Boynton Beach Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are often called “man’s best friend.” While that’s true most of the time, the unfortunate reality is that roughly 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, dog bite injuries are more costly than you might think. The Insurance Information Institute reports that homeowners’ insurance companies “paid out over $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries” in 2017 alone.
Indeed, a dog bite can leave the victim with serious physical and emotional injuries. In many cases, particularly those involving young children, a dog bite may scar the victim for life. This is why it is important to seek compensation from negligent dog owners. The experienced Boynton Beach dog bite lawyers at the Leifer Law Firm can help.
Florida’s One-Bite Rule
Florida is a “one bite” state when it comes to dog attacks. This means that the dog owner may be liable for any damages caused if their animal bites someone, regardless of whether the dog had any previous history of “vicious” behavior. This rule is important, because in many other states a dog owner can avoid liability by claiming he or she had no prior knowledge the dog had a tendency to bite people. Under Florida law, such prior knowledge is irrelevant.
However, there are some important caveats to Florida’s one-bite rule:
- The bite must occur in a public place or on private property where the victim is there lawfully–in other words, a dog owner is not liable if their animal bites someone who is trespassing.
- The dog owner may argue the bite victim contributed to the injury through his or her own negligence–e.g., they were taunting the dog. A court may reduce the owner’s liability to account for the victim’s contributory negligence.
- The dog owner may avoid liability for dog bites that occur on their own property if they post a “Bad Dog” sign in a “prominent place.” This rule does not apply, however, if the victim is a child under the age of 6 or there is evidence that the owner’s negligent act or omission directly caused the victim’s injuries.
Contact Our Boynton Beach Dog Bite Lawyers Today
Every dog bite case is unique. But some of the more common bite-related injuries include tearing and puncturing of the skin, permanent scarring, and emotional trauma. In many cases a dog attack can also lead to secondary injuries if the victim falls to the ground, such as head injuries and broken bones. And in rare situations, a dog bite may transmit rabies or lead to the victim’s death.
Whatever the nature of your dog bite injuries, you have the right to seek compensation under Florida law. The Boynton Beach dog bite lawyers at the Leifer Law Firm will zealously represent your interests and fight to ensure the dog owner is held accountable. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.