Injuries Caused By A Dangerous Dog In Florida
When a dog bites or injures someone in Florida, the dog owner is strictly liable for the injured person’s injuries except in certain circumstances. Unless a person is taunting the dog, trespassing, or over the age of six and the owner has a prominent sign warning of a “bad dog” on their property, he or she may recover for injuries sustained in a dog attack. It doesn’t matter that a dog has or has not bitten a person in the past; dog owners are considered liable for the injuries caused by their dogs regardless of whether or not the homeowner was aware that the dog was capable of causing injuries. For dog owners of a dog that bites another person, their level of liability may raise greatly after their dog bites someone.
Florida provides a process under which a dog may be declared a dangerous dog. A dog may be declared dangerous by animal control authorities after an investigation following a dog attacking a person, or even chasing a person in a threatening manner. After a dog bites, animal control authorities may confiscate the dog pending an investigation, or keep investigating while the dog is still in its owner’s custody in some cases. If a dog is taken away by animal control authorities, the owner has a set amount of time to give notice of an appeal to avoid the dog being put down. While the investigation is pending, the dog owner is required to keep the dog confined under certain conditions, including the use of a muzzle, and ensure that the dog does not run around. Dogs that injured a trespasser, or who injured someone while protecting another person from injury or in response to a person trying to abuse or injure it cannot be declared dangerous dogs.
After a dog is declared dangerous, the dog owner is required to register the dog and house the dog under certain strict conditions, such as confinement, and the dog must be allowed very limited contact with people under the age of 18 years old. After a dog is declared dangerous, the owner becomes liable for more than civil lawsuits, and can face criminal charges. If after a dog has been declared a dangerous dog and bites a person or domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor; and if the dog bites and seriously injuries a person, or causes their death, the owner can be charged with a felony.
While the possibility of having to pay damages in a civil suit may worry most people, the thought of facing criminal charges may arguably be more concerning. Therefore, dog owners whose dogs may have been declared dangerous dogs should take precautions to ensure that their dogs are well taken care of, humanly, and within the guidelines of the law.
Contact An Experienced Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, you may be able to get compensation for those injuries. Florida law allows for an injured person to receive compensation for a dog bite even if the dog was not known to be dangerous, contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorneys from Boone & Davis for a consultation today.