What Are Tampa’s Dog Bite Laws?
Posted in Florida Laws on February 5, 2018
Dogs really are man’s best friend, but injuries from dog bites are not uncommon. They happen in adults, but children are injured especially often, as they are less likely to think through the repercussions of approaching an unfamiliar dog. It is important to have some background knowledge if a dog injures you in any way and you want to hold the owner accountable.
An aspect of cases like this can become even more complicated when you are trying to identify who is liable for the incident. Florida law generally holds a dog owner is liable for the attack whether in public or on their private property. They must have the dog on a leash or controlled in some way if they are out in a public place.
If their dog is aggressive toward someone without being provoked, it is the owner that is accountable. This even extends so far as to require the owner to put up a clear sign on their property that warns people that their dog is aggressive if it is known that the dog has a tendency to bite. However, there are a lot of situational complexities that can arise, which can make placing blame and deciding who has responsibility for compensation more difficult.
Owner Liability in Dog Bite Cases
The main situation in which the dog’s owner would not be liable is if the person who was attacked provoked the dog in some way. If someone is teasing or harassing the dog and the is bitten, there is considerably less blame placed on the owner. Florida law states that the liability of the owner is reduced by the percent that the person who was attacked was responsible for the attack.
Liability can also be shifted if the owner has a sign on their property warning about the dog and a person chooses to ignore the and sign enter the property. If the person who as attacked was trespassing, blame is often completely lifted from the dog owner. Exceptions to this involve children. If a child is bitten, owners may still be liable.
Potential Injuries and Seeking Compensation
After liability has been proven, the victim of the bite has to offer proof that they sustained an injury. Common injuries from dog bites can be as intense as scarring, torn muscles, or damaged nerves. The dog bite can even result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. The victim can also suffer severe psychological trauma from the attack.
Medical records, letters from doctors, and photographs of the injury can help prove the extent of the physical or psychological damage to a judge. If you can provide evidence like those documents, it will be easier for you to prove your case and have your injuries fully paid for.
If you have suffered a dog bite Williams Law P.A. experienced Tampa dog bite attorneys would like to hear from you. Contact us for a free consultation. We will listen to your story and help you determine what avenues may be available for compensation and the next best steps for you to take.