When someone else’s dog bites you: Who is liable?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Personal Injury

Suffering a bite wound from a random stranger’s dog is an often traumatizing and shocking event that may lead to mental and physical damage and hefty medical bills depending on the severity of the attack. Canine Journal reports that there are an estimated 4.5 million dog bite incidents in the U.S. each year.

If you are on the receiving end of a dog bite, you may have the right to compensation. From whom is the question.

Florida is a strict liability state

The owner may bear responsibility for the canine’s actions if it injured you while you were in a public space or on their property with permission. This holds even if the dog did not previously display aggressive tendencies. You do not have to prove that the owner’s negligence resulted in the harm done in this situation.

Proving negligence is a requirement in certain cases

If you were someplace other than a public space or property you had permission to be, it does not eliminate the possibility of filing a claim. If you show that the owner’s negligence contributed to the situation in this kind of case (not providing appropriate medical care, violating dog-related safety statutes, etc.), then the owner may still be liable.

There is a comparative negligence policy

Florida also takes into account any blame you may bear in the situation. If a court determines that you played a role in causing the attack, then it may reduce the damages awarded based on your percentage of fault.

It is important to seek medical aid right after suffering a dog bite. Document your injury as well since it may help prove your case if you choose to file a claim.