Can I bring a lawsuit for a dog bite injury?

From scars and severe lacerations to fear and anxiety, the effects of dog bite injuries can be traumatic and can result in long-term physical and emotional damage. If you or any of your loved ones have been injured as a result of a dog bite attack, the law gives you the right to seek the compensation you deserve. There are specific statutes governing dog bites that set forth who can be sued and what the dog owner’s liability will be if his dog bites someone.

Florida Statute 767.04 specifically provides that a dog owner is generally liable for injuries caused by his dog biting someone. Note that the owner is not automatically liable if he has a prominently displayed sign on his property that says “Bad Dog”, though he may still be found liable if he was negligent.  The statute provides as follows:

Dog owner’s liability for damages to person bitten.—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. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.

Often times, the dog owner will have insurance that will pay for injuries. However,  you should know that insurance companies often try to exclude coverage for dog bites and may take the position that your claim is not covered by the owner’s insurance policy. An experienced dog-bite injury lawyer, can help you fight the insurance company and get fair compensation.

At Jeff Murphy Law, we recognize the physical and psychological effects of dog bite injuries and are prepared to help those who have been seriously injured by a dog. We can advise you on the best strategy for your claim and will aggressively represent you. Call Jeff Murphy Law, an dog bite lawyer in Tampa,  today for a free consultation. 

Thank you to Jeff Murphy Law, for their input into legal settlements in Florida.