Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer
The majority of the time, dogs are excellent companions and family pets. However, some dogs have behavioral issues or can become provoked in a situation that they find uncomfortable and to protect themselves, they attack. Dog bites can be severe. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 27,000 people nationwide had reconstructive procedures as a result of dog bites. Many dog bites require medical treatment to avoid infection and some dog bites leave victims permanently disfigured. Filing a personal injury claim after a dog bite can help reduce the financial burden caused by such injuries. Our experienced Tampa dog bite lawyer Mark H. Wright can help.
Florida’s Laws Regarding Dog Owner’s Liability
Florida Statute 767.04 states that a dog owner is liable for any dog bites that occur to a person on public property or on private property, as long as the victim was lawfully present on that property. A person is lawfully on a property if they were invited onto the property by the owner, or if they are fulfilling a duty imposed upon them by the laws of Florida or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States. The dog owner does not need to have had any prior knowledge of the dog’s viciousness to be held liable, nor does the dog’s prior behaviors impact liability. If the victim antagonized the dog and was in some way negligent such that they caused their own injuries, some of the liability may be taken away from the dog owner. If an owner displays a sign that reads, “Bad Dog” on the premises, then they cannot be held liable unless the injured party was under the age of six.
Can Someone Besides The Dog Owner Be Responsible for a Dog Bite?
There are other legal doctrines that can be applied to dog bite cases and could make another party other than the owner responsible for a vicious dog.
Scienter (Knowledge) – If another party, such as a vet or dog walker had knowledge of a dog’s prior attacks or attempted attacks, they can also be held liable in a dog bite case.
Landlord Liability – If a landlord knows that a tenant’s dog is vicious and has attacked others previously but allows the dog to remain living on the property, the landlord can be held liable.
Negligence Per Se – A dog owner or whoever was watching the dog at the time can be held liable if they break municipality laws such as leash laws, fence laws, or any other law meant to ensure public safety.
Negligence – An owner or any dog custodian may be found responsible for damages if it can be proven that there was a lack of care. For instance, if a camp counselor allows campers to play with a stray dog, the camp could also be found negligent.
Contact the Dog Bite Lawyers at the Office of Mark H. Wright, PLLC
Determining liability in a dog bite case can be complex. An experienced Tampa dog bite attorney at the office of Mark H. Wright, PLLC can help you determine who is liable in your case and assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve. Call our offices at 813-425-2020 to schedule a free consultation today.