Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer
If you ask a Tampa-area emergency medicine doctor about the most common types of injuries reported in their ER, they might surprise you by answering “dog bites.” Given that dogs are one of the most popular pets kept by people in the Tampa area, many people may assume that biting injuries must be relatively rare. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Every year, hundreds of people visit Florida emergency rooms following a dog bite or similar animal attack. According to the Florida Department of Health, children between the ages of 1 and 9 are at the highest risk for dog bites, with boys more likely to be bitten than girls. In most of those cases, the attacks were unprovoked. And in many cases there is evidence that the dog owner’s own negligence played a role in the attack.
If you or your child have been hurt by someone else’s pet, our qualified Tampa dog bite lawyer can help you in seeking compensation for your medical bills, emotional trauma, and other losses. Florin Gray is a team of dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers who take pride in providing first-class service to all of our clients. Unlike many firms we do not farm out the difficult work to staff members–our attorneys work as a team to handle all of our cases personally.
Florida’s “Strict Liability” for Dog Bites
Under Florida law, a dog owner is liable for any injury caused if their dog bites another person while either on public property or the property of the dog owner (provided the victim was on the property legally). Unlike many states, Florida does not have what is often called the “one bite” rule. This means that in Florida, a dog bite victim does not have to prove that the owner had prior knowledge of their dog’s propensity to bite people. Florida’s dog bite law imposes strict liability on the dog’s owner for any biting that occurs, even if the animal had no prior history of aggression or biting people.
The one exception to this rule is that if a property owner posts a sign saying “BAD DOG” on a prominent place on their property, that owner is not responsible for anyone who is bitten by the dog on the property. But there is also an exception to this exception. The “BAD DOG” sign will not protect an owner if the victim was a child under the age of six. Nor can an owner use the sign to get out of a dog bite accident that arose from their own negligence.
Indeed, even in cases where strict liability does not apply, a dog owner can still be held responsible when their own negligence in handling–or failing to handle–the dog causes injury to someone else.
Bitten by a Dog Who Wasn’t a Stray? Call Florin Gray
Even with Florida’s strict liability rules, you should never assume that a dog owner will pay for your damages without putting up a legal fight. There are a number of possible defenses to a dog bite case. For instance, the owner can try to argue you were trespassing on their property or provoked their dog.
This is why it is important to work with an experienced Tampa dog bite lawyer who can walk you through every step of pursuing a claim for damages. Contact Florin Gray today to schedule a free consultation.