If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be wondering if there are any challenges with filing a dog bite claim in Florida. Because Florida does not have a “one-bite” rule, the process of bringing forward a case and receiving compensation may seem easier than in other states. However, you will still need an experienced lawyer at your side to help you navigate the process and deal with insurance companies on your behalf. Contact our Tampa dog bite attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the facts of your case.
Challenges with Filing a Dog Bite Claim | Florida Statutes
To reiterate, 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 a one-bite rule. If a dog attacks the mailman, that state would say, “well, that’s the owner’s first notice that the dog had vicious propensities”. Therefore, the owner is not liable for that first bite because they had no notice that the dog had vicious propensities.
Fortunately, Florida is not one of those states. They have 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 is find out who owned the dog. 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 if you were on the person’s property when the dog bit you. If so, were you there with the owner’s permission? All of this matters very much.
Challenges with Filing a Dog Bite Claim | Animal Liability Exclusion Clause
Normally when we talk about insurance coverage for dog bite cases, we’re talking about homeowner’s insurance or renter’s 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 an animal liability exclusion policy. Most homeowners and renter’s insurance are including animal liability exclusion clauses in their home owner’s and renter’s policies. This means that they are excluding any coverage for dog bites, dog bite injuries and dog bite damages under that policy. Sometimes there are exclusions to certain breeds or 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, homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
If you or your child has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Florida, contact our experienced Tampa dog bite attorneys to fight for you. You deserve compensation for your damages. Don’t hesitate to call our office today and set up your free consultation. We are happy to help you in pursuing your claim.