No matter how much an owner thinks they know their dog, all animals can be unpredictable at times. Even the most docile creatures can snap under certain circumstances, with seemingly no warning. Dog bites, while usually minor, can sometimes cause serious damage. When faced with a perceived threat, their bite force is surprisingly strong. If you’ve been injured by a dog or other animal bite, call Elstein Legal in Florida as soon as possible to set up your free consultation.
Determining Liability for Dog Bites in Hialeah
Florida law holds dog owners accountable for damages their dogs inflict, for the most part. The law states that if the victim is in a public place, or on private property with permission, the dog’s owner is responsible for damages that have been suffered by the person who was bitten – even if the owner did not know the dog was aggressive. Exceptions to this liability include:
- If the owner had a legible, easily seen sign with the words “Bad Dog” on it displayed at the time of the incident
- If the person who was bitten was on private property without permission
- If the bite was a result of the victim’s negligence
If the bite was the fault of the person who was bitten, the liability will be taken away from the owner for the percentage that the person’s negligent actions contributed to the attack. For example, if someone’s dog bites you, but the court determines that you were 50% responsible for your $10,000 in damages, the owner will need to pay you $5,000.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
Dog bites are fairly common in Florida. In 2018 alone, Florida recorded 1,281 claims for dog bites or other serious dog-inflicted injuries. If this happens to you, it’s helpful to know the steps to take to reduce the risk of infection and hold the dog’s owner accountable.
- First and foremost, examine your injuries. If the skin is broken but the wound is minor, you need to wash it with soap and water immediately to prevent infection. If you’re bleeding heavily, don’t wait to get medical attention.
- Collect any information you can from the dog’s owner, and try to get a picture of the dog if possible. Also, take a picture of the bite wound.
- Next, report the bite to either animal control or the local police. Be as detailed as possible in your report, and ask for a copy of the report if you can.
- Call a personal injury attorney to seek damages for your injury.
Why Go With Elstein Legal?
It’s not uncommon to have nerve damage or fractures from a dog bite. These types of injuries often mean numerous doctor’s visits, hefty medical bills, and lost wages from requiring time off from work. Brian L. Elstein is a personal injury lawyer with a law firm based in Miami, Florida. He has helped many clients seek damages for their injuries, including dog bites and other animal attacks. You might be able to seek damages for your pain and suffering from the attack as well. If you were bitten by a dog in Hialeah, contact Elstein Legal today for your free consultation.