If you are a victim of a serious dog bite, you will likely experience common dog bite defenses. Dog bites can be costly for the victim. Often times, the dog owner tries to negate responsibility for the victim’s injuries and medical bills. Read on to join us as we explore common dog bite defenses in regards to Florida law.
Dog bite defenses seek to dissociate the dog owner from the damage inflicted by the dog. Usually, it does not matter how extensive your wounds are. It is likely that the dog owner will try his best to protect his dog and finances from justice. If this is the case, it is important to have an experienced attorney fighting for your rights. Together, you can work to win your case and earn damages.
The information in this article is generalized and is not to be used in place of legal advice. It is best practice to seek legal counsel for assistance with your situation. Contact our office today to get started.
Florida Dog Bite Law
While every case is unique, Florida law typically sides with the victim in court. This is due to something called statutory strict liability. Essentially, statutory strict liability makes the owner of the dog responsible for the dog’s actions. Additionally, it sets the stage for the victim to earn monetary compensation for bite injuries. This holds true with dogs who have never shown aggressive or dangerous behavior before. Of course, there are exceptions. But, there are other laws that may pertain to your situation.
In essence, a dog owner is responsible for the actions of the dog. The law recognizes your right to compensation.
A common dog bite defense is for the dog owner to deny responsibility. They may even try to build a case to put blame on the victim. Let’s look at dog bite defenses and why they don’t usually work.
No dog owner can guarantee that their dog will not bite you. Sometimes dogs just bite at humans. This is especially common if the dog acts instinctively in an effort to protect something. Dogs protect both people and objects.
Dog owners are responsible for knowing what triggers their dog’s protective instinct. If the owner exposes their pet to other people, they should be aware of the dog’s behavior around certain triggers and assess the situation.
Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the dog owner to protect his pet by preventing situations that trigger a protective instinct. Also,it is the owner’s responsibility to protect other people from his dog. Unless the victim’s actions carry malintent, the owner is responsible for providing compensation.
Provocation dog bite defenses essentially mean that the owner is blaming the victim for the entire situation. In this defense, the victim causes the dog to behave differently through his or her actions. These defenses often include issues such as walking too close to the dog’s territory, bringing another pet close, annoying the dog somehow, and more. Every situation is unique. However, unless the victim does something intentionally to upset the dog, the owner is still responsible. Pets are always meant to be under control. It is the responsibility of the owner to amend unfavorable events.
For example, if a teenage boy is irritating a dog by pulling its tail and the dog turns around and bites him, that is provocation. However, a teenage boy walking down the street in front of the dog’s house is not provocation. Even if the dog views the sidewalk and street as his territory, the owner is responsible for training the dog to not harm people or preventing the dog from gaining access to the outdoors.