Whether you sue the dog walker or owner if a dog bites you depends on the circumstances of the incident. In most cases, you would sue the owner.
When You Can Sue the Dog Owner or Walker
Florida law does not specify whether you can hold a dog handler liable for injuries. However, Florida law holds dog owners strictly liable if their dog bites someone. This means the owner does not need to have known the dog was dangerous prior to the incident.
For example, a dog owner is walking his dog down the sidewalk. The dog bit you as you walked by. The owner is liable for your injuries. This is true even if the dog had never previously shown aggressive behavior.
There are some cases in which the dog owner may be able to avoid liability. Our team can help you determine if this may apply in your case.
Recovering Compensation in a Florida Dog Bite Case
Regardless of whether you sue the owner or walker, you must prove two things:
- The dog bit you: The dog owner is only strictly liable if the dog bit you. If you were injured in another way (e.g., the dog chased you and you fell down and suffered an injury), you would need to navigate a different process to recover compensation. Our team can help.
- You were legally on the property at the time of the attack: If you were not invited onto the property, the owner will likely claim that it is your fault that you were bitten. This is likely where the owner or their insurance company will argue against your case. Our team will build a case to prove that you were on the property legally, and therefore, the owner is liable for your injuries.
The Owner Can Claim That You Were Partially or Fully at Fault for the Bite
While the owner cannot use their lack of knowledge of their dog’s viciousness as a defense, they can claim that the bite was fully or partially your fault. Per Florida’s comparative negligence law, your compensation decreases in accordance with your share of the fault.
For example, say you were lawfully on the property but you were teasing the dog. The insurance company can claim that you provoked the dog and are, therefore, partially or totally liable for your own injuries.
Our team will fight any accusations of fault and protect your claim.
Our Team Wants to Help with Your Dog Bite Case: 954-767-6500
If a dog bit you, the owner is responsible and should pay for your medical bills and other losses. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get the compensation you deserve. A premises liability attorney on the Montero Law Center team will be happy to explain the law and talk with you about your right to compensation. Call us today at 954-767-6500 to see how our premises liability attorney can help with your case. The consultation is free.