What Are Your Rights If a Dog Bites You? 

 October 20, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Every year, nearly 800,000 United States citizens are sent to the hospital due to dog bites. In almost all cases, it is the dog’s owner who is responsible for paying the medical bill. Many dog owners are responsible people who will gladly pay for any and all injuries caused by their pet, however, there are those out there that will try and avoid reimbursing you.

Don’t get left with an expensive bill. Make sure to protect yourself after a dog attack by knowing your rights.

Florida Law

According to FLSA 767.07, an owner is liable for injuries caused by their dog when their dog bites another person and that person is in a public place or lawfully in a private residence.

While the law only refers to bites, it can apply to any injury caused by a dog due to the negligence of the owner. So if a dog injuries you by knocking you over or scratching you, the owner is still liable for your injuries.

Some examples of owner negligence include:

  • Not using a leash
  • Not fencing in their yard
  • Not muzzling their dog

These are just some of the instances in which a dog owner is liable; however there are many different cases of people being injured by a dog in which the owner is at fault.

Strict Liability

In Florida, there is a “strict liability” statute when it comes to dog bites. This means that the dog owner is liable for their dog biting someone, even if they have no prior knowledge of their dog being aggressive. In most cases, the victim does not even have to prove lack of responsibility on behalf of the owner.

Protect Your Rights

The most important thing to do after a dog bite is to protect your rights. You may be facing expensive medical bills, psychological trauma and loss of wages. If the owner is at fault for your injuries, then you are entitled to compensation. Immediately after the bite, be sure to;

  • Get the name of the dog
  • Get the name and contact information of the owner
  • Get insurance information from the owner
  • Get the name and contact information of any witnesses
  • Take photos of all wounds and injuries, including bruises and bloody clothing

Of course, seek medical attention as soon as possible after the attack, but be sure to at least get the name and number of the owner. The more information you can collect, the stronger your case.

Statutes of Limitation

The statute of limitation for a dog bite is Florida’s civil court is four years. However, you do not want to wait when filing a lawsuit. As more time that passes, the witnesses’ testimony becomes less reliable and your case becomes weaker. Don’t wait. Call the experienced attorneys at LMW today. We have experience dealing with all kinds of personal injury cases, and will work hard to get you the money you deserve.

Contact LMW today, and find out why we are the most trusted personal injury attorneys in the West Pasco County Area.