How Dog Bite Attacks Are Handled in Florida

Dogs

Some states have laws on their books specifically geared toward handling dog attack cases. However, Florida is a strict liability state, and does not have a specific statute for dog bites. This means that in order to support a claim your West Palm Beach dog bite attorney, Stephen J. Press, will need to prove the general elements of duty of care.

Duty of Care and Dog Attacks

In order to support a claim against the dog owner, Stephen J. Press, a West Palm Beach dog bite attorney, must establish four elements:

  • Duty of Care – The dog owner had a duty of care to ensure that individuals were safe.
  • Breach of Duty – The owner’s actions or inactions breached this duty. For instance, an owner may be deemed to have breached the duty by letting his dog roam free, or if he tied it to a tree in the front yard where a curious child may wander too close.
  • Cause – The breach of this duty caused the dog bite attack.
  • Damages – The dog attack must have caused damages, in this case injuries.
When the Victim is Negligent

Unfortunately, injuries from dog attacks often occur in part because of negligence on the part of the victim. An individual who is attempting to burglarize a home by climbing over the fence into the backyard may try to sue if he is attacked by the dog there, but the owner has not breached his duty of care.

On the other hand, if a dog is roaming free in the neighborhood, the owner may be deemed negligent, but if an individual provokes the dog and then is attacked, his actions are also negligent. Under such circumstances, Stephen J. Press, a West Palm Beach dog bite attorney, will need to show that the plaintiff’s negligence was less than that of the defendant.

The Bystander Claim

Most victims of dog attacks are children under age 10. Witnessing a child being mauled by a vicious dog can be very traumatic, especially for the parents. In such cases an individual who is not actually attacked may be able to sue the owner for mental distress under the “Bystander Claim.”

Call Us for Assistance

Each year about 500 dog bite attacks occur in Florida which require medical attention. If you are injured by a dog due to the negligence of the owner and need the assistance of a West Palm Beach dog bite attorney, call Stephen J. Press for a free consultation today at (888) 833-2772.