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Dog Bite – Expert Advice From A Florida Personal Injury Protection Lawyer

September 3, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Protection Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Dog Bite incident

Question: I have a 75lb Boxer mix breed dog and my question is this. My 17
year old sister took the dog outside without my knowledge on a leash to let it go to
the bathroom. My neighbor was walking down the street with her 12 lb Bischon. My dog spotted it and took off before my sister knew what was going to
happen. She lost control of the dog. My dog grabbed the other dog by the neck
but did not harm it, however in doing so it knocked the neighbor over. She was
wearing heals at the time and is also 60yrs old. She sustained some minor
injuries equivalent to bumps and bruises. I know this because we went that
night together, to the emergency vet and emergency room to get both her and
the dog checked out. Also, we filed a police report in which the officer
investigated all parties involved. He found no injuries other than the aforementioned. He also saw I was up to date with my dog’s records and commended me for
being a good dog owner. I paid for this neighbors emergency vet bill, her
prescriptions, and helped her with her dog the first day after this happened.
I rent my home and have a very limited income and my sister is a minor. The lady was
unable to reach us for one day, so she called my landlord about this. It has
been unbearable and it’s only been 5 days! At the hospital they said nothing
was broken and she would be sore and bruised for a little while. Being
she has insurance, there was no co-pay or deductible. I disagreed with
this and I told her if she should get a bill to please give it to me and I’ll be more
than willing to take care of it. Now she’s going to the chiropractor for
this, but also has been going to him for 5 years. She also could not go to a
certain hospital because she owed them money. I don’t mind taking care of
what she needs, but don’t want to be indebted to her for life. Now my
landlord, my cosigner on the lease, and myself are concerned about how far can she
take it and who can be liable for the misguided actions of a 17yr old?

Answer: It depends on the state you live in.  I am an attorney in
Florida specializing in Florida personal injury protection claims such as dog bites, car
accidents and workers compensation claims.  I actually represent the
injured party.  I do not do defense work.

Laws vary from State to State so you need to speak with an attorney in your
area to find out exactly what laws may apply to this incident, and what you
or your landlord may be responsible for.  In Florida personal injury protection claims, most municipalities
have "dog bite" laws which make the owner of the dog individually liable for
injuries and damages caused by the dog, even if it wasn’t a dog "bite"
that caused the injury.  Florida Statutes also has a strict liability
provision against a dog owner for injuries and damages caused by their dog.

The landlord may be able to escape liability if they did not have notice of
the dog on the premises, and the dog has never injured anybody in the past.

For more information about a Florida personal injury protection claim, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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