LegalYou: Suing for Dog Bite –
Dogs, man’s best friend, until they’re not. Dog bites happen. Fortunately we know that because lawyers on billboards tell us they do.
Iif you are the victim of an unfortunate canine run-in, you can take action to hold the dog owner accountable and you can do that without a billboard lawyer. Here are the basics of what you need to know.
Fflorida is what’s known as a strict liability state, which means an owner can be made responsible even without prior knowledge that their dog is a biter. This also means that you don’t have to prove any negligence on the part of the dog
owner if the attack occurred in a public place. The same is true of the attack was in a private place if you were there legally. That private place can be the dog owners own property, as long as you are there by invitation of the owner, or a duty to be there under state or federal law or postal regulations. An exception however is when the dog owner post an easily readable bad dog sign on his property. That would be the dog owners land, not his dog.
If the owner has a bad dog sign posted then you would have to prove that the owner was negligent somehow. Now, owners are not without defense options. For one, they can prove the bite came as a result of trespassing and two, owners can use a defense known as comparative negligence. That’s another way of saying it was partly or totally the victim’s fault.
If the injured person is partly to blame then the damages can be at a reduced percentage. Although statutes deal specifically with dog bites, owners can also be liable for other dog related injuries such as being knocked down by a wayward pooch but for these kinds of cases the owner has to be shown liable through some kind of negligence.
Florida does have a statute of limitation for dog bite lawsuits to be filed. Four years from the incident. Anything filed after the four years will probably just be thrown out.
Not saying we all want to put cute little doggie woggie on trial here, but unfair injury deserves some kind of justice.