In our modern society, it is very common for people to own dogs as pets. Unfortunately, this also means that dog bites and claims dealing with them are a regular reality too.
Usually, thanks to Florida’s strict liability laws, it is easy to prove that an owner is liable for any unprovoked bite inflicted by their dog. However, this becomes more complex when dealing with service dogs. There is also the added complication of emotional support dogs, which may seem like a service animal but are not protected by the law in the same way.
Knowing who is liable following a dog bite is imperative. If you have been injured due to the actions of an irresponsible owner, you may be entitled to compensation.
Here at The Law Place, our injury lawyers are well acquainted with the complexities of Florida’s dog bite laws. We also provide free telephone consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have any questions or would like to raise a claim, don’t hesitate, call us on (941) 444-4444 today.
Is It a Crime If Your Dog Bites Someone?
In Florida, it is possible for either a criminal or civil lawsuit to result from a dog bite. The severity of the case depends on several factors. However, as Florida is a strict liability state, a dog’s owner can be held liable for dog bites even if they had no previous knowledge of the aggressive temperament of their dog.
In order to recover compensation from a dog bite, a personal injury lawyer must prove that the victim was attacked in a public space or during lawful residence on private property. However, if neither of these is the case, it is still possible to prove liability by demonstrating that the owner was acting negligently. Negligence can be demonstrated by proving that a dog’s owner failed to provide duty of care.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
How Does the Law Differ for Dangerous Dogs?
If a dog has a history of aggression, there are additional responsibilities that the owner of the animal must follow through with.
These dogs must be registered with the local authorities. They must also be kept in a secure and appropriately signposted environment and never taken off the premises unrestrained by both a harness and muzzle.
Failure to abide by these laws can result in a criminal charge.
Dangerous dogs are defined as any dog which has previously attacked a person regardless of provocation or aggressively chased a person without being provoked. This also includes a dog that has killed or severely injured another animal more than one time.
Are Service Animals Such as Therapy Dogs Likely to Bite Someone?
There is a specific distinction to be made between a service dog and what is known as an emotional support animal.
Service animals are fostered and trained strictly from birth to fulfill their specific task. They are required to undergo strict risk assessments before they are assigned to their job in the public realm. This means that service dogs are highly unlikely to bite someone unless they are provoked in some way.
Examples of service animals which are explicitly and well trained for their jobs include:
- Sensory – These animals are usually used as service dogs for someone with a disability, which impacts their sensory capabilities. They are commonly used by people who are visually impaired, but other variations are also possible.
- Psychiatric – There are a number of mental diagnoses that could require a service dog for calming, alerting, or otherwise assisting someone with a psychiatric complication.
- Mental disabilities – Many service dogs are used for various reasons by people who suffer from intellectual or learning disabilities.
- Physical – Some people may require the assistance of a service dog due to a physical impairment. These dogs may assist them in carrying or interacting with objects, or otherwise, help them go about their daily routine.
All of the above fall into the category of service dogs. These animals are protected by the Americans with disabilities act. This means that these service dogs and their owners are protected from various levels of discrimination in the public sphere.
However, it is becoming more common for people to have emotional support animals. Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals are unlikely to have received a lifetime of training and risk assessment. While many establishments may also permit these animals inside, emotional support animals are not protected by the Americans with disabilities act.
The role of support animals is to provide emotional comfort for their owner. This means that they do not have as much training and can often become overwhelmed in public places, unlike a service animal. Also, unlike a service animal, they are subject to exactly the same laws as regular dogs when it comes to dog bites.
What Do You Do When a Foster Dog Bites Someone?
If you are bitten by someone’s fostered dog, due to strict liability laws, that person is likely to still be liable for your injury. There are exceptions to this, however, depending on contracts signed with the agency, which is responsible for the fostering of the dog. In some cases, these organizations may take responsibility for the animal.
The best way to approach a foster dog bite is to get concrete advice on your specific situation from a personal injury lawyer.
Here at The Law Place, we offer free consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find out the exact details of your compensation potential by calling today.
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How Much Compensation Can I Expect From a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Like many other lawsuits, the amount of money you can expect to receive as compensation for a dog bite depends greatly on the situation.
The larger the amount of damage caused by the animal, the higher the level of compensation you can expect to receive. Your compensatory settlement will factor in any complications such as medical expenses, the level of pain and suffering incurred by your injuries, as well as the possibility of any permanent impacts on your life as a result of the animal bite. Examples of these permanent impacts can range from nerve damage to psychological scarring.
The average amount of compensation received for a dog bite case is around $35,000. However, this does not necessarily mean that your animal bite claim will be capped at this amount. You may be entitled to much more compensation, depending on your case. The best way to find out how much you deserve is to call The Law Place for a free telephone consultation today.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, which is the fault of a negligent owner, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and their complications.
The Law Place has a team of lawyers with over 75 years of combined experience. Unlike other law firms, we operate every single case as a team, which means that you benefit from the wealth of experience held by each individual member of our team. Our services are no-win-no-fee, and you will not pay a single cent until your settlement is finalized. This means that there is absolutely no risk in seeking the compensation you deserve.
We know that you have a huge amount of choice when it comes to selecting the right law firm for you. Our law firm strives to go above and beyond for each of our clients. Our staff work hard to ensure that they are as compassionate and empathetic as they are skilled, so you and your family can be safe in the knowledge that you will be treated with the utmost care and respect.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite injury, contact The Law Place today. Each day that passes means a greater chance of evidence or witnesses becoming lost or unavailable, so do not hesitate to contact us. Get in contact with a member of our team by calling (941) 444-4444 today!