Dog Bite Injury FAQs

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Dog Bite Injury FAQs

What damages can be sued for in the case of a dog bite injury and who is held responsible for compensating me for my damages?

What if a neighborhood dog hasn’t yet caused injury to me or my family, but the dog’s owner lets the dog run free in our neighborhood? I’m afraid to let my children play in our front yard? What can I do?

What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for suing the owner of the dog that attacked me?

Are Florida dog bite injury cases covered by homeowners insurance?

What damages can be sued for in the case of a dog bite injury and who is held responsible for compensating me for my damages?

In Florida, the owner of any dog that bites or attacks any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. Further, owners of dogs are liable for “any damage done by their dogs to a person”. The damage does not have to be caused by a dog bite or dog attack. In certain cases, the person that was taking care of the dog at the time of the dog attack will be held accountable for the damages. In certain limited circumstances, a landlord may be held liable for the damages caused by his tenant’s dog.

If a dog bite or dog attack caused you to be injured, you may have the right to recover the following damages: past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish; disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, and your loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.

What if a neighborhood dog hasn’t yet caused injury to me or my family, but the dog’s owner lets the dog run free in our neighborhood? I’m afraid to let my children play in our front yard? What can I do?

Contact your county’s animal control services. It is an ordinance in Hillsborough County, Florida that, excluding public right-of-way on an owner’s private property, no dog shall be allowed to stray or run at large upon any public property or street, sidewalk, park, or on the private property of another without the consent of the property owner. This means that dog owners who let their dogs run out in the neighborhood without being restrained on a leash are violating an animal county ordinance. The intention of this ordinance is to protect the private property rights and safety of our citizens who do not want dogs loose on their property.

Report the dog owner who is in violation of this ordinance to your county’s animal control department. Even if you don’t know the name of the dog owner, as long as you can report the physical address of the dog owner, that is sufficient for making a report. It is the statutory duty of the Hillsborough County Animal Services to investigate your reports of animals creating a nuisance. This is to insure the public’s health and safety. Hillsborough County Animal Services website is www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for suing the owner of the dog that attacked me?

Generally, the statute of limitations in Florida for a dog attack or dog injury case is 4 years from the date of the injury. This means that your lawsuit against the owner of the dog or person otherwise in control of the dog must be filed in the correct court within 4 years of the incident, or else your case may be forever barred. This is a difficult area of the law. Please consult with an accident attorney regarding the specific facts of your case

Watch a video answer of this question here!

Are Florida dog attack injury cases covered by homeowners insurance?

Usually, yes. Homeowners insurance covers dog bite injuries, unless specifically excluded from the policy. If you do not know if the owner of the dog is covered by a homeowner’s policy of insurance, Florida Statutes provide for us to obtain that information for you

For even more Dog Bite FAQs visit our blog and for other FAQs, visit our practice area pages! Injured in car or personal injury accident? Call Attorney Mike Hancock at 813-915-1110.

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