This is a question we recently got, related to a dog bite injury case.
“We were at the dog park, my dog was swimming in the water. A lady walked in with her dog. She pulled her dog off the leash and he ran straight for my dog. He pinned her under the water proceeding to try to drown her and bit her ear. The lady had gone after her dog, but lost her keys in the water so decided to look for those while my roommate and I rescued my dog. My dog had bites in his ear and coughed up a lot of water. We went home and dog proceeded to cough and we went to vet. Looking for advice on whether this is a situation to involve a lawyer?”
Some would think that this case would be treated the same as if a person was bit by a dog. However according to Florida law, these cases are treated differently. This is a “Property Damage” case under Florida Law, and we would not take this case as Personal Injury Lawyers.
In Florida’s Statutes Sections 767.01 and 767.04 it says this kind of case is a strict liability case. As to the dog owner, you don’t have to prove negligence or that the other dog was a “dangerous dog”. If their dog bit yours, they are liable. However, as to damages, Florida law treats our pets as property, just as if you were making a property damage claim to your car after a car accident. No recovery is allowed for pain and suffering, either for you or your dog, unlike if a person is bit by a dog. If you are bit by a dog you can claim damages for pain and suffering and lost wages in addition to medical expenses. Your claim for your own dog being injured is limited to the value of your vet bills required to care for your dog’s injuries.