Gainesville Lawyer Fletcher is an AV® Peer Review Rated Criminal Defense attorney who represents
clients in Federal and State criminal matters across the State of Florida.
Gloria W. Fletcher, P.A.
4510 NW 6th Place 3rd Floor
Gainesville, Florida 32607
 
Call 352.374.4007  
 
  Dog Bites
If you have recently been bit by a dog, you are protected under Florida law. As a victim, you can pursue civil litigation to compensate for any physical and mental damages that were caused by the incident. For instance, you can seek damages to cover measurable losses that include medical bills, insurance co-payments, lost wages, and future medical bills. You may also seek damages for mental anguish and suffering for the emotional trauma you may have encountered.

The Florida dog bite statute enforces liability upon the dog owner for a bite that causes injury to a human being. In summary, the statute 767.04 states that the owner is at fault for any injury that takes place in a public place or private property, which can include the dog owner’s property. Also, the owner is liable whether or not he or she is aware that the dog is vicious or has a tendency towards viciousness.

Determining Negligence

While any citizen in the state of Florida, can file suit for a dog bite injury, it is important to first acquire a sense of whether the negligence lies with the dog owner or you. The statute states that if “any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed to the biting incident.” In other words, you will be accountable if the dog owner went through the proper steps to set up a clear warning that the dog is dangerous and may attack. Were there signs posted that read the dog will attack? If so, the negligence may lie with you, the victim, because the proper signs were posted. Did you antagonize the dog in some manner that threatened him or her? In the eyes of the jury, this may leave the fault with you rather than the dog owner. For this reason, it is best to document everything that occurred at the time of the incident. This will help you, and your legal representation, decipher whether or not you have a legitimate claim.

If you have been bitten by a dog and wish to learn more about your rights, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Dog bite injuries fall under the personal injury statute of limitations, so time is of the essence to file your claim. Together, you and your attorney can review then file your claim in a timely manner so you can receive the damages that you deserve when you have suffered a dog bite.
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