Florida Legal Topics

DeBary Legal News - Dog Bite

The Law Office of Paul Bernardini

When a Dog Bites: Your Right to Sue for Compensation

Dog bites and attacks can be devastating - physically, financially, and emotionally. Some victims never recover completely, and in just about every case, the owner of the dog is responsible. If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, time is critical.

Florida victims of dog bites are almost always entitled to sue for damages, including:

•    Current and future medical expenses
•    Pain and suffering
•    Lost income
•    Emotional distress
•    Destruction of property
•    Punitive and multiple damages

Florida has passed a statute creating near-automatic liability for dog owners whose animal or animals injure someone. Depending on circumstances, dog attacks may be covered by the owner’s homeowner’s insurance, auto policy, or animal liability insurance. Even without such coverage, the victim can still sue the dog owner for collection of losses. You need to be made aware of all of the contingencies. Each situation presents its own set of circumstances, and you need experienced legal counsel from an attorney who knows how to deal with these cases.

According to Florida law, there is a four-year statute of limitations, or deadline, for filing a dog attack lawsuit, and in injury cases, time is always critical. The sooner we can meet with you, the sooner we can use our experience to get you the help you need.

If you or a loved one have been injured in any way by a dog, including by aggression, biting, being knocked down or other injury, whether on or off the owner’s property,  please contact us right away at 386-258-3453. A consultation is always free.

Dog Bites - Insurance Claim - One Occurrence or Two Occurrences?

Homeowner's dog attacks two guests.

In Maddox v. Florida Farm Bureau, 39 FLW D162, the insurance policy provided $100,000 limits for each occurrence. Two people were attacked by a dog almost at the same time. The insurance company argued that the attacks were simply one occurrence since the attacks occurred in the same room at about the same time. The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that there were two separate occurrence and therefore, $100,000 in coverage applied to two separate occurrences for a total of $200,000 instead of $100,000.