. In specific instances, dogs can be labeled as dangerously aggressive. In these cases, their owners are required to take more careful precautions and employ harsher restrictions regarding their dogs.
All the following apply to dogs deemed dangerous in the state of Florida:
- Dangerous dogs must be registered with the local authorities.
- Dangerous dogs must be secured in safe locations with appropriate warning signs.
- Dangerous dogs must be restrained by both muzzle and harness or leash when taken if they are not in a secured location.
In order to be labeled a dangerous dog in Florida, one of the following must apply:
- The dog has aggressively attacked, bitten, or injured someone in the past.
- The dog has attempted to attack or otherwise endanger someone in the past.
- The dog has either seriously injured or killed another animal on more than one occasion.
- Without provocation, the dog has aggressively approached or chased someone in the past.
Turn to a skilled Plantation dog bite lawyer for the skilled legal guidance you’re looking for.
Limitations on Dog Owner Responsibility
While dog owners in the State of Florida have considerable responsibility for the physical damage their pets cause others, there are certain circumstances that can mitigate or even eliminate this liability, including:
- The victim of the dog’s attack was on the dog owner’s private property illegally.
- The victim of the dog’s attack was provoking the pet in question.
- The dog in question was defending its owner or someone else within its immediate vicinity from perceived danger at the time of the attack.
When a dog’s owner has the appropriate warning signs in place, their liability can be seriously curtailed, and the same is true when the victim purposefully provoked the dog.
The Mayo Clinic advises that all the following are indicative of severe dog bites:
- The puncture is relatively deep.
- The skin in the affected area is torn, crushed, or bleeding.
- You experience the signs of infection – such as redness, swelling, pain, or oozing.
Because dog bites tend to rip and tear the skin rather than cleanly cutting it, the healing process is much slower, and scarring is more considerable. Further, because we naturally use our hands defensively when attacked, dog bites are often on or near the hands, which are a complicated system of bones, muscles, and tendons that can be very seriously damaged. Finally, the victim can suffer permanent disfigurement if the dog bite is on or near the face.
Seeking Compensation for Dog Bites
If a dog bites you or someone you love, obtaining just compensation that covers your full range of physical, financial, and emotional losses – or legal damages – is important to your recovery.
Associated medical expenses
Dog bites are prone to infection and are slow to heal. In the process of healing, they can also develop complications or secondary medical concerns that require even more extensive health care. Plastic surgery may be necessary; if the bite affects a joint, things become much more complicated.
The recovery process after a dog bite can be lengthy and may keep you off the job for a considerable amount of time. If the bite interferes with your ability to do your job, the associated financial losses can be that much more significant.
Pain and suffering
Dog bites are exceptionally painful, but it is also terrifying to be attacked by an animal, which means the psychological pain and suffering you endure can be crippling.
Many victims suffer psychological symptoms that are much like PTSD, including:
- Terrifying flashbacks of the attack
- Immense fear of all dogs
- Intensified startle response
- Sleep disturbances
- Severe mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Self-isolation and a tendency to push others away when their support could be most helpful
- Increased anxiety and depression
The more serious the damages you suffer, the more important obtaining fair compensation becomes to your recovery, and the more turning to an experienced Plantation dog bite law firm can help.
Discuss Your Claim With a Plantation, Florida Dog Bite Lawyer
Being attacked by someone else’s dog can leave you facing a difficult path forward, and Rocco Scarfone is a compassionate dog bite attorney. At Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys in Plantation, Florida, we know how important it is for you to obtain compensation that fairly covers your losses.