we will do it together

DOG BITE LAWYERS

Dog Bites

Our Lawyers Have Experience with Cases Involving Dogs and Other Animals

The majority of family pets are loving and gentle animals. However, if a pet owner does not exercise a reasonable amount of restraint with his or her pet, the animal may attack and injure someone.In cases of domestic animal attacks such as dog bites, the North Central Florida liability lawyers at Massey & Duffy, PLLC, can help victims to receive compensation for medical bills, injuries, and emotional suffering caused by the attack. When evaluating an animal attack case, our lawyers will research every aspect of the case.When evaluating an animal attack case, our attorneys will research every aspect of the case. This includes analyzing the issues of whether the owner was aware of the animal’s propensity to bite and whether appropriate precautions were taken to restrain the animal.The lawyers of Massey & Duffy, PLLC, want you to know your rights as a victim of a dog bite or other animal attack, and will aggressively protect your rights throughout the entire legal process.

Types of Damages

Types of damages in dog bite cases include both financial and non-financial. In one recent case, our client suffered the following in addition to any financial loss:

  • Operations under anesthesia
  • Pain/suffering
  • Nerve damage in pinky
  • Post traumatic distress (interview she was crying about recalling it)
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Worry about rabies and future significant medical procedures under anesthesia

Other types of damages include loss of work, loss of use of the injured body part, pain and suffering, medical expenses (past and future) and emotional distress damages.  Many more damages are often also present.

Florida Statutes Involving Dog Bites 

Florida Statute Section 767.04 is important when considering a dog bite case.  It has to do with how the dogs signs are situated:

Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten.—The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.

Sample Court Pleading

To give you an idea of the types of allegations made in theses cases, below is a sample complaint in a dog bite case.  Here, Plaintiff, Michele Thorton hereby sued Defendant Laura Lee Anstead Norwell (hereinafter “Dog Owner”) and, alleged as follows:

INTRODUCTION

  1. This is a statutory action against a dog owner under the Dog Bite Statute, § 767.04, Fla. Stat., and an action for negligence against the owner of the premises in which the injury took place.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  1. This Court has jurisdiction over this dispute because this complaint seeks damages in excess of fifteen thousand ($15,000.00) dollars, exclusive of interest and attorney’s fees.
  2. Plaintiff is a Florida resident.
  3. Defendant resides Citrus County.
  4. Venue is proper in Citrus County, Florida because the dog bite injury from which this cause of action arises took place in Citrus County, Florida.

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. At all times material hereto, Defendant owned, controlled and/or cared for a German Sheppard (hereinafter “the Dog”), and has owned it for a number of years.
  2. At all times material hereto, Defendant Dog Owner lived with the Dog at the Defendant’s home residence (hereinafter “the Property”).
  3. Defendant Dog Owner did not display any sign anywhere on the Property that included the words “Bad Dog.”
  4. Defendant is the owner of the Property.
  5. Defendant did not take any action to secure the Property against the Dog’s attacks.
  6. On July 7, 2010, Defendant Dog Owner invited Plaintiff to her premises.
  7. While on the Defendant’s premises, without provocation, the Dog viciously attacked and bit the Plaintiff causing tears to her skin and severe injury.
  8. The Dog was roaming freely, without a chain or a leash.

COUNT I- STRICT LIABILITY UNDER § 767.04, FLA. STAT.

(As to Defendant Dog Owner)

  1. Plaintiff realleges the allegations set forth above in paragraphs one (1) through thirteen (13) as if set forth herein in full.
  2. Under § 767.04, Fla. Stat., Defendant Dog Owner is liable for damages caused by his dog’s bites to persons such as Plaintiff, which are lawfully in the Property.
  3. As a proximate result of the Dog’s bites, Plaintiff suffered severe injuries, pain and suffering.
  4. As a proximate result of the Dog’s bites, Plaintiff incurred medical expenses and/or will incur medical expenses in the future.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant Dog Owner, plus interest.

COUNT II- NEGLIGENCE

     (As to Defendant Dog Owner)

  1. Plaintiff realleges the allegations set forth above in paragraphs one (1) through thirteen (13) as if set forth herein in full.
  2. Defendant Dog Owner had a duty to ensure that invitees onto the Property such as Plaintiff were safeguarded from attacks by her dog.
  3. Defendant Dog Owner had owned the Dog for years and was fully aware of its vicious nature.
  4. Defendant Dog Owner breached her duty to Plaintiff by failing to place the Dog on a leash or a chain, place him in a separate room, or take any other action to secure invitees to the Property against the Dog’s attacks.
  5. As a proximate result of the Dog’s bites, Plaintiff suffered severe injuries, pain and suffering.
  6. As a proximate result of the Dog’s aggression, Plaintiff incurred medical expenses and/or will incur medical expenses in the future.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for damages against Defendant, plus interest.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiffs demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.

We Can Help You or a Loved One That has Been Injured by a Dog Bite or Other Animal Attack

To determine the answers to the important animal attack questions, our attorneys can conduct extensive research and analysis for each case. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury due to another person’s pet in the North Central Florida area, contact our lawyers today and arrange for a free confidential consultation.

Massey & Duffy

Our goal is to help people in the best way possible. This is our approach to every case. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Practice Areas