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What Happens in a Florida Dog Bite Lawsuit?

  • Getting injured in a dog attack can leave you in a state of shock. We consider dogs to be friendly companions, so when one bites you and causes significant injuries, it's difficult to determine what steps to take. In some cases, you may have to file a lawsuit if you hope to recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.

    At Lopez & Humphries, PA, we’re familiar with the way Florida handles dog bite liability. We can assist you with conducting a thorough investigation of your case and holding the dog owner liable. Owners are responsible for their dogs, so it’s important to reprimand them for their negligence while also ensuring that the dangerous dog doesn’t hurt anyone else.

    Strict Liability for Dog Bites

    Although some states give dogs and their owners a pass when a dog bites someone for the first time and the dog has never been violent in the past, Florida holds owners strictly liable for any damage inflicted by their canine. Unless the victim was trespassing on their property or breaking another law when the injury occurred, negligence can be proven in a personal injury lawsuit using proper evidence. 

    Proving Negligence in Your Dog Bite Lawsuit

    To prove negligence against the dog owner, you must gather evidence such as photographs, police reports, medical records, video footage, and witness testimonies. All of this information can help show the judge and jury how the attack happened and why you weren’t responsible for your injuries. Even if you were on the dog owner’s property when the attack happened, you still may have a case. 

    Sharing Fault in a Dog Bite Case

    Dog bite lawsuits can be complex and, occasionally, both the injured victim and the dog owner can share fault for the attack that took place. Florida uses a comparative fault law to handle instances when both parties share fault in a dog attack.

    If a dog injured you and you were partially at fault for causing the accident, you can still sue the dog owner. However, the court will deduct your percentage of fault from your overall settlement. 

    Time Limit on Filing Your Claim

    Florida has a statute of limitations in place of four years for dog bite cases. This means you’ll have four years from when the dog bite injury occurred to hire legal representation, gather evidence, and file a claim if you hope to have the courts hear your case and receive a settlement for your injuries.

    Contact a Lakeland Personal Injury Attorney

    A dog bite lawsuit can be complicated, depending on the circumstances of your case. The defendant may try to put up a strong fight against you, which is why it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Lopez & Humphries, PA, we’ll negotiate on your behalf and help you obtain the settlement you deserve.

    If you want to discuss your case with a Lakeland personal injury lawyer, call 863-709-8500 to schedule a free consultation or visit our website for more information.