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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / West Palm Beach Dog Bite Lawyer

West Palm Beach Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bite attacks are surprisingly far more common than most people realize. According to some estimates, roughly 1,000 people are treated in the United States every day for dog bite injuries. And more than 1,000 people each month require hospitalization as a result of those injuries.

While we all want to look at dogs as loyal companions, the reality is that many dogs bite or attack people without provocation. And the human victims often end up paying a steep price, not only in terms of the damage to their physical and mental health, but also in terms of pure dollars. Medical treatment for serious dog bites can cost a person thousands of dollars.

If someone else’s dog has attacked you, it is important to explore your legal options for holding that owner accountable. A qualified West Palm Beach dog bite lawyer can provide you with valuable advice and guidance on this subject. Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is a team of experienced Florida personal injury litigators. We help clients throughout Palm Beach County in seeking compensation for a serious dog bite injury.

Florida’s Strict Liability Rules for Dog Bite Attacks

Florida is considered a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bite attacks. This is important. In some states, a victim has to prove that the dog’s owner had prior knowledge of their animal’s potential to attack someone. This is often referred to as a “one-bite” rule. But under Florida’s strict liability, you do not have to prove the dog had any prior history of biting or attacking anyone.

Florida law does require proof of two things: first, that someone else’s dog bit you; and second, that you were in a public place–or lawfully in a private place–when the dog bit you. This latter condition means that if you were invited to someone’s house and their dog bit you, the owner can be held liable. But someone who was trespassing on private property could not recover damages if the owner’s guard dog bit them.

The strict liability rule, however, only covers dog bite injuries. There are other situations where a person’s dog may cause injury indirectly without actually biting someone. For example, if an unleashed dog is allowed to run loose in a public park and knocks someone down, the victim could sue the owner for damages. But the victim would need to prove the owner was negligent in failing to supervise their animal.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Today

The State of Florida recently made significant changes to its personal injury laws. Among other things, the new rules cut the amount of time you have to file a dog bite injury lawsuit from four years to two years. So it is important not to delay in seeking legal advice following a dog bite or animal attack. If you need to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach dog bite attorney, contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather today to schedule a consultation.