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Strict Liability and Premises Liability for Dog Bite Lawsuits

Dog growling at man's hand

A dog may bite due to animal instinct, owner negligence or poor training. Despite the reason behind the attack, the victim must know his rights. The attorneys at the Florida law firm of Zimmerman & Frachtman know the laws that are relevant to dog bites, and they can help the victim receive the maximum amount of compensation.

The Strict Liability Laws of Florida

Per the strict liability laws of Florida, the dog’s owner is liable for damages caused by the dog’s attack even if the owner was unaware of the dog’s propensity to bite. This liability law applies when the bite occurs on private property as well as public property.

However, this law may not apply if the owner has a “Beware of Dog” sign placed in a visible area unless the dog bite victim is under the age of six and cannot read. However, even if the sign is visible, the law still applies if the dog bite occurred under negligent circumstances such as starving the dog or letting the dog roam without a leash.

The Premises Liability Law

As stated by the premises liability law, the property owner may be held accountable for dog bite damages if the owner was able to prevent the victim’s injury. Premises liability for a dog bite includes instances when the landlord lets his tenant have a vicious or bite-prone dog or the landlord does not enforce prohibited dog breed rules. This law is also applicable if the dog bite occurs on an park, trail or other amenity advertised with the property.

Exceptions to Owner Liability

There are some exceptions to the owner’s liability. If the bite occurs when the victim is committing a crime like trespassing on the owner’s property, the dog’s owner may not be found liable. The owner may be only partially liable if the victim provoked or teased the dog. In the event of partial responsibility, the victim’s percentage of negligence determines the decrease or increase of the owner’s liability.

An Attorney Can Help

A dog attack can be traumatic for the victim. However, there is help available to those who have been bitten by a dog. The law firm of Zimmerman & Frachtman offers consultations by appointment. The firm’s attorneys are well-versed in dog bite liability laws and will pursue the maximum compensation for their client.

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