Dog Bite Claims
According to recent statistics, people in nearly 50 million households across the United States own dogs. Pets, including dogs, are an important part of the lives of many Floridians. In fact, many dogs are treated like members of the family. It is important to remember, however, that no matter how loving and playful dogs can be, they are animals with dangerous natural instincts. If dogs feel threatened or become scared, they may attack and bite people. That experience can cause longstanding emotional and physical harm.
Liability of the Owner of a Dog for Injuries and Damages Caused to Persons Bitten by the Dog
In Florida, a dog owner can be liable if his or her dog bites someone. More specifically, Florida Statutes § 767.04 (entitled “Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten”) states:
“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.”
Thus an owner of a dog that has bitten you may be liable for your damages, including:
- past and future medical bills (including plastic surgery bills associated with medical procedures associated with scars) caused by the dog bite; and
- past and future lost wages; and
- past and future pain and suffering.
How The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke can Help You with Your Dog Bite Claim
Just because the owner of a dog may be statutorily liable for damages caused by the dog does not mean that you will get paid for your injuries and damages. That is why it is important to call The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke and hire an attorney to represent you.
- We will help determine if there your damages are covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. Some homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for injuries sustained due to dog bites. However, some homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for certain types of breeds of dogs, and other homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for dog bites altogether.
- If there is no homeowner’s insurance coverage for your dog bite, we will investigate whether there are any other insurance policies that may provide compensation for your damages.
- If there is no source of insurance covering your damages as a result of your dog bite, we will investigate to determine if the owner of the dog has adequate assets to compensate you for your dog bite injuries.
- We will negotiate with the owner of the dog which bit you, or his or her insurer to obtain compensation for your damages as a result of the dog bite. If a negotiated settlement is not possible, we stand ready to help you during the litigation process.
Have You Been Bitten by a Dog and Sustained Injuries?
Call The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke today for a free consultation regarding your dog bite injuries. If you are injured and unable to come to our office, we will come to see you.
Other Legal Matters Handled by The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke
In addition to dog bite claims, The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke handles other legal matters including: personal injury matters (including, but not limited to, truck crash claims, automobile accident claims, motorcycle wreck claims, boating collision claims, claims against cruise lines, premises liability claims, slip and fall accident claims, negligent security claims, and defective products claims), property insurance claims – both residential and commercial – and inception claims, and supplemental and re-open claims (including, but not limited, broken pipe claims, fire claims, flood claims, hail claims, hurricane claims, mold claims, roof leak claims, sinkhole claims, storm claims, tornado claims, vandalism and theft claims, water claims, wind claims, loss of business income claims, and extra expense claims), bad faith insurance claims, property damage claims, collection matters, criminal defense matters, traffic offenses (including speeding tickets), claims against insurance brokers and/or agents, medical malpractice claims, nursing home claims and elderly abuse claims, and matters involving contract disputes. We also assist clients with reviewing and drafting contracts. If your legal issue or matter is not listed above, please contact us. We may be able to help.