Marion County Dog Bite Lawyer
Every year, dogs bite or attack more than four million people. According to the Center for Disease Control, that means you have a one-in-72 chance of being bit by a dog. That is why many states and municipalities enacted laws that specifically cover these incidents. Marion County is very proactive when it comes to responsibly owning a dog. The county’s Animal Services Department keeps an up-to-date database on active known dangerous dogs, which includes each dog’s animal ID number, information about the dog, and the dog’s address.
A dangerous dog is defined under Florida Code Section 767.11. However, in Marion County, if a dog attacked or bit you, you are entitled to compensation even if the dog is not considered dangerous. To find out what your legal options may be, you should contact a Marion County dog bite lawyer today. Read on to learn more about how a compassionate injury attorney could work to make a difference in your case.
Marion County is a Strict Liability County
Under Section 767.04 of the Florida Code, “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 owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Notice that the owner does not need to have prior knowledge their dog is vicious to be held liable for damages–this language is indicative of a strict liability state. Thus, Marion County affords the injured party the right to compensation for things such as medical expenses, lost income potential, and pain and suffering in almost all situations.
What Are Exceptions to Strict Liability in Dog Bites?
The three exceptions to the strict liability rule are if:
- The plaintiff was illegally trespassing on private property
- The dog owner took preemptive steps to make people aware of the dog’s behavior
- The plaintiff provoked the dog, which led to the dog bite
In those three narrow situations, the liability of the dog owner will be reduced. Know that a skilled Marion County dog bite lawyer can offer their assistance to individuals by determining whether or not their specific situation is affected by these circumstances.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect Owner Liability?
Marion County recognizes that in the situations mentioned above there is someone else, besides the dog owner, at fault. It has adopted the comparative negligence rule, which under Florida Code Section 767.04, reduces the dog owner’s liability in proportion to the injured party’s negligence.
Thus, if a court deems that the plaintiff was either trespassing, failed to exercise caution, or antagonized the dog, the amount of compensation they can collect will be reduced. In order to fight against this consequence, a qualified Marion County dog bite lawyer can assist a plaintiff through aggressive representation in a court or settlement proceeding.
How a Marion County Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
Marion County has favorable laws if a dog attacked or bit you. However, the statute of limitations provides that you must bring a lawsuit within four years of the incident or else be prohibited from taking any legal action.
If you or someone you love suffered from a dog bite or attack and are seeking compensation for your injuries, contact a Marion County dog bite lawyer today to discuss all your possible legal options.