Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?

dog bite injury

Dog attacks are frightening experiences. Not only can they cause serious injuries or even death, but dog bites can also cause emotional trauma. People are obligated to control their pets, and when they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any resulting damage. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, you should contact a Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to financial compensation. In this article, we discuss liability for dog bites in Florida. 

Liability for Dog Bites in Florida 

In Florida, the owner of a dog that attacks someone can be held liable. Florida operates by strict liability, which means that a pet owner is liable for a dog bite even if there were no previous indications that the animal was dangerous. In other words, in order to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit for a dog attack, a victim isn’t required to prove that his or her injuries were the result of the owner’s negligence. However, the victim must be able to prove that he or she was bitten by the dog while in a public space or while lawfully on the dog owner’s property. A trespasser, for example, can’t sue a dog owner for a bite under a strict liability claim

Other Types of Dog Bite Claims 

If a dog bite victim was injured under circumstances other than those discussed above, he or she still may be able to file a personal injury claim against the pet’s owner. Dog bite victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries under any of the following claims:

  • Negligence: If a dog owner’s failure to act reasonably results in a bite, he or she may be found negligent.
  • Negligence per se: A dog owner may also be held liable for a bite if he or she violates state regulations or statutes that are meant to ensure the safety of the public.
  • Scienter: If a pet owner knows that his or her dog has a dangerous propensity, then he or she can be held liable for any damage the animal causes.
  • Intentional tort: A dog bite victim may also pursue a claim if a dog’s owner purposely intended for his or her dog to attack. 

Pensacola and Northwest Florida Personal Injury Attorneys 

Regardless of the type of claim you pursue, if you have been injured as a result of a dog attack in Florida, you should contact a Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., we have over seventy years of combined experience representing dog bite victims in Pensacola and throughout Northwest Florida. Therefore, if you or a loved one need diligent and aggressive legal representation in Pensacola or Northwest Florida, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our talented Florida dog bite injury attorneys.

Posted in: Dog Bite Injuries