Sometimes, yes. If you’ve been bitten and required medical care, lost time from work, and/or experienced significant pain and suffering, you might have a claim against the owner of the dog that bit you.
In Florida, a dog can be classified as dangerous if it has:
- Aggressively chased or approached a person in public without provocation.
- Injured a person by biting or attacking.
- Injured/killed more than one other domestic animal.
The owner of a dangerous dog is held to a higher standard of care than other pet owners are. Failure to follow any of the guidelines below is negligence on the part of the owner:
- The dog must have a microchip or identifying tattoo on its inner thigh.
- The owner’s property must have a reasonable number of signs warning visitors of a dangerous dog.
- The dog must be confined to the owner’s property or on a secure leash when off the property.
- The dog must be registered with the state.
- Animal control authorities must be notified whenever the dog bites or attacks anyone, is unconfined, is given away, is sold, dies, or moves to another location.
If a dangerous dog has bitten or attacked you because the owner was negligent, that owner is liable for your injuries, and you have a claim for damages resulting from that bite or attack.
Strict Liability and Comparative Negligence
In Florida, an owner is strictly liable for any damage a dog does. That means its owner is responsible for your injuries even if the dog has no history of aggression, as long as the bite occurred in a public place or in a private place where you were lawfully present. The only defenses the dog’s owner can offer are:
- You were trespassing.
- You somehow provoked the dog and were partially responsible for the attack.
- The owner had posted visible “Bad Dog” signs on the property where the dog resided.
In any of these cases, your award might be reduced according to your percentage of fault. For all of the above reasons, the services of an experienced attorney are necessary to help you determine the value of your dog bite claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Have You Been Bitten By A Dog In Florida?
If you'be been injured by a dog you need to speak to an experienced Florida dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at 954.755.7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.