Holding Dog Owners Accountable After An Attack
If you or your child was attacked by a dog or other animal, you can hold the pet owner or other person caring for the animal accountable for the damage and pain caused by the attack. These incidents can be very scary and even emotionally scarring, especially for children. You may have a personal injury claim against the owner.
Mineo & Associates, P.A. represents clients throughout the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area with a wide range of personal injury cases, including animal bites. Attorney Wayne Mineo has decades of trial experience and is not afraid to fight for your rights in court.
What Are The Laws In Florida About Animal Attacks?
A person who keeps or has control of an animal may be liable for personal injury or property damage caused by the animal. A keeper of an animal is one that “harbors, protects, or shelters” the animal. It is not necessary that the person is the “owner.” However, an owner who retains some degree of control over an animal can be liable even if the animal is partly under the care of others.
Normally, the owner of an animal is liable only for negligence if the animal causes injury or property damage. Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care in keeping or controlling the animal. When that negligence leads to another person’s injury, they can and should be held accountable.
What Should You Do After An Animal Attack?
If you have recently been injured by a dog or other animal and have not sought medical attention, you should do so immediately. Other things you should do include:
- Immediately report your accident to the police and request a copy of the police accident report.
- Try to obtain the name and contact information of the animal owner as well as any people who witnessed your accident.
- Try to take photographs of the animal that caused your injuries in the location of the accident.
- Try to take photographs of any property damage and visible injuries you have suffered as a result of the incident with the animal or permit the law firm’s investigator to accomplish this.
- Do not have any communication with the owner of the dog or the owner’s insurance company. If you accept any form of compensation, you may waive your right to claim additional damages.
- Try to save any clothing that may have been damaged by the animal.
Finally, contact attorney Mineo for a free evaluation. He will help you understand your next steps and will fight for your right to compensation.