Dog Bites and Animal Attacks in Central Florida
Dog Bite Attorney in Orlando Certified as Expert By The Florida Bar Helps Clients Get The Fair Compensation
Jason Recksiedler and First Choice Law have significant experience, skill, and knowledge in representing client’s injured in vicious dog bite attacks.
Who Is Responsible For A Dog Attack?
Florida is a “strict liability” state, as it relates to dog bites. This simply means the owner can be held responsible for all damages caused by the dog, even though the dog did not have a history of biting and injuring another person. In most dog bite cases, liability (who is at fault) is, therefore, not an issue. However, dog owners and their insurance companies can argue that the victim was not on the property legally, the dog was provoked to attack by the victim, or that the dog was merely protecting the owner or owner’s guest or relatives from a perceived threat or attack.
This is why at First Choice Law, we want to know where the attack occurred. Was it in a public place or on private property? If it was on the private property of the dog owner, we need to understand how the victim of the dog bite came to be on the property. Were they invited? Were they providing a service to the property owner, such as a mailman or a tradesman? Was the victim merely walking in front of the property? Was the victim a trespasser? In the end, the owner has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to protect or notify the victim of the potential danger depending on the circumstance, even if the victim was not invited onto the private property.
However, we also investigate whether the dog was known as a “Dangerous dog”. Florida Dog Bite Law considers a “dangerous dog” as a dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten, or caused severe injury to a person. A “dangerous dog” may also be a dog that has seriously injured or killed another animal more than once. Finally, a “dangerous dog” is a dog that has previously chased or aggressively approached a person, without provocation. Often times, we can obtain information of prior dog bites or attacks from the local animal control office. If we find a prior event that would allow a dog to be considered a “Dangerous Dog”, under the Florida Statutes, we may be able to pursue what is called “Punitive” damages, which would be in excess of any compensatory damages (i.e., medical bills, past and future pain and suffering).
Sadly, our personal injury attorneys, have seen significant scarring injuries from dog bit attacks in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. These injuries are particularly impactful when involving a young adult or small child. The physical and psychological effects can and do last a lifetime. We would encourage any and every dog owner to make sure they have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect them financially from these very real and potential costly dog bites. We have seen over the years where dog owners believe they are insured for these horrific events through a homeowner or renter’s insurance policy, only to learn they have no insurance coverage because the particular breed of dog is excluded or all dog bites are excluded from insurance coverage. First Choice Law supports responsible dog ownership and we would be happy to review your insurance policy for no charge, to determine if your insurance coverage specifically protects you from your dog attacking or biting another person.
What To Do If You're Bitten By A Dog
First Choice Law provides some quick tips If you, a friend, or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite:
- Seek medical attention;
- Locate the owner of the dog as quickly as possible;
- Contact your local animal control and report the attack immediately.;
- Document the location of the attack and all the injuries with photographs, if possible.
Then, contact our Orlando dog bite attorneys to assist you with your legal claim. At First Choice Law, we have real world experience handling dog bite claims. We offer a free consultation. If we do not recover for you, you owe us nothing.
Florida's Dog Bite Law
As a guide, here is the Florida Statute on Dog Bites:
§767.04 Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten.—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. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.”
Get Help From Our Expert Dog Attack Lawyer in Orlando
Our animal attack attorneys know how emotionally and financially difficult coping with injuries from a dog bite can be. When a serious injury or death occurs as a result of such injuries, the lives of the victims and their families can be turned upside down. Our trial lawyers will represent you to obtain fair compensation and lessen the burden on victims. Call us today at 321-999-1111 for a free consultation, or use the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.