Tampa Dog Bites & Animal Attack Attorney
According to the latest statistics, 63.4 million households in America keep at least one dog for a pet. Dogs are the first animals domesticated by humans; they have been around us the longest, and they are the animals we are most closely attached to emotionally. We are dog people here at Moore Law, and we love animals as much as anyone. We also understand that dogs can bite and other animals can attack people, and pet owners have a responsibility to dog bite or animal attack victims when those incidents happen. As a Tampa personal injury law firm, we know the steps to take to hold dog owners liable and recover a full and fair amount of compensation under Florida dog bite law. If you or a family member has been injured or traumatized by a dog bite or other animal attack, call our Tampa dog bite attorney at Moore Law at 813-510-5400 for a no-cost analysis of your potential claims.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
In Florida, dog owners are “strictly liable” for injuries caused by their pets. In other areas of personal injury law, such as car accidents, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent. Under “strict liability,” however, negligence is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether dog owners were careful or negligent in the way they kept their animals; when the dog bites, the owner is responsible.
It also doesn’t matter whether the dog had ever bitten before or if the owner had any reason to think the dog might bite or attack. Dogs in Florida don’t get “one free bite” before their owners are held liable. Even if this is the first time the animal has ever shown any dangerous or vicious propensity, the owner is responsible to the victim for the damage done.
Strict liability applies any time a person is bitten or attacked on public property or when lawfully on private property. Dog owners do have a defense against attacks that occur on their property if they had a “bad dog” sign posted on the property. Even this defense has its limitations, however. First of all, it does not apply if the victim was under six years old. For an older victim, the defense will get the owner out of strict liability, but it will not excuse the owner for negligence. Where the owner had a bad dog sign in the yard, it would be necessary to prove the owner was negligent in the way the dog was kept, such as being off-leash in an unfenced yard or loosely tethered with enough rope or chain to reach the sidewalk.
How Can Moore Law Help With a Dog Bite Injury in Tampa?
Dog bites can cause serious, painful and permanent injuries. A dog’s powerful jaws can crush bones, their long teeth can create deep punctures and hard-to-treat bacterial infections, and their claws and nails can inflict facial wounds, nerve damage, permanent scarring and disfigurement. Sadly, dozens of people die every year as a result of being attacked by one or more dogs or other vicious animals. Many of these victims are children who were too young to realize the danger a dog can face or were unable to defend themselves. Florida consistently ranks as a leading state for dog bite fatalities.
Florida’s strict liability laws allow dog bite victims to recover compensation for all of the above types of injuries. Victims can recover for all present and future medical expenses, including surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment and supplies. Victims can also receive money damages for lost income if they had to miss work or became disabled due to the injury. Importantly, victims can recover compensation for their pain and suffering, the mental distress and emotional anguish that can accompany a ferocious animal attack, and even for traumatizing emotional scars left behind. Family members who lose a loved one in an animal attack can also recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Moore Law can help you get the compensation you need and deserve while bringing the dog owner to justice and ensuring others are not harmed in the same way. If the owner is someone you know, we can pursue an adequate settlement from the insurance company without harming your relationship with your friend, neighbor or family member. With over 25 years of experience in personal injury law and a firm dedication to our clients, you can count on Moore Law to fight for you and the full value of your claim.
Legal Help With Dog Bites & Animal Attacks in Tampa
If you or a family member has been harmed by a dog bite or animal attack in Tampa, call Moore Law at 813-510-5400 for a free case analysis.