Being bitten by a service dog in Florida is an unexpected and distressing experience that can leave victims facing physical, emotional, and legal challenges. In this blog, our Florida dog bite lawyers aim to help victims understand their rights and the steps to take after an unexpected encounter.

bitten by service dog

The initial response: Immediate steps after being bitten

When bitten by a service dog, the initial shock and pain can be overwhelming. However, acting swiftly and thoughtfully is crucial. After being bitten by a service dog, you should:

  1. Seek medical attention to address your injuries, no matter how minor they may seem
  2. Documenting the bite through medical records is a foundation for any potential legal action. Simultaneously, gather information about the service dog and its handler, including contact details and witness accounts.
  3. Meet with a Florida dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options moving forward.

Florida law: Understanding the legal landscape

Navigating the legal aftermath of being bitten by a service dog in Florida involves understanding specific statutes and regulations. Florida operates under a strict liability dog bite statute, meaning the dog’s owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the dog, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or the owner’s knowledge of such behavior. However, when it involves service dogs, the scenario may entail additional complexities due to the dog’s role in providing disability assistance.

Contributory negligence

Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, making them essential to their handler’s life. When a service dog bites, it’s important to consider the context of the incident, including any provocation or the dog’s immediate environment. Florida’s statutes account for these factors, balancing the injured party’s rights with those of individuals who depend on service dogs for their daily activities.

Seeking compensation: Your rights to damages

If a service dog has bitten you, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Initiating a personal injury claim involves presenting evidence, such as medical records and witness statements, to support your case. It’s a process that requires careful navigation, much like steering a boat through Florida’s intricate waterways.

How can an attorney help me?

Embarking on a legal journey in the aftermath of a service dog bite incident is not a path you should walk alone. Consulting with a legal professional with experience with dog bite cases in Florida can provide the expertise and support needed to navigate the process. An attorney can help interpret the law, advise on the best action, and represent your interests in negotiations or court proceedings.

We’re here to help you move forward

With the right medical care and legal support, individuals can confidently navigate the aftermath of such incidents, ensuring their rights are protected and they are compensated fairly for their injuries.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath is here to help. Reach out to us online or at (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free consultation.

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