Dog Bite Lawyers in Brevard County, FL
We Can Help You Recover Compensation
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over four million people are bitten by dogs every year. Over 80,000 of these victims require visits to the emergency room for their injuries, including physical pain, reconstructive surgery, emotional trauma, and more. Even worse, the most common victim of dog bites are children, whose natural curiosity oftentimes overrides the necessary caution needed when approaching strange animals.
Florida Dog Bite Law
Florida law section 767.04 mandates that the owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by the bitten persons when the bitten person when they are in a public place or lawfully on the dog owner’s property, regardless of whether or not the dog had bitten anyone before or if the dog owner had any prior indication of the dog’s viciousness. This means that if you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury, you can recover financial compensation to cover the aftermath of the injuries you have suffered.
Florida’s “Dangerous Dog” Statute
Florida has taken premises liability laws concerning dogs a step further by instituting what is known as the dangerous dog statute. This declares that some dogs are inherently considered dangerous and owners that have these pets must take additional consideration and care in their ownership.
Dangerous dogs must be registered with the authorities, kept in a secured area at all times, and warnings must be posted indicating the dangerous nature of the dog. The dog must be restrained by a muzzle, a sturdy harness, and under the care of someone over the age of 18.
In Brevard County, a dangerous dog is one that:
- Bitten, attacked, endangered, or inflicted personal injury on a human without provocation
- Injured or killed a domestic animal off of its owner’s property
- Menacingly chased or approached someone on public property
- Been used for or trained in dogfighting
If a dangerous dog causes injury, the owner can be liable for personal injury claims and criminal charges resulting from the actions. However, under the “bad dog’ exception, a victim over the age of six on the pet owner’s premises with clear signs stating the dangerous nature of the dog may find recovering compensation to be more difficult. Speaking with a skilled personal injury attorney in Melbourne can help ensure that your rights are protected during this time and that you are able to recover deserved compensation for your injuries.
What To Do If a Dog Bites You
Knowing how to act around a dog and being a responsible dog owner is important factors in helping you prevent a dog bite, but if you are bitten, it helps to know what to do.
- Seek medical attention. Get treatment for your injuries so they don't get worse.
- Identify the dog. If you don't know who owns the dog, try to find out. Take a picture of the dog if possible. If you're not able to identify the owner or if it is a stray dog, you may have to undergo a series of painful, but necessary rabies shots.
- File a dog bite report. This report can be filed with the local Sheriff department or with animal control. A paper trail of proper documentation will help your case.
- Gather other information. If you are able to identify the dog's owner, note down their name and address as well as the dog's license information.
- Take pictures of your injuries. Having photographic evidence is extremely helpful, proving beyond a doubt that you were indeed injured. Pictures of your wound, any torn and/or bloody clothes, and the location of the attack are all helpful.
- Contact an attorney. Fight for compensation and hold the dog owner responsible.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Brevard County Dog Bite Attorney
The best way to prevent a dog bite injury is to know how to properly approach and handle dogs you may encounter. Make sure that you never approach a strange dog without the owner’s permission, let the dog sniff you before petting, and never try and force a dog to be petted. Additionally, make sure never to run away from a dog or bother the animal when it is sleeping, eating, or taking care of its young. While these steps can help prevent a serious injury, you may still need the help of a lawyer at Henderson & Futchko, P.A. With over 75 years of combined experience and over 4,000 clients represented by our team, the experienced Brevard County personal injury attorneys at our firm are here to help.