Injured by a Dog?
Our Orlando Injury Attorneys Explain the Laws
Dog bites and other injuries from animal attacks can be both serious and traumatic, especially for children. They could result in catastrophic injuries like broken bones, lacerations, puncture wounds, disfiguring facial injuries, mental and emotional trauma, and even death.
Florida Laws for Animal Attacks
Florida has two main statutes governing dog owners’ liability for their dogs. The statutes make an owner of a dog responsible for any injury, harm or loss caused by the owner’s dog, with a few exceptions.
Under Florida Statute 767.04, the owner of a dog can be liable for injuries to a person bitten by the dog. It makes no difference whether the dog has bitten someone in the past and it makes no difference whether the owner of the dog knows about the dog biting someone in the past. The owner can be strictly liable for the injuries caused when the dog bites another person.
Florida Statute 767.01 establishes that dog owners are liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person, property or to any animal, domestic animal and livestock. The owner of a dog can be responsible for any damage caused by the dog, regardless of whether the victim had physical contact by the dog. The dog owner could be liable for damage caused by the dog jumping, barking, chasing, growling or other conduct normally characterized as actively canine. In one case, the dog chased someone and as a result of the chase, the person tripped and was injured trying to escape from the dog. No contact is required between the dog and the injured party for the owner to be liable if the dog’s action caused the injuries.
Our Experience with Animal Attack Injuries
- We represented an internationally published author who was attacked and bitten by a neighbor’s dog. Although our client had agreed to feed the dog as a favor while the neighbors were out of town, her neighbors never told her about the dog’s aggressive nature around food. The attack severely damaged her dominant writing hand, and the case was settled during the lawsuit. (We cannot disclose the amount due to a confidentiality agreement).
- A barking dog caused a man to fall and injure his arm. We filed the lawsuit based on both negligence and Florida Statute 767.01 imposing liability on the dog owners for damage done by their dogs. We reached a settlement of $100,000.
Often the pet owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy will pay for medical bills and other damages. In some cases, we can also recover damages above and beyond the limits of the policy.