Were you attacked by a dog in Florida and have questions? Learn these 5 things to know after a dog bite, then contact our attorneys today.
1) Dog Bite Injuries
The severity of the injury, the care that’s provided in treatment of those injuries, and whether the injuries will leave any sort of permanent scarring are three very important factors when reviewing a dog bite injury. Oftentimes an individual bitten by a dog is either bit on the hand or the leg and those scars are going to be visible for a lifetime, even if they are revised they will still have perhaps less obvious but still have permanent scar damages from those injuries.
2) The Steps After Being Bitten By A Dog
In Florida, there is a statute that holds a dog owner to be strictly liable for any damages caused by a dog bite. In some states they have what’s called the one-bite rule. Florida has a statute that says that the owner is strictly liable for the economic damages.
In the case of a dog bite, one of the things you want to do is first of all find out who owns the dog. Perhaps take a picture of the dog if you can. You’ll want to report the dog bite to the facility or the owner where the dog bite occurred. You may want to make some notes about what you were doing because there may be a claim that you were taunting the dog or you were trespassing. One of the key questions is were you on the person’s property when the dog bit you? If so, were you there with the owner’s permission?
There are a number of issues in a dog bite. Also, you want to notify animal protection. They may come out and investigate. You may actually find out that the dog has bitten other individuals. Clearly that would be something very relevant to the negligence of the owner in that they knew that this dog had vicious propensities as a result of them biting or corralling or snapping at other people.
Another thing you might want to do is talk to people that routinely go on the property because you may find that some of them have experienced vicious propensities from the same dog to those individuals. That will help in prosecuting your claim against the owner of the dog.
3) What if the Owner of The Dog Does Not Have Insurance?
This isn’t practical, and it’s not cost effective to prosecute a claim for a dog bite. In that case we advise the client that they really do not have a claim that’s cost effective to pursue, in other words it would cost more money to pursue the claim than that individual can ever hope to recover in Florida. The state has through statute allowed protection for particularly homeowners in terms of homestead exemptions, but that’s something that needs to be carefully investigated after a dog bite.
4) What is the Animal Liability Exclusion Clause?
Normally when we talk about insurance coverage for dog bite cases we’re talking about homeowners insurance or renters insurance. One of our concerns when we contact the insurance company or the individual whose dog caused the dog bite is whether or not their insurance policy has animal liability exclusion policy.
Nowadays homeowners and renters insurance are including those animal liability exclusion clauses in their policies. This means they are excluding any coverage for dog bites, dog bite injuries, and dog bite damages under that policy. Sometimes the exclusion is limited to certain breeds of dogs or to a particular dog and sometimes it’s a blanket exclusion for all dogs residing with the owner. It’s very important we discover early on whether there is an animal liability exclusion policy in the dog owner’s, home owner’s, or renter’s policy.
5) Good Dog Bite Cases
If the injuries are extensive the next thing we look at is the history of the dog, has it bitten someone else, has it displayed vicious propensities such as snapping, aggressively chasing someone, jumping up on people, things of that nature that show a vicious propensity in the dog.
One of the things that’s important to know that in Florida there is a statute that holds dog owners strictly liable. You don’t need to prove negligence that they were careless in their handling or safeguarding of the dog, strictly liable for any damages caused by the dog to include a dog bite, medical bills, and scarring. We basically look at the amount of injuries and the propensity of viciousness in the dog, and who might be responsible for the dog in terms of the owner, the landlord, management company, and individuals like that.
Have you or a loved one been recently attacked or bitten by a dog? If so, check out these 5 things to know after a dog bite, then contact our dedicated and experienced Tampa Dog Bite Lawyers to schedule a free confidential consultation and legal case evaluation to get started on your claim today.