Florida Dog Bite Attorney

If you've been bitten by a dog in Florida, chances are you are eligible to receive compensation. State law dictates that a dog owner is responsible for the behavior of their animal, so if it has bitten you, you may have a case to sue that individual for the actions of the dog.  

Although it sounds straightforward, dog bite lawsuits can become quite complex and time-consuming. When you engage our dog bite attorney for your case, you can expect to receive diligent attention from a lawyer with experience in premises liability cases involving animal attacks.  

The sooner you engage a dog bite injury lawyer, the more quickly they can get to work putting together the evidence needed to make your case a strong one. It's crucial to collect witness testimony and similar evidence as soon as possible after an event to ensure accuracy and reliability for your lawsuit. At Fenderson Law Firm, we excel in working with witnesses and asking the right questions to obtain honest and helpful testimonies. 

Contact our Florida personal injury law firm today to get set up with a free case evaluation. Our attorney, Gordon Fenderson, offers legal representation to residents of Orlando, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Ocala, Panama City, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Deltona, Largo, and beyond.  

Understanding Florida Dog Bite Laws 

Florida operates under a strict liability statute concerning dog bites. This means that, unlike some states that require evidence of a dog's past aggressive behavior or an owner's negligence, Florida's laws hold the dog owner automatically liable if their dog bites someone.  

According to Florida Statutes Section 767.04, a dog owner is accountable if their dog bites another person in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the owner's property. Even if the dog has never shown aggression or the owner had no prior knowledge of such tendencies, they are still responsible for any injuries caused.  

This strict approach underscores the importance of responsible pet ownership and provides robust protection for victims. But while there are legal protections in place, there are numerous defense mechanisms that dog owners and their lawyers may use to escape liability. No matter what, it's important to have an experienced dog bite attorney on your side to counter these defenses and pursue the full compensation you're owed, especially if you're suffering from critical injuries.

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Common Injuries From Dog Bite Cases

Dog bite incidents can lead to serious injuries and significant emotional trauma. At Fenderson Law Firm, we recognize the profound impact that a dog bite can have on your life. Whether it's a minor wound or a severe injury, you deserve comprehensive legal representation to secure the compensation you need for recovery. 

Dog bites can occur under various circumstances and may result in: 

  • Puncture wounds: Deep and painful injuries that can damage muscles, tendons, and nerves. 

  • Infections: Bites can introduce harmful bacteria leading to infections like rabies or tetanus. 

  • Scarring: Permanent scars that can require cosmetic surgery for repair. 

  • Emotional trauma: Fear of dogs or other lasting psychological effects from the attack. 

Pursuing Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Fenderson Law Firm is committed to fighting for the justice you deserve. Compensation can include: 

  • Medical expenses: Costs for emergency care, surgery, medication, and any ongoing medical treatments related to the dog bite. 

  • Lost wages: Income lost from being unable to work and potential future earnings if you are left with long-term disabilities. 

  • Pain and suffering: Financial relief for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced due to the dog attack. 

  • Property damage: Compensation for any personal property that may have been damaged during the attack. 

Our experienced attorney will work diligently to ensure you receive the full coverage for all damages associated with the dog bite. We are prepared to investigate the circumstances of the incident thoroughly to build a strong case on your behalf. 

The Role of Beware of Dog Signs

"Beware of Dog" signs can play a significant role in Florida dog bite cases. While Florida enforces strict liability on dog owners whose pets bite individuals, there are certain nuances and exceptions where a "Beware of Dog" or “Bad Dog” sign might come into play.  

According to Florida law, if a dog owner displays a visible and legible "Beware of Dog" sign on their property, it can act as a warning to potential intruders or visitors. This sign puts individuals on notice that a dog is present, and they should proceed with caution. 

However, it's important to note that the protection offered by such signs has limitations. For instance, under Florida Statutes Section 767.04, the presence of a "Bad Dog" sign may not protect the dog owner from liability if the victim is under the age of six or if the dog attack occurs due to the owner's negligence. Also, the sign must be conspicuously placed and clearly readable to anyone entering the property to be considered as a valid warning. 

In a legal context, if a dog owner can demonstrate that they had a "Beware of Dog" sign properly displayed, it might contribute to the defense by showing that the victim had an implied assumption of risk upon encountering the dog. However, this defense is far from absolute, and each case will be subject to the specific circumstances and the interpretation of the law by the court. 

The presence of a "Beware of Dog" sign should not deter you from seeking legal counsel, as it does not necessarily absolve the owner of responsibility for the injuries inflicted by their dog. Contact Fenderson Law Firm today for reliable representation and a thorough evaluation of your case.  

Comparative Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

Florida follows a comparative negligence system, meaning that even if you bear partial fault in the incident, you can still recover compensation. Your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. 

For example, if you were bitten while trespassing on private property, you may be deemed partially at fault, reducing the amount of compensation you can receive. However, our attorneys are skilled at evaluating the specifics of each case to argue for the full degree of the dog owner's fault and fight for the maximum possible compensation. 

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims

In Florida, you typically have four years from the date of the dog bite to file a claim, according to Florida Statutes Section 95.11. Failing to file within this time frame may result in losing your right to seek compensation. It's crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure your claim is filed in time and to handle any exceptions that may apply. 

Dog Bite Attorney Serving Clients Across Florida

At Fenderson Law Firm, our dedicated injury lawyer provides compassionate and assertive representation for dog bite victims throughout North and Central Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, contact us for a free consultation. We're committed to securing the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case during a free consulation and learn how we can assist you.