William B. White, Esq.
Attorney & Counselor at Law
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Flagler County Dog Bite Lawyer
Palm Coast Dog Bite Attorney helping victims throughout Central Florida
A dog bite or other animal attack can be a traumatic experience that may cause severe and long-lasting injuries, both physically and emotionally. This is particularly true for small children because of their curiosity or love of animals and the fact that their size places their face in the bite range of the animal. If you or your child is the victim of a dog bite you should seek immediate medical assistance and contact an experienced Florida dog bite lawyer without delay.
Important Steps after a Dog Bite
If there are witnesses politely ask them for their name and phone number. They may be hesitant to cooperate but let them know it is just as a precaution
Seek Medical Treatment as Soon as Possible
Dog bites can pass a great amount of bacteria and pose a serious risk for infection and a doctor should be contacted for immediate treatment. If the bite is serious and there is significant bleeding, call an ambulance, go to an emergency room or urgent care facility as quickly as possible.
Identify the Dog
You or someone that can help should try to identify the dog that attacked you and determine how the dog’s owner can be located. The owner’s identity is necessary because the owner is the responsible party, and the owner’s insurance is usually the entity that will pay for damages.
Report the Attack
Report the attack to local animal control or the sheriff’s department. Provide information about the dog, including the owner’s name and address. If the dog was a stray, describe the appearance and the location of the attack. You cannot prevent your own bite but hopefully you can stop any further incidents.
Take photographs of all visible injuries, including wounds and lacerations. Take photos of any torn or bloody clothing. If possible, take pictures of the dog itself and of the site of the attack.
Do Not Speak to an Insurance Adjuster and Contact a Palm Coast Dog Bite Attorney to help you navigate the recovery process.
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Some States offer a dog "One free bite" meaning that you cannot bring a claim unless the animal has a history of biting.
Florida is not a "Free Bite" State but has a Strict Liability Law, meaning the first dog bite gives rise to a legal remedy.
The Florida Statute reads as follows:
767.04 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.