August newsletter- September 27th, 2018
It is the dog days of summer. Tempers are short and puppies and dogs are stressed out. Stressed animals are more likely to be involved a dog bite incident. A friend’s dog recently bit me on the foot and it punctured my skin. Not fun. Luckily for me the little ankle-biter had all its shots, and it looks like my puncture wound is healing ok.
I have handled multiple dog bite cases, and have had good luck in securing settlements for my clients in these cases.
The law in Florida states that if an owner’s dog bites someone, that owner is strictly liable for the damages. Common damages in a dog bite case include scarring and disfigurement, economic damages (medical bills), pain and suffering, metal anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The tricky part is finding someone to pay for those damages, because a lot of rental and homeowner insurance policies do not cover dog bites. If the owner of the dog has no coverage, you will have to evaluate whether or not it will be productive to pursue the case. Obtaining a judgment against a person with no assets might be barking up the wrong tree, because they can generally discharge their obligation in bankruptcy. My firm is able to evaluate the case and give you an accurate assessment of the liability, the damages, and the likelihood of success.
Dog owners: Be safe!
If you are a dog owner, it is important to be careful when opening your front door, fence your yard, and get your dog proper training. That said, even the best trained dog can have a bad day. It is important if you are a landowner and/or a dog owner, that you ensure you purchase renters’ insurance or homeowner’s insurance to cover you in case of such an accident.
Everybody else: Be careful!
Be aware of your surroundings and give all animals a healthy amount of respect. If you are bitten by a dog, call the police, seek medical treatment immediately, document your injuries, take photos, and call a lawyer.