Though dogs are a man’s best friend, they can also be his or her liability. Florida holds strict rules regarding the liability of an owner if their pooch decides to attack or bite someone. As always, there are exceptions and nuances. In Florida, the owner of a dog can be held liable for a dog bite injury even when they were not aware of any aggressive nature or behavior from their dog. If the injured party is legally visiting a public or private place then the owner will be held liable for the victim’s injuries without the victim having to prove liability. This is referred to as ‘strict liability’. The standard negligence formula is transformed because the defendant dog owner is liable for the victim’s injuries even if he or she was not themselves negligent or at fault. Aigen Law Firm has extensive experience fighting for victims of dog bite injuries. The relevant nuances are well understood and analyzed in each case involving injuries in connection to dogs and dog bites.
Some common defenses for dog owners to escape or downplay liability include arguing that the victim was a trespasser and should not have been on the property housing the dog to begin with; the dog owner may argue that the victim antagonized the animal; and the dog owner may also argue that they warned of this danger via a “Bad Dog” sign that was prominently displayed and easily readable. The sign, however, does not shield the owner if the victim is six years of age or younger, or if the owner acted negligently in association to the incident. Perhaps the owner posted the requisite sign, invited a contractor to their home, and failed to secure the aggressive dog once the contractor was on the premises. In general, holding dog owners strictly liable helps to keep owner’s accountable for controlling and training their dogs. However, this does not always work.
In western Martin County, Florida, a pit bull mix named ‘Angus’ attacked two employees of Superior Water Works, an industry leader in water treatment, well drilling, and irrigation. The two employees were in the process of servicing the home when the pit bull mix attacked them. Based on the previously mentioned, the two employees would be given invitee status on the land and not be considered trespassers. The elderly owner failed to secure her dog which ran through the back dog door and began aggressively biting one of the water works employees. A 911 caller reported being able to see the victim’s bone through the dog bite wounds. The dog then turned its attention to the second employee and attacked him as well, though not as severely. Tragically, the first employee may undergo multiple surgeries for a severe leg injury.
Though all of the facts are not presently known, some of the elements of a dog bite case are clearly at-play here. The two employees were lawfully on the property on the behalf of Superior Water Works. The owner failed to secure the dog which then attacked the employees who in turn suffered catastrophic injuries. If you have been bitten or injured as a result of a dog, Aigen Law Firm will steadfastly fight to recover financial compensation for your loss while navigating the nuances that come with dog bite cases. Call us today at 305-533-1600 for a free dog bite case evaluation.