Floridians love their dogs. Most Florida dog owners are responsible, law-abiding people. But when dog owners get careless and allow their pets to roam free, the results can be tragic. The dogs may become injured as a result of automobile traffic and other hazards, or worse, cause injury to a person.
A dog attack can be a painful, traumatic experience. If you or a family member has been the victim of a dog attack contact Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorney Lisa Levine, P.A. at once. With over 35 years of experience as a top Broward County personal injury law firm, our clients know they can depend on us to recover the financial compensation they deserve for the medical expenses, emotional distress and lost wages resulting from being bitten by a dog or other animal.
Strict Liability Laws for Dog Bites
Both the state of Florida and Broward County has strict laws pertaining to “at-large”, aggressive and dangerous dogs. If someone’s dog bites you or a member of your family, the owner is liable for any medical bills, lost earnings or other losses as a result of the attack.
In Broward County, it is against the law for any dog to be at large, which means that the animal is not confined indoors or behind a fence or controlled by a leash, chain or other means. Dog owners are liable if their dog bites a person while roaming “at large”. There are also strict regulations for dogs that have been designated to be aggressive (dogs that have attacked other dogs) or dangerous (dogs that have attacked humans).
Unlike some other states, there is no “one bite rule” in Florida. Florida state laws are very clear when it comes to holding dog owners liable for the actions of their pets. To quote state statute 767.04: Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons 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.
There are two exceptions under the law; the owner is not liable if the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack or provoked the animal to a violent response.
Please keep in mind the statute of limitations for filing a claim for a dog bite attack in Florida is two years.
Florida Dog Bite Injuries
Any dog, regardless of the size or breed, is capable of becoming aggressive and inflicting severe, even life-threatening injuries through a bite. Injuries caused by dog bites can include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress, including PTSD
Dog bites can require emergency medical treatment. Depending on the severity of the attack, ongoing physical therapy and reconstructive surgery may be required.
Child Victims of Dog Bites
Unfortunately, a majority of dog bite victims are children. Dog attacks account for more children’s emergency room visits than any other injury. These attacks can be very serious, because children are more likely to suffer bites to the neck, face and head than adults.
Because of the child’s size in relation to the dog, dogs are less intimidated by children than they are adults. Younger children often lack awareness of how to behave around dogs, how to recognize a potentially aggressive animal, or possess the physical strength to defend themselves, making them particularly vulnerable to a dog attack.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Cases
Should I Call the Police if I am Bitten By a Dog in Florida?
Yes, for your safety you should definitely call the police if you are bitten by a dog in Florida. A police report can be an important part of your lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Florida?
Every state has a statute of limitations on lawsuits, which means there is a time limit on how long you have to file a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations for most claims is 2 years.
How Much Do You Charge for Your Services?
The final cost of any case is determined by the size and complexity of the case. But our office works on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay legal fees until we win your case.
Get Help From A Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a family member has suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of a dog attack in Broward County or Miami County, contact the law offices of Lisa S. Levine P.A. immediately. We have the resources and expertise to handle a wide variety of personal injury claims, including dog bites.
Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorney Lisa S Levine will work diligently to get you the settlement you deserve. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis. This means there are no hidden or up-front costs for our clients. We only get paid when you recover money.
Call us today at (954) 256-1820 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. We’re eager to discuss your case and offer evening, weekend, in-home and hospital appointments.