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Florida Dog Bite Lawyer


Dog bites can lead to serious injuries and complex legal issues, especially in Florida where the warm climate and outdoor lifestyle mean more interactions between people and dogs. When someone is bitten by a dog in Florida, it’s important for them to understand their legal rights and the potential avenues for compensation. Florida law provides specific statutes that address the liability of dog owners for bites and other injuries caused by their pets.

Victims of dog bites in Florida may have the right to receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, navigating the legal framework requires a comprehensive understanding of the state’s statutes and the ability to effectively argue a case in court. This is where a Florida dog bite lawyer becomes instrumental. These specialized attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to guide bite victims through the legal process.

Understanding Dog Bite Laws in Florida

Overview of Florida Dog Bite Law

Under Florida statute section 767.04, dog owners are held responsible for any damages their pets cause if the dog bites someone who is either in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This means owners are liable regardless of whether the dog has previously shown aggressiveness or a propensity to bite. One exception to this rule is when the victim is partly at fault due to negligence, such as teasing the dog.

In instances where the dog does not bite, but instead causes injury through other actions (like knocking someone over), the case might be evaluated under a different legal theory, such as negligence.

Strict Liability vs. Negligence

Strict liability implies that the dog owner is liable for dog bite damages even if the owner was not directly at fault. For example, even if the dog owner had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous, the owner would still be responsible for injuries caused by the dog’s bite under Florida law. This is only applicable when the injury is a direct result of a dog bite.

Negligence involves cases where the owner’s failure to exercise reasonable care led to the injury. For example, if a dog owner knows the dog is aggressive and fails to properly restrain the dog, and the dog bites someone, the owner may be found negligent.

  • Requires proof that the owner knew, or should have known, about the dog’s dangerous propensities.
  • May apply to other injuries caused by the dog, not only bites.

Legal Steps in Dog Bite Cases

Initial Consultation with a Lawyer

At the outset, the victim meets with a dog bite lawyer for an initial consultation. During this meeting, the lawyer assesses the details of the incident, determines the viability of the case, and explains the victim’s rights. They also discuss potential legal strategies and the process ahead.

Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit

If the case proceeds, the next step is the filing of a lawsuit. The lawyer formally submits a complaint against the dog owner, outlining the injuries and damages. This action initiates the legal process and sets the stage for further proceedings.

  • Key components of the complaint may include:
    • The facts leading up to the incident
    • The extent of injuries sustained
    • Any violations of local dog control laws
    • Claims for compensation

Evidence and Trial Preparation

Evidence gathering is critical, as it supports the victim’s narrative of the event. The lawyer gathers medical records, witness statements, and possibly expert testimonies to build a strong case.

If the case goes to trial, the lawyer represents the victim in court, presenting the evidence to a judge or jury. The trial is the platform where the lawyer argues on the victim’s behalf, aiming to achieve a fair outcome and appropriate compensation for damages suffered.

Types of Damages Recoverable

Calculating Compensation for Victims

The process of determining the amount of compensation for a dog bite victim involves evaluating the specific impacts of the injury on the individual’s life. These calculations take into account:

  • Medical Expenses: Immediate and future healthcare costs, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Income lost due to inability to work following the incident, as well as any future earning capacity that may be affected.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional trauma, and diminished quality of life resulting from the injury.

Calculations are typically based on documentation such as medical bills, employment records, and expert testimony.

Monetary and Non-Monetary Damages

Florida law recognizes two primary categories of damages that a victim can recover:

  • Monetary Damages
  • Non-Monetary Damages

While monetary damages are objectively quantifiable, non-monetary damages require careful consideration of how the injury has and will affect the victim’s well-being. A skilled Florida dog bite lawyer can effectively argue for the full spectrum of damages to ensure fair compensation.

Florida View

Prevention and Responsibilities of Dog Ownership

Dog Owner’s Liability

Dog owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their pets do not pose a threat to others. In many jurisdictions, an owner can be held liable if their dog bites or injures another person. This can result in costly legal actions and potential financial losses. Owner liability often covers:

  • Medical expenses incurred by the victim
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Property damage caused by the dog

Some measures owners should take to mitigate risks include:

  1. Insurance: Owners may obtain specific pet insurance policies that cover liability in the event of a dog bite.
  2. Warning Signs: Clearly visible signs alerting visitors to the presence of a dog can inform them of potential risks.

Preventing Dog Attacks

Preventing dog attacks starts with understanding and managing dog behavior. Here are specific behavioral signs and preventative actions:

  • Know the signs of aggression: Growling, stiff body language, and bared teeth are indicators that a dog may be feeling threatened or aggressive.
  • Owners can prevent attacks by:
    • Keeping dogs on a leash in public areas.
    • Ensuring secure fencing around their property.
    • Never leave children unsupervised with dogs.

Intervention strategies may include:

  • Behavioral training: To curb aggressive behavior and teach obedience.
  • Socialization: Exposing the dog to various people and environments to reduce fear-based reactions.
  • Professional help: Consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if signs of aggression persist.

Adopting these practices helps maintain safety and reinforces the responsibilities inherent in dog ownership.

Client Testimonials

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Mike called me on the weekend to answer a question I had emailed him on a Friday I wasn't expecting to hear from him until Monday. He went above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. Not only is he a excellent attorney he is also a kind, caring and a patient person. I was truly blessed by him, his paralegal, and this law firm.


Thank you everyone!

Yes this team is incredible. They were not only professional and intelligent and thorough, they demonstrated the highest level of care and compassion for what was otherwise a really demoralizing and confusing experience. My case was long and difficult and they kept me in the loop all along the way and brought it to excellent resolution. So grateful to their team especially Rachael who took my first flustered call on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to partner Jim who carried the case across the line. Oh, and they got a great settlement! Thank you everyone!


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I was injured and tried handling things on my own with insurance. My first call it was apparent they weren’t going to help me even though I wasn’t at fault. I was referred to Mike Agruss Law and the experience made what was a nightmare turn into an easy and peaceful experience. They handled everything for me and made sure my medical bills were paid, and I was compensated for loss of wages and more. I came to them in tears, shaken up, and scared. They comforted me and took care of me and my family. I can’t say thank you enough! Thank you, Rachael Mitchell, Jackie Laino, and Ryan Platt!!


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Mike and his team were compassionate, detailed, and displayed excellent professionalism. This is the 1st time I needed a lawyer for legal services. Mike and his team walked me through the process. Agruss law firm are real experts. They fought for me and were able to settle my case. I received more than expected. Thanks to Mike and his team. I felt value and appreciate by them. Thank you!


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The attorneys at Agruss are attentive, hard-working, and genuinely care for their clients and their best interests. I have seen them work tirelessly to ensure the best outcome for clients. I highly recommend Mike Agruss and his staff.


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I highly recommend him and his firm!

Mike Agruss is an extremely knowledgeable personal injury attorney who puts his client's best interests first. Whenever I reach out to him with questions, he always gets back to me right away, which is extremely refreshing when dealing with an attorney. I highly recommend him and his firm!


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Mike Agruss Law was incredibly helpful and tenacious at fighting for me with my case. I am beyond satisfied with my results and cannot recommend them enough for all the hard work they put in. They really care about what they do and care about their clients and it can be seen in the work they do. All that is left to say was that my case was a win-win all around very happy with the results. Please consider them if you have any issues.



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