Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer
While dogs are known as man’s best friend, sometimes they’re just not friendly at all. Dogs have been known to bite people, including their owners. When they do, what happens next? Liability depends on state law. Some states go by strict liability, while others have a “one bite” rule in which the dog is given a chance. Read on to learn more about Florida’s laws or contact an experienced Tampa dog bite lawyer at Anderson & Anderson today.
Who’s At Fault if a Dog Bites Me?
Many people you encounter every day are dog lovers, which means you may run into people walking their dogs, playing in the park, or taking their dogs everywhere they go. Unfortunately, not all dogs are safe around people, leading to dog bites and attacks.
But who’s at fault if a dog bites you in Tampa, Florida? The answer depends on the details of your injury claim. Luckily, the lawyers at Anderson & Anderson are here to help you get those answers.
Florida’s Dog Bite Laws
In Florida, liability for a dog bite typically comes down to one person. If you’re the owner of the dog, you’re liable. If the dog owner is a child, their guardian may be responsible for the damage their child’s dog caused.
That’s because Tampa dog owners are expected to keep their pets and the people around them safe. If you’re aware a dog may attack, for example, bringing them to a park without safety measures could lead to serious injuries for people and other dogs.
When You Could Lose Your Compensation
Just because the dog owner is liable for your injuries doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed your full compensation. In some cases, the details of your Tampa dog bite claim could reduce or bar you from compensation. For example, if you were trespassing, you may be unable to claim compensation for your injuries.
Your compensation can also be reduced if you were bothering the dog. Hitting, kicking, or driving a dog to attack could lessen the compensation you’ll receive. That means you could pay out of pocket for your treatment for broken bones, infections, and other injuries caused by the dog bite if you don’t protect your claim.
What Florida Law Says
Florida law states that the owner of a dog that bites a person, while in a public place or while in a private place with permission, is liable for the victim’s damages. Florida is a strict liability state, which means that the law applies regardless of the dog’s history of vicious behavior. However, if the victim contributed to the dog attack (such as by teasing the dog or trespassing), then their damages will be reduced accordingly. The victim is not required to prove that the owner’s negligence caused their injuries.
The owner is not liable if there is a sign on the premises that includes the words “Bad Dog.” The only exceptions are if the dog owner was negligent in any way or if the victim was under the age of 6.
In serious cases, a dog may be declared as dangerous under state law. There are certain rules that apply in these cases. For example, the dog must be registered with local authorities and kept in a location with warning signs.
Florida dog bite laws consider a dangerous dog as:
- A dog that has aggressively attacked or bitten someone.
- A dog that has seriously injured or killed an animal multiple times.
- A dog that has aggressively approached or chased someone without being provoked.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can cause a variety of injuries, including the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Rabies and other infections
- Emotional trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What to Do After a Dog Bite
With dog bites, the biggest concern is infection. Stay safe and healthy after a dog attack by following these steps:
- Wash the wound. Clean out the bite wound with mild soap and running (warm) water for 5-10 minutes.
- Stop the bleeding. Use a clean cloth and apply pressure.
- Apply antibiotics. Use Neosporin or a similar over-the-counter antibiotic cream.
- Cover the wound. Wrap it in a sterile bandage.
- See a doctor. It’s best to see a doctor within eight hours of the attack, as the risk of infection runs high after that.
- Follow doctor’s orders. Get a tetanus shot and take any prescribed medications.
Contact An Experienced Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Dog bites can cause serious injuries, including lacerations, broken bones, scarring, disfigurement, facial trauma, and even death. Make sure you get compensation for all your damages. After your dog bite injury, it can be difficult to determine who should pay for your Florida claim. If you’re not sure who’s at fault, it’s easy to lose your compensation or make your Tampa dog bite claim take more time.
At Anderson & Anderson, we understand you don’t have extra time. You need your compensation, and we’re here to help when you’re asking, “Who’s at fault if a dog bites me?” We can even help you get answers with a free consultation before you work with us. Take advantage of this offer by calling 813-251-0072 or by completing the online contact form below.