Dogs are some of the most wonderful companions a family can have when they are properly trained, controlled, and socialized. Unfortunately, not all people with pets take their duties as responsible dog owners seriously and as a result, injuries can occur. These injuries can have a major impact on you for years down the road and are often the source of physical, financial, and emotional burdens. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, Cressman Law Firm, P.A. can help you take the appropriate legal steps to receive compensation. Contact our firm today.
When it comes to the laws surrounding dog bites, Florida is one of several states that has a “strict liability” statute. This means that dog owners are responsible for their pet’s actions at all times, both in public and at their own residence. For context, other states without strict liability laws require a pet owner to be aware that their dog was aggressive or had a history of biting in order to be held liable. Florida requires no such previous knowledge and holds dog owners accountable in virtually all situations.
There are several circumstances that may preclude you from holding the dog’s owners legally liable. One of those is trespassing. Under the law, the owner is not responsible for the safety of people who enter their property unlawfully and without their permission. This can sometimes present a bit of a gray area, legally speaking. For example, if a child retrieves a baseball from the unfenced front yard of a neighbor and their dog runs out of the house and bites the child, the owners may be held partially or fully liable.
Another exception to the strict liability statute comes into play if a dog is unnecessarily provoked, in which case comparative fault must be examined. For example, say a small child sneaks up on a dog and yanks its tail, causing the startled dog to turn around and bite the child. If you attempt to sue the owner for damages, the court will likely attribute a percentage of the blame on your child and reduce the amount of compensation you can collect from your claim. Say the judge determines the child was responsible for the bite. In this situation, you would only be able to collect damages.
You may be eligible to recover compensation in a dog bite lawsuit for the burdens that you have faced. Economic damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and the need to hire in-home care. Noneconomic damages may include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, pain & suffering, and more.
If you have been seriously injured by another person’s dog in Orange County, Florida, you may be entitled to compensation. The legal team at Cressman Law Firm, P.A. understands the hardships that you may face after being attacked by a dog. Our firm is here to guide you through your legal options and help you recover compensation so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. For strong legal representation in Orange County, Florida, contact Cressman Law Firm, P.A. today.