Titusville Dog Bite Attorney
Attacked by a vicious dog? You may be entitled to significant compensation.
In Florida, millions of people own dogs. While most dog owners are responsible and most dogs are people friendly, from time to time, you’ll come across owners who are reckless and irresponsible or dogs that are untrained and overly aggressive. Certain breeds are more likely to attack humans and larger dogs can do a lot of damage to an individual. Dog owners have a responsibility to the people who will be around them. You shouldn’t have to feel unsafe simply because other people haven’t taken the time to correctly deal with their dogs.
When owners haven’t trained or socialized their canine companions properly, accidents happen. In the US, there are over 4.7 million recorded dog bites annually. Around 14,000 of these attacks occur in Florida. Dog bites can be mild or serious. Situations that involve vicious dogs and children can have tragic results. If you or someone you know has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Florida, there are laws in place to help protect you and your legal rights. Dog attack victims in Titusville and the surrounding areas be entitled to significant compensation. Understanding how canine laws are upheld in Florida is important. Once you know where you stand legally, you’ll be able to decide what legal action you should take, how to file a claim, and what you may be entitled to.
Dog attack laws in Brevard County, Florida
No one should have to wake up and worry about whether or not they’ll be attacked by a dog that day. If you have recently been attacked by a dog in Brevard County, you have legal rights. You can take action to file a claim against the owner of the dog. You may also be compensated for your suffering depending on the severity of the attack. Below, we will help you better understand Florida’s laws relating to canine attacks and how you can take action.
Liability extends beyond property lines
Many people are under the false impression that legal action can only be taken if a dog bites a person in a public place or if the bite occurred in on the victim’s property. This is false. Dog owners are liable if their dog bites a person whether the attack occurs in a public area or on private property. Please keep in mind that in situations where the victim of the bite is trespassing, dog bite cases may be a bit trickier.
For example: If the owner of the dog claims that the victim was trespassing on their property, the victim will then have to prove that they were legally on the property when the bite occurred. Let’s say you go to visit your neighbor. You knock on the door and when your neighbor opens the door, their dog comes out and attacks you. Are they responsible? Yes, they are! Now let’s say that your neighbor claims that you were trespassing. Are they responsible? The answer is still yes. They are responsible for their dog and the way it behaves. Plain and simple. As long as you weren’t burglarizing your neighbor’s property, if their dog bites you, they are responsible, period.
Florida has some pretty strict liability laws when compared to other states. This is good news for dog attack victims. You see, many people in Florida intentionally and knowingly own dangerous dog breeds. Other irresponsible individuals are responsible for multiple dogs biting multiple people throughout the years. A judge will take factors like this into consideration when determining the liable parties in a dog bite case. If factors like aggressive breeds and an attack history are factors in your case, it will be easier to prosecute the owner and determine liability.
What if there’s no previous history of aggression?
What if an owner has never seen their dog come close to biting anyone before? Are people like this still accountable for their dog’s behavior? In Florida, the answer is yes. When it comes to dog bites, the pet owner will be held liable even if they had no prior inclinations that their dog would attack anyone. The dog owner doesn’t have to be blatantly irresponsible to be held liable if their dog bites you. The day that they decided to care for that animal, they became responsible for its behavior. If the animal bites, it’s their problem. This is just one of the reasons insurance companies won’t cover people who own certain dog breeds.
Some dog breeds are more likely to be aggressive than others. This doesn’t mean that the breeds are always bad, any dog can bite anyone. However, historically, these breeds have been statistically more likely to attack or bite people:
- Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
- Doberman Pinschers
- Great Danes
- Presa Canarios
- Alaskan Malamutes
- German Shepherds
- Siberian Huskies
- Or mixes of any of the above
- Reasonable care must be taken
If the owner did not exercise reasonable care when handling their dog, liability will rest on the owner’s head. Plain and simple. What does this mean exactly? Well, reasonable care can apply to a variety of scenarios.
For example: You are at a park and someone you know comes up to talk to you. They’re walking their dog. You begin talking when out of nowhere, their dog lunges at you and attacks. the owner is shocked and apologizes as you seek treatment at the hospital. The dog has never attacked and has always been gentle. This seems to be a random accident and the cause of it is unknown. Maybe the dog thought you had food in your bag. Perhaps they were triggered by another random anomaly like seeing another dog. It doesn’t matter. The owner is liable for the behavior of their dog and you are entitled to compensation.
Statutes and legal codes
In Florida, dog bites are covered under Florida Statute (FLSA) 767.04.
This statute states that a dog owner is liable for injuries if:
- the dog bites another person
- the person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, there is a time limit that you will have to operate within. Your claim must be filed within four years of the date of the dog bite. Additional factors may be taken into consideration as well.
For example: Let’s say that it’s 2011 and your neighbors have just moved in next door. They seem nice and you develop a decent relationship. Their dog enters your yard one day and when you try to take it back to them, it bites you. The bite wasn’t serious, though you did have to clean and bandage your wound. You don’t want your neighbor to have to put their dog to sleep. You feel bad for them, tell them about the bite, return their dog, and ask that it doesn’t happen again. In 2019, their dog attacks you again. You’ve had enough and take action to file a claim. While you’re welcome to bring up the previous bite, you won’t be able to file a claim about it anymore. The new claim will likely go through, but the old one will be thrown out of court. It may be considered when your case is reviewed, but since you didn’t report it in time, it’ll be somewhat of a moot point.
You have rights. We can help protect them.
If you or someone in your family has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Brevard County, Florida, don’t wait. Contact the expert legal team at Couture Law, P.A. today. We can review your case and help you file a claim. Our lawyers have years of experience defending dog bite victims in Titusville and the surrounding areas. No one should have to be afraid of getting attacked by a dog. You have rights, and we can help to ensure that they are maintained in Brevard County. Our lawyers know how dog bites are handled locally by the courts. Hiring an attorney from our personal injury legal team will give your case the best chance for a better outcome. Remember, the sooner you take action, the more likely it is that your claim will be recognized and you will be compensated for your suffering.