Florida dog bite laws are fairly straightforward. A dog’s owner is responsible for injury if his or her dog bites someone on public land or who is lawfully on private land. People injured by dogs while trespassing or otherwise provoking the animal may not be eligible for compensation.
Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that an owner can be held liable even if the animal was not known to be dangerous. There is no onus on the victim to prove the animal posed a threat. However, comparative negligence can come into play in these cases, which may reduce the total settlement.
Comparative negligence holds that a victim may be partially responsible for his or her injury. For example, if you are bitten by a dog after accidentally stepping on it or if a bite follows rough-housing with an animal, your settlement may be reduced according to the percentage of fault a judge or jury places with you. This is one of the myriad reasons to talk to a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after an injury is sustained.
Dog Bite Statute of Limitations
Following a dog bite, you have two years to take legal action. It is not advisable to wait, however. The longer the space between injury and action, the lower your chance of securing full and fair compensation. Even if you are partially liable for your accident, you may be entitled to more than insurance is willing to pay upfront. Through legal action, you can often secure a settlement that is more consistent with the damages brought about by dog bites.
Even a minor dog bite can result in:
- Physical pain and emotional duress
- Damage to muscle, tendon, bone, and nerves
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
Some insurance settlements will cover dog bite expenses. Many will not. Taking legal action remains the most effective way to fight for full compensation.
We Are Here to Help
My Price Lawyers is an affordable attorney referral service supporting victims of dog bites and other serious injuries in Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring, and nearby areas throughout the state of Florida. The discount dog bite lawyers in our network offer free case evaluations and work on a contingency basis. If you do not secure a settlement, your attorney will not be paid. You have nothing at all to lose, but you may have a significant amount to gain by calling (888) 473-6137 to schedule your complimentary case review today.