Is a Dog Owner Responsible for a Dog Bite in Florida?
Florida remains a “strict liability” dog bite state. It means that Florida dog owners are usually held accountable. In some states, dog owners aren’t responsible for bite recovery costs if their dogs don’t have a known history of being aggressive or threatening. Pet owners often aren’t held liable for a “first bite” incident.
But in Florida, dog owners are usually liable for the actions of their pets, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. That’s where the strict liability comes in. Dog owners are even liable when their dogs bite someone inside an off-leash dog park like Lake Woof Dog Park.
Dog owners are liable for bites except under these circumstances:
- The victim was trespassing at the time of the bite.
- The victim provoked the dog.
In some cases, a dog owner may claim that a dog was defending its owner when it bit someone. If proven, this may reduce the dog owner’s liability. If someone saw a “beware of dog” sign and still entered a property, they may lose out on the chance to get help with the costs of recovery after a bite. This law wouldn’t apply to children six and under.
Who Else Could Be Responsible for a Dog Bite in Lake Worth?
Property owners may also bear some financial responsibility if someone gets bitten on their residential property. A landlord who knows that a tenant has a dangerous dog could be liable if nothing is done about the problem. This includes apartment owners.
For bites that occur at off-leash dog parks, the City of Lake Worth probably wouldn’t be liable. Public dog parks are usually marked as “use at your own risk” spots. The same protection would usually apply to property management companies at apartment complexes that have small private dog parks.
But if you aren’t sure if you are owed compensation from a dog owner or any other party, take advantage of a free consultation with The Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., in Lake Worth to make sure.
Compensation Available After a Lake Worth Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite victims often need intense physical therapy to restore their control of fingers, hands, and legs. This care can go weeks or months beyond an initial exam. Victims can need surgeries to make sure bones heal right. They might need restorative surgery down the road in order to minimize the appearance of a scar or disfigurement. They may have to spend the rest of their lives with a limp or numbness.
The point is that dog bite patients should not have to worry about the cost of their medical care now or in the years ahead.
A skilled Lake Worth Dog Bite Lawyer makes sure all of a client’s hardships are listed in an injury claim. A lawyer backs these damages up with evidence for each one and demands compensation in the form of a dog bite settlement check.
These and other factors all help determine the level of compensation you will receive:
- Current hospital bills and the cost of care expected to be needed in the future.
- Estimates on lifelong support for victims who suffer permanent disabilities and disfigurements.
- Travel costs for doctor’s appointments during a time when victims may be unable to drive. Patients could be in a cast or using a wheelchair and require the help of a shuttle service.
- Support for the physical pain patients endure.
- Support for the emotional trauma caused by a frightening dog attack and a difficult recovery. Victims may suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms.
- Reimbursement for the paychecks victims lose while missing work during recovery.
- Dog bite wrongful death benefits. Support for families who tragically lose a loved one in an accident. Families must receive help paying for a funeral and burial and ambulance and hospital bills. They should also be supported in the future as they move forward without the guidance and financial support the victim would have continued to provide.
What If My Child Gets Bit By a Dog in a Palm Beach County Incident?
Parents and guardians must proceed carefully on behalf of child dog bite victims. Children are far too often the victims of dog bites because of their natural curiosity and their smaller stature. Unfortunately, those dog bites can do even more damage to a still-developing body.
In fact, in some cases, child victims have trouble in their teen years due to an injury suffered years before. An old dog bite wound or broken bone may restrict normal development in bones and muscles. This is why a Lake Worth Dog Bite Lawyer would be fighting to get a child adequate support to cover any care and surgeries needed in the years ahead as they mature.
Contact a Lake Worth Dog Bite Accident Lawyer
Our firm knows how difficult it can be to deal with insurance companies after a traumatic accident like a dog bite. Don’t do it alone. Allow the Lake Worth Dog Bite Lawyers at the Law Offices of James G. Graver, P.A., to fight on your behalf to earn the full amount of compensation available for your injuries.
We are committed to working to make sure that you have all of the resources available so that you can fully recover from your injury or loss. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential dog bite accident case consultation.
There’s no obligation, but you don’t need to have any money on hand to hire us to represent your case. We don’t get paid unless we win your dog bite case for you. Then our fee comes out of the dog bite settlement you receive.