Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses the Steps to Take After Being Bitten by a Dog

  • There is a statute that holds a dog owner to be liable for any damages caused by a dog bite
  • If you are bitten by a dog, you want to find out who the owner of the dog is
  • Next you will want to notify animal protections services, as they may come out and investigate the case for you

Dog bite cases are a little bit different than say a slip and fall case. 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. Say a person goes out and adopts a dog from the animal rescue, and they’ve had the dog for a number of weeks. The dog has never exhibited any sort of vicious propensity. One day the mailman shows up to have you sign for a registered letter, and the dog attacks the mailman.

In some states they 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 find out who owned 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. For example, the mailman, the newspaper boy, any delivery men that you know deliver to that property because you may find that some of them have either been bitten or snapped at or the dog has displayed vicious propensities to those individuals. That will help in prosecuting your claim against the owner of the dog.

Have you recently been bitten by a dog?  If so, contact experienced Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Dennis Morgenstern.

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This educational legal video was brought to you Betsey Herd, an experienced Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer.