Dog Bites

The Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., is committed to helping animal attack victims recover the compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. According to the American Humane Association, more than 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Florida is no exception to animal attacks and dog bite incidents.

Many states and cities have enacted legislation banning certain “aggressive” breeds to ban more “dangerous” or “aggressive” breeds, however, this does not address the fundamental issue at the root of most animal attacks, which is their respective negligent owners. Preventable dog bites and animal attacks are typically caused by negligent owners who negligently act, or fail to act in the following ways:

Warn others about their dog’s propensity to attack
Fence-off property
Provide proper restraints
Protect children from attack
Inoculate for rabies
Neuter and spay their dogs
Exercise and discipline their pets
Responsibly breed and own animals

Dog bites and animal attacks can and often result in serious injuries, including deep lacerations, bruises, broken bones, and lifelong scars. If the attack was caused by the owner’s negligence, these are costs the at-fault party must pay.

Under Florida’s law, property owners must warn invitees and other guests of vicious pets because they constitute a dangerous condition on property. Otherwise, they are liable for damages to any person who is “lawfully” on private property, either in the performance of a legal duty or upon the express or implied invitation of the owner. Properly owners are strictly liable to persons under the age of 6 who are bitten by the dog, even if the attack was not proximately caused by the negligence of the owner. Victims of preventable dog bites are entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost income, disability benefits, and pain and suffering.

Under Section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes, a dog owner is liable for damages to all persons bitten. The law includes any dog that bites any person in a public or private place, including the owner’s property. If the victim is in any way negligent in provoking the attack, courts will apportion a percentage of fault to the victim, and subtract it from the total liability of the owner. This means dog bite victims can still recover compensation, even if they were partially at fault for the attack.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an animal bite, the experienced Law offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., can help. We will aggressively pursue your claim to obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.