Dog Bites and Animal Attacks in Central Florida
Orlando Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog attacks can be devastating due to the injuries inflicted on the victims, and because they can have long-term effects on the victim and their family. Injuries can include lacerations, torn muscles, nerve damage and many other injuries. Sadly, we 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.
The personal injuty attorneys at First Choice Law have significant experience, skills and knowledge in representing client’s injured in vicious dog bite attacks. Jason Recksiedler is certified as an expert in civil trial law by the Florida Bar. Contact us today! We will be honored to help you recover fair compensation.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack in Florida?
First Choice Law provides some quick tips If you, a friend, or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite:
- Immediately wash the wound with plenty of soap and water;
- 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;
- Gather information, including name, address and contact information, of any witnesses of the attack;
- Contact our Orlando dog bite attorneys to assist you with your legal claim. We have real world experience handling dog bite claims. We strongly recommend you speaking to an attorney before talking to the other side’s insurance. We offer a free consultation. If we do not recover for you, you owe us nothing.
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.
What Dog Breeds Attack the Most?
Studies show that small dogs like Chihuahuas, Miniature Poodles, and Miniature Schnauzers are more likely to be aggressive than medium-sized and large breeds. However, because of their size and strength, Pitbull and Rottweiler attacks are by far the most dangerous ones, with the highest number of confirmed attacks resulting in injuries and the highest fatality rate. A study conducted by Dogsbite.org over a 15-year period shows that 65.6% of fatal dog attacks in the U.S. were by Pitbulls followed by Rottweilers and German Shepherds with 10.4% and 4.6% respectively. There are other factors besides the breed that can make a dog more aggressive than others, including socialization, training, and sex.
Dangerous Dogs Under Florida Law
Our personal injury attorneys 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).
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.
Length Of A Dog Bite Claim
The length of a dog attack claim will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. There are many factors that can affect the claim, including:
- How severe the injuries are
- How many parties might be at fault
- Insurance coverage
- Settlement options
- Evidence of the liability
- Medical treatment
- If a lawsuit needs to be filed
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.”
Dog Bite Statute of Limitations Under Florida Law
The Florida statute of limitations establishes a 4-year period from the time of a dog attack to file a claim for a dog attack injury case. Once the 4-year period of time passed, the victim will no longer be able to bring a dog attack injury claim.
Handling Your Dog Attack Claim
Because of the arguments insurance companies and dog owners may use to defend their case, our attorneys need to know where and how 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.
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. If you or a family member suffered injuries during a dog attack, contact our board certified attorney Jason Recksielder to see if you can file a dog attack injury claim. 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.
5 Star Reviews
Contact us with confidence! Our highly experienced personal injury lawyers have received numerous 5-star reviews from clients with dog bite claims. Below is one of them. Please follow the link to read more!
by Zujeilly Robles
Attorney Jason Recksiedler and his assistant, Sheryl Barton, helped me out with my dog bite case. It took about 4 1/2 months for the whole process (May 15- October 11), but it was well worth the wait.
I was attacked by a pitbull mix in my own neighborhood when I was taking my dog for a walk after work. The pitbull dog owner was walking her dog and the pitbull broke out of its harness and ran at full speed to me and my beagle. Long story short, the dog owner could not control her dog and the dog locked it’s jaw on my ankle causing puncture wounds that I needed stitches for, a tetanus shot (just in case), and antibiotics. My foot swelled up and I was out of work for 2 weeks.
Sheryl was the one who listened to my story and followed up with me from beginning to end. The pitbull owner’s Home Owners insurance did not cover for any expenses, so Sheryl didn’t give up on me and worked with Jason for a cash settlement with the pitbull owner and her attorney. After I had a good conversation with Jason, he also understood it was definitely worth a try. Like I said, it took a while and much persistence, but today I received a check from the law firm and it was more than I expected. It may not seem like much to some, but when it’s a cash settlement to cover for medical expenses and loss of wages from a horrific dog bite...I couldn’t have been more pleased. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride, but Sheryl and Jason certainly delivered in the end. Thanks to both of them, not only did everyone get some type of reimbursement but I also feel like justice has been served.