If you have been bitten by a dangerous dog, you may be facing not only emotional trauma, but medical bills as a result of your injuries from the dog attack. Learn how to pursue legal action after a dog bite injury and how to find the right dog bite lawyer to handle your case. Contact the law firm of Florin|Roebig today for a free case review of your dog bite lawsuit.
Dog Bite Lawyer | Dog Bite Attack Attorney
Over 36 percent of households in the United States are home to at least one dog, and while these furry companions may often bring a great deal of joy, not all canine interactions are positive.
Several dog breeds, including pit bulls and rottweilers have a propensity to become vicious or bite, resulting in millions of dog bites in the U.S. each year. Nearly one in five dog bites are serious enough to require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Getting bitten by a dog can lead to significant costs to yourself or your loved one, resulting in medical expenses, trauma, and the chance of permanent scarring or disfigurement.
If you’ve become a victim of a dog attack and have suffered personal injury, you may be eligible for compensation to recover your losses. If you’d like to pursue legal action against a liable party for your injury, the seasoned dog bite attorneys of Florin|Roebig can help.
Liability In A Dog Bite Injury
For victims of dog bites, one of the most important considerations for determining the options for legal action will be the point of liability.
In personal injury law, liability refers to who may be deemed liable, or responsible, for the injury in question. Liability can then determine who is responsible for covering costs associated with the injury, such as medical treatment costs, pain and suffering costs, and emotional distress.
Terms that can be important for understanding liability in dog bite injury claims include:
- strict liability: a form of liability that applies in certain cases where a defendant can be held liable for an event that occurs regardless of whether they could have done anything to prevent it
- negligence: failure to use reasonable care that results in injury
- one-bite rule: select states in the U.S. follow what is known as a “one-bite” rule, which determines liability based on whether the defendant was aware that their dog might act in a harmful or vicious way. The title of this rule comes from the idea that the dog gets one free bite, after which the owner of the dog can be held responsible for any subsequent attack
- burden of proof: the obligation of a plaintiff or defendant to provide sufficient proof to support their position
Who Can Be Held Liable For A Dog Bite?
The most common party found liable in dog bite injury cases is the dog owner. Whether a dog owner can be held liable for their dog’s actions can vary depending on the details of each case.
However, in many states, dog owners can typically be held liable regardless of whether they were aware of their dog’s tendency to bite or become violent.
Factors That Affect Liability
Determining liability in a dog bite personal injury case won’t be the same for every situation. Liability can depend on several personal and locational factors.
The most common factors affecting liability in dog bite injury cases include:
- trespassing: Under circumstances of trespassing, where you have been bitten by a dog on the owner’s private property, the dog owner may not be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of their dog’s behavior. However, there may be exceptions to this general rule, such as when the victim is under the age of six.
- provocation: It’s possible for dog owners to not be held liable in situations where the dog was provoked prior to biting or attacking the injured party.
- negligence: Dog owners can be found liable for dog bite injuries if the injury occurred as a result of negligence or recklessness. An example may be a dog owner who fails to follow local or state leash laws. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must be able to provide evidence supporting their position that the defendant’s failure to follow these laws or regulations directly resulted in their injury.
- state laws: Liability laws for dog bite injuries and attacks can vary by state. For instance, in the state of Florida, the state’s strict liability laws generally won’t apply to injuries sustained from bites by police dogs, military dogs, or be relevant in instances where there has only been property damage—lacking any bite-related injury.
If a dog bite victim is judged to be partially responsible for the attack due to provocation or trespass, the awarded damages in a dog bite claim may be reduced accordingly.