Delray Beach Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites can rank among the most severe injuries. They can crush bone, damage nerves, cause life-threatening infections, produce permanent scarring or disfigurement, and inflict emotional trauma which can result in PTSD or a life-long fear of animals or open spaces. Most tragically of all, dog bites and animal attacks result in dozens of deaths every year, with victims ranging from infants and young children to adults of all ages.
Florida law holds dog owners strictly liable for the actions of their animals in most instances. Nevertheless, dog owners and their insurance companies often try to avoid liability by pinning the blame for an attack on the victim. As an experienced personal injury attorney and former insurance company lawyer, attorney Craig D. Earnhart knows insurance company defense tactics and how to respond to them. Our Delray Beach dog bite attorneys hold dog owners accountable and work hard to help dog bite victims get the medical care and compensation they need to deal with a painful, traumatic and debilitating attack.
A Look at Florida Dog Bite Law
Florida law imposes strict liability on owners when their dogs bite or attack a person. Being held strictly liable means the injury victim does not have to prove that the owner was negligent in the keeping or handling of the animal. If the attack occurred on public property or while the victim was lawfully on private property, the owner can be held liable for the injury caused regardless of whether the owner was negligent and regardless of whether the owner know the dog had any vicious or dangerous tendencies. Even if this is the very first time the dog has bitten or attacked someone, the owner can still be liable for the damage caused.
Dog owners and insurance companies may still try to avoid this liability by claiming that the injury victim somehow caused or provoked the attack. If they can prove that you were at least partially responsible for the attack, this can greatly reduce the amount of money they will have to pay. At Earnhart Law, we fight back against such unfounded accusations and use the facts and evidence to build a strong case showing the dog owner’s liability.
Some dog owners may also have a defense to strict liability for attacks on their property if they had a “bad dog” sign in their yard. This defense will not work against victims under six years old, and it will also not keep them from liability for negligence, such as allowing the dog to roam off-leash in an unfenced yard, failing to maintain a fence properly, or keeping the animal tethered to a long leash that allowed the dog to attack someone on the sidewalk. Be sure to hire an attorney who is well-versed in Florida dog bite law for the best chances of success in your case.
Help is Available after a Dog Bite Injury in Delray Beach
Attorney Craig D. Earnhart understands the heavy financial and emotional toll a violent animal attack can have on a person. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dog bite or other vicious animal attack in south Palm Beach County, call Earnhart Law at 561-265-2220 for a no-cost, confidential consultation with a dedicated and successful Delray Beach dog bite attorney.