Despite the media’s coverage of vicious dog attacks, people often fail to recognize just how serious dog bites can be. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable - children due to their size, the elderly because they are far more likely to be knocked down and suffer broken bones and other serious injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A Crestview personal injury lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a claim.
Florida is a Strict Liability State When it Comes to Dog Bites
Other states require that you demonstrate either that the dog was dangerous (i.e. the “one bite rule”) or that the dog’s owner was negligent in some way. This can make it difficult for victims of dog attacks to pursue claims and receive the compensation they need.
Thankfully, Florida is referred to as a “strict liability” jurisdiction when it comes to dog bites. What this means is that you do not need to prove negligence on the part of the owner or that the dog had dangerous propensities. Instead, the fact that you were bitten by the dog and suffered injuries is sufficient to pursue a claim. A Crestview personal injury attorney can help you pursue your claim so that you can get the compensation you need.
Watch Out for the Comparative Negligence Defense
While Florida applies a strict liability standard to dog bite cases, it also allows for the dog’s owner to argue that your own negligence contributed to the incident. If the other party can prove that you were negligent to any extent, your claim for compensation will be reduced by the amount that your negligence contributed to your injuries. Common examples of negligence in dog bite cases include the following:
- The victim was taunting, teasing, or harassing the dog
- The victim was trespassing on the owner’s property
- The victim struck the dog
It is important to remember that comparative negligence is an affirmative defense that must be raised by the dog’s owner. As a result, they must prove the following:
- That you were negligent in some way; and
- That your negligence contributed to the dog biting you.
If the dog’s owner is implying that the attack is your fault in any way, you should contact a Crestview personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
What Your Case May Be Worth
Dog attacks can result in severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment including reconstructive surgery. In many cases, the victim may be unable to work or return to school due to their injuries. Many dog attack victims also suffer emotional trauma, manifested as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Depending on the severity of your injuries, therefore, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your medical expenses
- Any lost income
- Your pain and suffering
A Crestview personal injury lawyer can provide you with an estimate of what your claim may be worth at your initial consultation.
Talk to a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Dog Bite Case Today
If you have been injured in a dog attack, the best thing you can do is talk to a Crestview personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Powell, Powell & Powell, we have decades of experience helping people get fair compensation for their injuries. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us at 850-682-2757 to schedule your free consultation today.