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Potential Defenses To A Dog Bite Claim


Dog bite attacks are serious incidents, and the victims of such attacks can suffer devastating injuries as a result. Injury victims deserve to be compensated for their injuries, but there are some defenses that a dog owner may raise in order to mitigate or avoid liability after an attack. At Earnhart Law in Delray Beach, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers know the common defenses used in dog bite cases and will zealously advocate for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a free case consultation.

Trespassing Victim 

One of the most common defenses after a dog bite attack is trespassing. Under Florida’s strict liability dog bite statute, an injury victim must be lawfully on public or privately owned property where the attack occurred. If someone is trespassing, they are not legally on the property. As such, a person trespassing who is attacked by a dog would not be entitled under the law to collect compensation for their injuries.

“Bad Dog” Signs

Another defense to dog bite attacks in Florida is with the use of a “Bad Dog” sign. Florida law dictates that if a dog owner has an easily readable sign prominently displayed that says “Bad Dog” on it they cannot be held liable for any injuries that result from a dog bite attack on their property. However, there is an exception to this defense if the victim of the dog bite attack is six years old or younger. This defense also does not apply if the dog owner was negligent in their care and restraint of the dog when the bite occurred on their property.

Comparative Fault

Finally, a dog owner may not be able to avoid liability completely after a dog bite attack, but they may try and mitigate the amount of damages owed by claiming that the victim was partially responsible for the attack. Florida utilizes a pure comparative fault rule when it comes to personal injury claims, including dog bite attacks. Under this rule, the court determines the degree of fault for each party involved in the case and reduces the overall compensation by that percentage.

For example, if a dog bite victim suffered $100,000 in damages and was found ten percent at fault, their total compensation would be reduced to $90,000. In the same scenario, if the dog bite victim was found 99 percent at fault for the incident, they would only collect $1,000 in damages. Victim blaming can be an effective method for reducing compensation in a dog bite attack case if the victim does not have an experienced personal injury attorney by their side.

Talk to Our Office Now

Have you or a loved one been hurt in a dog bite attack? If so, the experienced Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Earnhart Law are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.



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