Regardless of how large a dog is, a dog bite can present severe consequences. Even bites from small dogs can cause serious lacerations, nerve damage, and/or scarring. Fortunately, Florida law provides you with a pathway to potentially recover damages from the owner of the dog that bit you.
By working closely with a Palm Harbor dog bite lawyer, you may put yourself in a better position to recover damages in your case. To begin the legal process, schedule a consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney right away.
Dog Bite Laws Applicable to Palm Harbor
Florida Statutes §767.04 governs liability for dog bites in the State of Florida. Florida is known as a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites, which means in order to recover damages, a plaintiff only needs to prove that they were in public or lawfully on private property and that someone else’s dog bit them. There is no need for the plaintiff or their Palm Harbor dog bite attorney to prove that the dog owner was negligent in any way.
This standard differs from the “one bite rule” that many other states use. Under that rule, a dog owner is only liable for injuries caused by their pet if they were aware of the dog’s violent history.
In Florida, the most potent potential defense in a dog bite lawsuit is the argument that the plaintiff was trespassing. If the plaintiff was not lawfully on the property when bitten, they might not be able to receive any monetary compensation for their injuries.
Damages in a Dog Bite Case
The potential damages available in a dog bite lawsuit depend on the severity of the wound. In the worst cases, a dog bite can have life-changing consequences. For guidance on potential recovery in a Palm Harbor dog bite case, contacting a qualified lawyer may be an injured party’s best option.
The medical bills associated with a dog bite can be significant. Care related to a dog bite wound might involve efforts to reduce the risk of infection and repair scarring. Accordingly, a plaintiff may seek compensation for both past damages and the estimated future cost of treatment.
When a plaintiff misses work due to their injuries, they have the right to seek compensation from the owner of the dog. Damages could compensate for missed paychecks as well as the plaintiff’s diminished earning capacity due to their injuries.
If a plaintiff is scarred or physically disfigured, the process for recovering from those wounds can be lengthy and costly. If they can prove its relation to the animal attack in question, a dog bite case plaintiff may be able to recover compensation for their disfigurement.
Pain and Suffering
A lawsuit may also seek to recover damages for a plaintiff’s physical pain and suffering. Since these are non-economic damages, it may be difficult to quantify a dollar amount for compensation. A court must decide on the value of a pain and suffering claim.
Discuss Your Options with a Palm Harbor Dog Bite Attorney
If you have suffered a dog bite injury in Palm Harbor, you may have the right to pursue an injury lawsuit right away. State law places a time limit on filing an injury lawsuit, so a delay may limit your ability to effectively file suit. For a free consultation, contact a Palm Harbor dog bite lawyer right away.