Challenges in Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite cases present unique problems, which require an experienced personal injury attorney. At Earnhart Law, we have represented many dog bite victims and are skilled at building a case for compensation. Below are some of the more difficult problems we have dealt with.
The Defendant Claims They Warned You about a Bad Dog
Under Florida law, dog owners are strictly liable for any dog bites. This means the defendant does not have to be careless in how they handled their dog. It is enough that the dog bit someone, which makes the owner automatically liable.
However, owners are not strictly liable if they have a “Bad Dog” sign posted and the dog bites someone over age 6. It isn’t unusual for some owners to claim they had a sign posted when they actually didn’t, or when the sign was in an obscure location where it could not be seen.
As the injured victim, you will need to quickly document whether the sign was posted when you were bitten. If it was, you can still receive compensation if you show that the dog owner was negligent in how they restrained their dog. A dog bite attorney at Earnhart Law can help you in these situations.
The Defendant Alleges You Provoked the Dog
Another defense owners raise is that you were doing something to provoke the dog at the time it bit you. This defense is easy to allege but sometimes difficult to disprove. For example, you probably had some interaction with the dog before it bit you, but no video exists to show precisely what you were doing.
At Earnhart Law, we can help you document that you were not antagonizing or provoking the dog. For example, we can interview witnesses who saw the attack or who you spoke to shortly after the attack occurred.
The Defendant Lacks Funds
Winning a lawsuit is one thing, but getting a defendant to pay compensation is another. After a successful lawsuit, you receive a court judgment, which is just a piece of paper. It is up to the defendant to actually pay you. Although some defendants might pay voluntarily, others might drag their feet, which means you need to take other action.
Often, a defendant’s homeowner’s insurance policy pays out a claim. But some defendants do not have this insurance, and some policies have exclusions for dangerous dogs like rottweilers. For these reasons, it can be challenging to find hidden assets that the defendant might have that you can seize.
Bitten by a Dog? Refuse to be a Victim and Contact Earnhart Law
After a vicious dog attack, many victims are in a state of shock. Unfortunately, unreasonable dog owners and their insurers only compound the stress many of our clients feel. Realize that help is available.
At Earnhart Law in Delray Beach, we can investigate your case and negotiate with the defendant for a settlement that reimburses you for economic and non-economic losses. To start the process, please contact us by calling 562-265-2220 or submitting an online message. Initial case evaluation is free.