A dog bite can occur at any moment and when we least expect it. A dog bite can range from a small nip of the hand to a life threatening situation. A dog bite can cause scarring, nerve damage, disfigurement, and even a loss of limb or life. A dog bite can cause nightmares and even a lifetime fear of dogs. Man’s best friend indeed!
If the dog bite occurs on property that has homeowner’s insurance coverage, the homeowner’s insurance could be required to pay any and all damages. Under Florida Statute, damages can be found for current medical bills, future medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
The good news for anyone who has been bit by a dog is that Florida law imposes strict liability on the owners of the dog that bites another person. This in effect limits the defenses that a dog owner has to defend against the dog bite.
Even if your injuries may seem nominal, it is important that you speak with an attorney to fully evaluate the long term effects of the dog bite. Many people in accidents settle their case early only to find out they actually suffered long term injuries.
There are some protections under the law. If the owner of the property posted a sign that said “Bad Dog”, he may have an affirmative defense to the claim unless the dog bit a child under the age of six. Another defense is the Provocation Defense. Simply, this is the defense that the person that was bit caused the dog to bit him. Usually, the person would have hit, kicked, or taunted the dog until the dog bit him/her. A few other defenses that are provided by law are veterinarians, person working for animal control, dogs on a leash, service dogs, person was performing a criminal activity, government workers.
If a dog has attacked you and/or bit you, do not hesitate to contact Myers & Eichelberger, P.L. to discuss your case. It is important to hire the right attorney for the needs of your case. When you are injured, you need an attorney who you can rely on and who can provide the care that your case needs.