Dog Bites

According to the Humane Society of the United States there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States. A great many of us own and therefore love dogs. However, dogs like other animals subs times misbehave causing injury (or are the product of bad owners)

Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U. S. Are bitten by dogs according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Almost one in five people bitten by dogs require medical attention. Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.

If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, they can potentially result in serious injuries, including disfigurement and death. Fortunately, dog bite victims who have suffered serious injury or harm have legal rights that give rise to monetary claims. Dog owners, landlords, cash centers, and former dog owners can all be held accountable for dog bite injuries.

Florida has a statute that covers dog owners liability for damages to persons bitten. Pursuant to Florida Statute section 767.04:

"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"

The law further provides that any negligence on the part of the person bitten that as a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the dog owner. The owner can also claim an additional defense by displaying a "bad dog" sign. The owner, may also defend by alleging that improving that the dog was provoked by the person bitten by the dog. The defendant, however, is strictly liable for the bite unless he can establish an affirmation defense.

Dog bite victims should immediately seek medical attention in order to treat the injury and to preserve medical evidence of the dog bite injury. If a person has suffered a severe bite that could cause scarring, early attention by specialists such as a plastic surgeon can be helpful in treating the damage to the area of the dog bite.

Damages that can be recovered

Dog bite victims may be entitled to damages including:

  • Current and future medical expenses;
  • lost wages;
  • pain-and-suffering;
  • emotional distress
Do I need a lawyer for a dog bite claim?

Only 1% of dog bite victims are compensated by insurance companies each year. Even if there is no insurance coverage, an owner can still be held liable. If you are victim, the insurance company will severely reduce the value of your claim or completely ignore you in hopes that you will merely go away, not realizing the value of your case. You can avoid this result by contacting an experienced dog bite lawyer.

Please contact the Law offices of Stephen J. Press at 561-833-2772 or contact us online for free evaluation of your case. You will not have to pay a fee if there is no recovery. We treat all our clients with the utmost care and compassion are always striving to protect our clients rights with professional excellence.