Dogs are a great joy in life. They are dedicated companions who become part of our families, with us through life’s most significant transitions. But dogs can still be dangerous animals, especially when untrained or feeling protective. A dog bite can lead to severe infections, emotional distress, and long-term problems. Children are oftentimes the victims of these dog bite attacks, and the emotional harm can be a lifelong consequence for young victims. So what happens when you’re bitten by someone’s best friend? Knowing your rights in Florida and what to do in case of personal injury is critical. Here are a few things you should know.
Damage By Dogs
As is often the case, the statute that covers dogs is complicated, so we always advocate for finding a lawyer to help you navigate these challenges. The 2022 statute indicates
“The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.” Florida Statute 767.04.
But the statute doesn’t end there. It continues with defining negligence and all the ways a dog owner is not liable for damage caused by their dog, including injuries.
Call us immediately to learn more about these statutes and how they relate to the facts of your case.
Florida Leash Laws
Florida has leash laws for dogs that have been determined to be dangerous when in public spaces. (Florida Statute 767.12.) Many counties in Florida have also passed leash laws for all dogs in public spaces. That means if you’re bitten by an unrestrained dog outside their home, yard, or permitted dog park areas, that owner can be liable for damages. This is defined in the above statute and provisions regarding dangerous dogs. Rather than defining breeds considered dangerous, owners are responsible for aggressive dogs with a history of attacking or biting others when unprovoked.
Call Glassman & Zissimopulos right away if you’ve been bitten.
Your Next Steps
As with any accident, knowing the proper steps to take in the correct order is essential to ensure that you receive medical care and protect yourself legally. What to do can feel challenging at the moment. Here is a quick 5-step guide to help.
- If you can, immediately take photos of your injury and the dog. When it’s safe to do so, write down everything that happened before and after the bite.
- Exchange contact information with everyone at the scene, including the dog’s owners and witnesses.
- Seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Don’t delay or think it’s going to be okay; at least have a doctor look at your injuries.
- Report the bit to the appropriate local authority, such as animal control.
- Call Glassman & Zissimopulos.
Have you experienced an unprovoked dog bite?
You deserve someone who will listen to you and work with you to determine the best possible legal outcome.
Call Glassman and Zissimopulos and our team of dedicated attorneys today.
(352) 505-4515 or Toll-Free at (844) 787-2543
Every time you pick up the phone, you’ll speak with an attorney. You’ll never be funneled into a call center or answering service. This is our commitment to you.