Johnny Devine PA | Attorney | Personal Injury | Criminal Defense | Landlord-Tenant Law

Animal Attacks

“I’ve been attacked by an animal, what should I do?”

When you have been attacked by an animal, it’s time to call your attorney . . . Johnny Devine.

Injuries sustained from an animal attack can be serious and life-threatening. Often times, the victim of an animal attack is left with permanent scarring on their body.

It’s important to know that pet owners can be liable for the actions of their pets in their home, on private property, and in public places.

Many times the attack from an animal involves a dog. Under Florida law, dog bite cases are subject to “strict liability.” This means the injured person does not have to prove the dog owner was at fault. The owner of any dog that bites a person while the person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including on the dog owner’s property, is liable for injuries suffered by the person who was bitten by the dog — even if the owner had no prior knowledge or warning that the dog might bite or was vicious. Moreover, the injured person does not have to prove that the owner’s lack of reasonable care caused the bite.

While this law only covers injuries caused by dog bites, a person who is injured in another way by a dog or other animal may be able to prove the owner is liable due to the owner’s negligence or failure to use reasonable care. For example, a person who is knocked down by a dog and injured may hold the owner liable for failing to use a leash or properly restraining the dog.

Florida law does provide certain defenses in dog bite cases. The most common defense is the “bad dog” sign. Typically, an owner is not liable for injuries caused by a dog bite if the victim is over the age of 6, the incident occurs on the owner’s premises, and there is a clear, easily readable sign that says “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog.”

However, this defense does not apply to children under the age of 6 years old or if the victim is too young to read the sign. Regardless, these cases can still be taken to court and reviewed in light of all surrounding circumstances.

If you’ve suffered injuries from an animal attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation for areas of your life that have been negatively affected by the injury, such as: medical bills, prescriptions, future medical expenses, pain and suffering as well as future pain and suffering, permanent impairment or disability, rehabilitation, chiropractic care, physical therapy, suffered psychological effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of income, and loss of earning capacity, to name just a few.

For all these reasons, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side, protecting your rights, and fighting for every dollar of monetary compensation to which you are entitled! Johnny Devine has extensive experience in animal attack cases in Florida.

Here is some important information and helpful suggestions in case you are attacked and injured by an animal:

  • If you have been injured, call 911 or immediately seek medical treatment
  • Report the attack to the owner of the animal
  • Report the attack to law enforcement officials and animal control
  • Get owner information: name, address, phone numbers
  • Get witness information: names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Use your camera phone, take pictures of your injuries, the animal, and the scene of the attack
  • Keep the clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack
  • If receiving medical treatment, give your treating physician a detailed description of the attack, the injuries sustained, and any and all current injury and pain complaints
  • IMPORTANT: Consult with Johnny Devine, P.A. before discussing your case with the pet owner or an insurance company.

Remember: whether it’s the owner of the animal or an insurance company, you can tell them to call your attorney . . . Johnny Devine!