According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 4.5 million Americans
are bitten by dogs every year. Approximately 885,000 require medical attention
and more than 27,000 require reconstructive surgery. Some people have
died due to the seriousness of the
dog bites. Although half of dog bite victims are children, people of all ages are
vulnerable. Besides the physical injuries and psychological trauma of
being bitten, victims have to worry about their wounds becoming infected
and the risk of getting rabies.
Some dog bite incidents involve family members living in the home with
the dog owner. Other times, a person who has no relationship to the dog
owner is bitten. This is when Florida law becomes important. A Florida
statute puts the responsibility for a dog bite on the dog owner. Specifically,
the law states:
“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.”
This means that if you were bitten by a dog, the owner is strictly liable
for your damages. You do not have to prove the owner was negligent and
you do not have to prove that the dog had a known propensity to bite or
had ever bitten anyone else. You do not have to prove that the owner did
not properly supervise the dog.
The only defense available to a dog owner is that you deliberately provoked
the dog or that you trespassed on the owner’s property unbeknownst
to the dog owner. If dog owners have placed a sign in a prominent place
warning of a dangerous dog, and you entered the premises anyway, that
also will provide the owner a defense.
Bitten By a Dog? Call Todd Miner Law for Help!
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, you need the services of
Todd Miner, an Orlando personal injury attorney. Your first visit, where he will
evaluate the facts of your case, is free. He will prepare your case and
see that you receive all the damages to which you are entitled. This includes
medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.