Under What Circumstances Would A Pet Owner Not Be Held Liable?
There are certain circumstances where pet owners aren’t liable. For example, for injuries to a trespasser. If you don’t have a right to be on a property and you get bit by a dog, the owner of the dog may not necessarily be responsible for those injuries.
Also, if there is a specific instruction, such as the owner stating “don’t let the dog out” and someone lets the dog out and the dog then bites someone, it would be considered contributory negligence. Another situation where a pet owner would not be liable is if the dog owner had displayed in a prominent place a sign that reads ‘bad dog’. The sign must be easily readable and in a prominent place. The theory is that if the pet owner is warning their guests that there is a dog on-site and the dog may have a propensity to be easily triggered to bite, it could be a viable defense in certain circumstances.
Is There Any Sort Of Comparative Fault Or Contributory Negligence In Dog Bite Cases In Florida?
Yes, there is. Comparative fault is any negligence on part of the person who was bitten. If there is a comparative fault, it reduces the amount of liability of the dog owner. For example, if a dog is off-leash but the victim is provoking the dog, there is comparative negligence. The victim’s recovery would be limited by the amount of fault assigned by either a jury or a judge, such as 70% liability on the owner and 30% on the victim. If you are a victim and have a comparative fault, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a case.
What Damages Should I Seek If I Have Been Injured By A Dog Bite?
The damages you can seek if you have been injured in a dog bite incident are the same as in every other type of personal injury case. You can claim past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, humiliation, shame, fear, anxiety, and things like that. Past and future inconvenience, inconvenience of having to go to medical appointments, doctor treatments, derma-abrasion appointments, and more. Past and future loss of enjoyment of life is very important damage. In fact, it’s so important that the judge actually gives an instruction to the jury about loss of enjoyment of life. Here in the United States, we treasure pleasure, and if you are not able to enjoy certain things because of a dog bite, you are entitled to all of those harms and losses. You are also entitled to past and future physical impairment or disability.
If the dog bite caused you mobility issues, you can also recover for those damages. You can recover disfigurement damages, such as scarring. You can recover for past and future medical bills and past and future lost wages. Those are all damages. You are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
How Long Do I Have To Bring A Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim Against A Dog Owner?
In Florida, you have 4 years to bring a dog bite personal injury claim against an owner. However, that doesn’t mean that you should wait 4 years to bring a case. You want to bring a claim or case as soon as possible. There are certain pieces of evidence that may be lost or destroyed if you wait a long period of time to begin your case. One of the things that we like to do is to get a dog or an animal behaviorist to examine the dog that bit the victim. The longer you wait, the less likely that doing so is possible, as evidence can be lost quickly after a dog bite. For example, after a dog bite incident, dogs may get moved with a friend and family until the situation clears, and if that’s the case, then you lose a major piece of evidence. Therefore, you want to contact an attorney who handles these types of cases as soon as possible.
Should I Ever Conduct Negotiations With The Dog Owner After A Dog Bite Instead Of Retaining An Attorney?
In any personal injury case, dog bites included, I always recommend that you contact an attorney. They’ve done studies that show that even contacting an attorney generally increases the amount of recovery. Attorneys are skilled in preserving evidence, presenting evidence, and telling the injured person’s personal story, and they are best equipped to deal with the insurance companies to make sure that you get the most amount of money possible for all of your harms and losses. You certainly can try to do it on your own but you’re likely to get less money and it’ll be more of a headache and a hassle. It’s best to let the professionals handle your case, as their operation is specifically designed to effectively manage these cases to maximize profits for victims.
For more information on Liability Of A Dog Owner In A Dog Bite Case, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.
Call Now For A Personalized Consultation