Deerfield Beach Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
South Florida Personal Injury Attorney
In 2020, Florida was the #2 state in the country for dog bites, with over 1,200 incidents that were submitted for an insurance claim. Beyond the expected skin-punctures from their teeth, dogs can break bones and damage nerves. A larger dog can inflict head and neck injuries, damage your eyes or face, and a wild dog might even have rabies. Of the various dog-related injuries in 2020, many of them occurred with leashed dogs running into cyclists.
Fortunately, if you’ve been the victim of a dog bite in the Deerfield beach area, you may have legal recourse. Contact an experienced Deerfield Beach dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to learn more.
Am I At-Risk If My Dog Bites Someone?
Florida is what’s known as a “strict liability” state, which means that you are responsible for what your dog does. Even if it is leashed, even if you post a sign that says you have a ‘dangerous dog,’ and even if the victim was lawfully on private property.
There are circumstances where the dog owner is liable, even if those situations do not apply:
- Negligence: An owner can be negligent if they do not provide an adequate level of care for the dog or other people similar to how a reasonable person would in the same circumstances.
- “Negligence per se”: This is where an owner might be held liable for violating laws or regulations that are made to protect public safety.
- Intentional tort: If an owner intended for a dog to hurt a victim, such as giving an attack command, a victim can sue the dog owner for battery.
- Scienter: This is called the “one bite rule,” where a person who knows a dog’s attack history or attempted bites can be held liable for damages.
Needless to say, if you or a loved one have suffered from a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation.
What is the Dangerous Dog Statute?
Florida enacted the Dangerous Dog Statute to protect the public from dangerous dogs.
In certain situations, an aggressive dog can be declared as a “dangerous dog.” If this happens, the owner must take specific precautions and follow strict rules in caring for their animal. The owner can be held criminally responsible for any injuries caused by an officially dangerous dog.
Dangerous dogs must be registered with local authorities and kept in a secure location that is appropriately marked with a dangerous dog warning sign. If that dog is taken off-premises, it is required by law to be restrained with a harness or leash and a muzzle. A dog is considered dangerous if:
- That dog has chased or aggressively approached a person without provocation.
- That dog has aggressively attacked, bitten, or caused severe injury to a person. Any attempt to attack or endanger a person is likewise considered dangerous behavior.
- That dog has seriously injured or killed another animal more than once.
Am I Always Liable for a Dog Attack?
The short answer is no, you’re not always liable for a dog attack. There are situations where an owner’s liability is reduced and in some cases, eliminated completely.
- If the victim is unlawfully on your property
- If the victim provoked the animal
- Or if the dog is defending the owner or owner’s family or someone within the immediate vicinity of the dog from a perceived threat/attack
Under the dangerous dog statute, if all of the proper signs are in place and followed, your liability will likely be reduced.
Contact a Deerfield Beach Personal Injury Attorney
At Waring Law, our experienced team of lawyers want to help dog owners and victims alike. We’ll work diligently and with compassion to get you the representation you deserve. Attorney Matthew Waring is here to help you.
If you or someone you know has been injured or bitten by a dog, contact Waring Law today. When you call us at (954) 388-8943, you will speak with Deerfield Dog Attack Lawyer Matthew Waring, and not a paralegal or case manager. All consultations are 100% free.
It is our goal to help our clients recover as quickly as we can so we can continue building the lives we want.
About Matthew Waring
Founding attorney, Matthew Waring, has helped his clients recover millions of dollars for accident-related injuries across South Florida. Matthew Waring started his own firm after working for two of Florida’s largest trial law firms because he saw a different vision for how legal services should be delivered.
Sometimes you can sit on your hands, do nothing, and the world will provide you with the justice you deserve.