In the State of Florida a person who has been bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal may have the legal right to recover damages from the animal's owner. This is true regardless of prior viciousness or the owner's knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of prior viciousness.
Dog bite or animal attack injuries can happen any day, and anywhere, and can have serious side effects. The sharp teeth of canines and other animals can tear through skin, muscle, and other tissues, causing damage to the body. A person who has been bitten is also at risk for infections as a result of the bite, and could even face the threat of rabies.
Provoking An Animal & Trespassing
If the bite victim trespassed onto the property of the animal owner, or somehow provoked the animal, then the owner may or may not be held liable for the injuries. Further, if a "bad dog" or other similar sign is posted, the owner may or may not be held liable for injuries.
What To Do After A Dog Bite or Animal-Related Injury
First and foremost, get yourself out of danger and to a safe place. Immediately seek medical attention for any injuries caused by a dog bite, dog attack, or attack by any other animal. Injuries caused by animals carry a high risk of infection.
Second, get the contact information of the animal owner immediately following the incident. When possible, seek out vaccine records, and as much other relevant information as possible regarding the animal and its owner.
If possible, take photos of the animal and the scene of the attack. Also, you may want to report the incident to animal control. If you make a report, make sure to get a copy of it.
Dealing with Dogs: Safety Tips
Understanding when a dog might bite may help you, or help you help someone else, avoid being bitten.
- Be respectful of a dog's space (or any animal's space). Dogs are territorial and can easily feel threatened.
- Be respectful of a mother dog caring for her young.
- Do not run from or yell at a dog off its leash. Instead stand still and avoid making eye contact with the dog.
- When dealing with dogs, try to be mindful of recognizing situations that increase the likelihood of attack.
In general most dogs are not aggressive, but a dog that feels threatened or provoked may act aggressively when it otherwise would not. Be aware of signals and body language that demonstrate when a dog is agitated, including: snarling, growling, revealing its teeth, wrinkling its nose, raising hair on the back of its neck, or holding a high, stiff tail.
Claim Against A Dog Owner After An Attack
If you have been bitten by an animal, you may be able to legally recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses due to the incident. In addition, if you have been seriously injured in this dog bite or other animal attack incident, you may also be entitled to damages for diminished capacity of enjoyment of life, as well as for pain and suffering, physical impairment, scarring and disfigurement.
If you have questions regarding pursuing a claim against a dog owner after an attack, call the experienced personal injury attorneys of Draper Law Office at (866) 767-4711 or contact us on the web. We offer free and confidential consultations.
Draper Law Office proudly serves clients throughout Central Florida, including Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Orlando, and Osceola County and Orange County, FL.