Understanding Dog Bites and Your Legal Rights

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Understanding Dog Bites and Your Legal Rights

dog bites

Dogs are incredible pets and companions, but at the end of the day, they are animals. Animals have the capacity to act out when they are hungry, threatened, scared, or feel like they need to protect or defend something or someone. Sometimes, aggressive behavior can occur because an animal is in pain or uncomfortable in their surroundings.

For dogs of all breeds, acting out could mean they bite whoever is closest to them.

What Is the Law Regarding Dog Bites?

In the state of Florida, a dog owner is strictly responsible and liable for any injuries their dog inflicts. There is no need to establish that the owner was negligent in any way—the dog bite alone is enough to establish the owner’s liability. 

Liability or negligence may need to be proven when a “Beware of Dog” or similar sign about the dog is posted in a prominent place. In these instances, liability may be established, for example, if the dog escaped a fenced area or was allowed off-leash leading to the attack. 

A dog owner can also be held partially liable if the person who was bitten was somehow negligent, such as by taunting the dog before the bite occurred.

What Do I Do After a Dog Bite?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. Dog bites puncture and tear the skin and can become seriously infected in a short period of time. Seeing your primary care physician immediately after a dog bite can help reduce your risk for infection. 

Next, consider hiring an injury attorney to review your case. Insurance companies get involved in dog bite cases and having a lawyer means you’ll have a highly skilled advocate with your best interests in mind. A lawyer can help you get the appropriate compensation for your injury and damages, including medical bills, the repair or replacement of property, lost wages because of time off from work, and more. 

If you’re the victim of a dog bite, contact the Goldstein Law Firm to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you.

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