They’re man’s best friend, and for many families in Dunnellon, Gainesville, Ocala, The Villages and other cities and towns of North Central Florida, a dog is a constant companion. Many dogs are loyal, friendly and playful. But sometimes dogs get surprised, startled or angry. And at times, they bite.
Children sometimes face the most danger. The Florida Department of Health reports that children between ages 1-9 years are at the highest risk for dog bites, with boys at higher risk than girls. Children under 10 are more likely to be bitten by a dog on the head or neck than other age groups. A study in Bay County in 2010 showed that 86% of dog bites in children under age 6 were from dogs known to the family, and more than half of dog bites occurred in the home.
If you or your child have been bitten by a dog while in a public place or while lawfully in a private place (such as while visiting the home of a neighbor or friend), you may be eligible to recover damages.
Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites.
That means a dog owner may be held liable for a dog bite even if the owner had no prior knowledge or warning that their dog might become vicious or bite another person
However, in Florida dog bite cases, the burden of proof is on the person who was bitten by the dog. That’s why contacting an Ocala dog bite attorney like Steve Rothenburg at the Rothenburg Law Firm is important. Dog bite cases have a four-year statute of limitation in Florida, meaning that if you were bitten by a dog in January 2017, you must file your lawsuit before January 2021.
Florida is a comparative negligence state when it comes to dog bites. That means, if a dog bite lawsuit proceeds to court, the court will determine the amount of fault for each party – the dog owner and the person who was bitten by the dog. For example, if the person who was bitten tripped and fell into the dog prior to the bite, the person who was bitten may bear 40% of the liability, and the dog owner may bear 60% of the liability. As a result, your compensation will be divided by the percentage you are deemed to be at fault.
We help answer all client questions throughout the litigation process so there are no surprises. And we welcome your questions.
Dog bite lawsuits in Florida can be tricky. Attorney Steve Rothenburg and his team have more than 25 years of experience in dog bite cases. We’ll use our understanding of the law and our trial experience to negotiate a settlement that gets you the compensation you need. And if your dog bite case goes to court, we’ll fairly litigate it and guide you every step of the way.