If you or a family member experienced a dog bite or animal attack, Florida law gives you the right to obtain compensation from the dog’s owner. This compensation is generally paid by insurance companies, including homeowners’ and renters’ insurers, so you should always pursue your claim for compensation even if the dog belonged to a friend.
Dog bites can cause physical and emotional trauma, and the injuries can be expensive to treat. Medical costs, missed work, and pain and suffering can all add up and you should be compensated for all losses. In cases of especially terrible dog attacks, family members whose loved ones are killed may also pursue a wrongful death claim.
At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of dog attacks. We have represented more than 32,000 injured clients since our firm was founded in 1997 and we are recognized by clients and peers for dependable legal service. Call today to request a free consultation and get answers to questions including:
Florida has a special law dealing with damage caused by dog bites. According to Florida Code section 767.04: “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.”
This law says that dog owners are strictly liable for all bite incidents. This means you can recover compensation for losses caused by a bite even if the dog’s owner didn’t know the animal had aggressive tendencies and even if the dog’s owner did nothing wrong.
You can also take legal action based on the negligence of a dog’s owner or if the owner violates safety laws, such as leash laws or rules requiring dogs to be restrained.
After a bite incident, you may be able to obtain compensation for all of your damages and losses by negotiating a settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company.
Homeowners and renters insurers who accept responsibility for their policyholders’ dogs could pay you for medical bills and costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress or wrongful death damages including funeral expenses and loss of companionship. An attorney should negotiate with the insurer on your behalf and should review any settlement offer to ensure it provides sufficient compensation.
If no agreement on compensation can be reached with the insurer, then you may pursue your personal injury or wrongful death case in court. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene can file the legal paperwork on your behalf, gather evidence to prove your case and make a compelling argument to a jury about why you should be awarded full compensation for losses.
At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, we are here to help you with every step of recovering monetary damages after a dog bite or animal attack. Contact us at one of our offices in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Fort Myers, Orlando, Okeechobee today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.