Attacked by a Dog in Florida? Know Your Rights
These Florida statutes outline the state’s dog provisions, which mainly cover dangerous dog/dog bite laws. The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. If a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks or bites a person or a domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. The dog will be impounded for a period of ten days during which time the owner of the dog may request a hearing.
Attacked by a Dog in Florida? Know Your Rights
More and more people across the country own dogs than ever before. Of course, dogs are known as man’s best friend. No matter how long a dog has lived in a safe and welcoming home, however, some breeds are prone to acts of aggression. Then, there are the dogs who don’t live in nurturing, caring homes, who can also become aggressive due to mistreatment. You just never know with a dog you aren’t familiar with, and that means it’s best to be cautious. For those who have experienced a dog attack, you know there’s nothing funny about being the victim of a vicious act of canine violence.
What Constitutes a Dog Attack?
Dog trespassing laws Florida clearly defines who is considered liable during an attack. In almost every case of a violent dog attack in Florida, the owner of the dog is held responsible. If the victim of the attack is injured, it is understood that the costs of treatment are the responsibility of the dog’s owner.
However, there are a few terms to keep in mind when it comes to dog attacks. The first is the concept of strict liability.
Strict liability is a way in which to place responsibility no matter the confounding factors of a situation. In this case, a dog owner who has no knowledge of violent or aggressive behavior in their dog does is not protected from being responsible for damages.
What Might Reduce your Compensation as a Dog Bite Victim?
It’s likely that the owner of a dog that bites you may try to reduce their responsibility. In this case, they’ll likely hire an attorney to attempt to decrease blame and financial reparations. The dog owner might attempt to make the case with their attorney that you provoked the dog. Provocation or negligence can possibly reduce the compensation you are due in a dog attack. For example, a dog’s owner can argue that taunting or teasing provoked the dog unfairly. The thinking goes that dogs are animals and cannot reason with things like taunting in a logical way like humans.
Likewise, a dog owner may hire an attorney to argue that you were illegally approaching the dog. For example, if a dog attacks you while you are on private property and you had no legal reason to be there, a case can be made that the dog’s owner is not responsible. Compensation can be completely eliminated for a victim of a dog attack in this case.
Lastly, if you’re allowed on the property but get attacked by a dog, the owner is not responsible in some cases when a “Beware of Dog” or similarly phrased sign is present. This is not the case for attack victims under 6 years old, though.
What to Do When Attacked by a Dog
If you’re attacked by a dog, there are a few things you can do to try and fend off the Hernando county animal control. That being said, you do have more options before the attack begins. Aggression in dogs is easy to spot, and in some cases, hear. Growling, the showing of teeth, and the squaring of the dog’s body to yours while approaching cautiously can show signs of a pending attack. If this begins to occur, be sure to try a few of these protective, preventive acts:
- Avoid eye contact—this often provokes an aggressive dog further.
- Turn your body away to the side, not directly facing a dog can show submission, fending the chance of an attack.
- Be still, then cautiously walk away. don’t run, this can tell a dog to chase you. Slowly wait for the dog to stop moving while trying the first two acts, then slowly walk away.
It’s also important not to communicate with the dog. When provoked, a dog can interpret communication as a sign of a challenge to its safety or as a heightened sign of danger.
If the dog attempts to lunge at you, try to get distance and objects between you and the dog. If you cannot distance yourself, try to stay quiet and cover the dog with a shirt or article of clothing to block its vision. If you have no way to defend yourself and the dog is beginning to maul you, curl into a ball, protecting your face and call for help. Try not to hit the animal control Sarasota, as this will likely increase its sense of danger and further provoke it.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?
The first thing to do after an attack is to identify the dog and its owner. This way, you have the information necessary for alerting the police and a lawyer. If the attack was severe enough, seek medical attention immediately. Be sure to take time once it’s safe to photograph your injuries and get all the necessary paperwork from your doctors. Once you’ve been checked out by a medical professional, be sure to file an Orlando animal control report with the police or applicable city/county authority.
At this point, it’s crucial to find out more information about the owner and the dog. For example, a dog license and registration are required in Florida. The legal information needed to secure your compensation for a dog attack can be tricky to obtain, which is why this is the point many would recommend you contact a dog attack attorney. Luckily, Burnett Law is knowledgeable and experienced in Florida dog attack laws and regulations to help get you the compensation you deserve.
Dog owner’s liability for damages to person bitten.—The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, Hernando animal control, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A Pasco county animal control is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or Sarasota animal control when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.