Legal Claims for Florida Dog Bite Injuries

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite/attack, seek medical attention Jacksonville Dog Bite Attorneyimmediately. Once you have been treated for your injury, consult with a Jacksonville dog bite attorney to explore your legal right to compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Florida law provides several different grounds that you can rely on to recover damages for dog bite injuries.

Strict liability statute

The owner of any dog that bites any 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 damages suffered by person bitten. The dog does not need have bitten anyone before, and you do not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent. Unless the victim was under the age of six, the dog owner won’t be liable under this law if he or she posted a sign warning of a “Bad Dog.” This law applies to dog owners only, so it doesn’t help you recover compensation from a non-owner who was keeping the dog.

Scienter (the one bite rule)

This legal rule allows a dog bite victim to recover damages from the dog owner or from a non-owner who was keeping the dog. The victim must prove both that the dog bit someone or acted aggressively in the past, and the owner or keeper knew about it.


A negligence claim can be brought against the dog owner or other person keeping the dog. To succeed, you need to prove that the owner or keeper was careless (i.e., failed to act as a reasonable person would have under the circumstances), and that the carelessness caused your injury.

Negligence per se

This is another claim that can be brought against the dog owner or keeper. Here you need to show that the dog owner or keeper violated a law designed to protect the public (e.g., a leash law), and as a consequence, you were bitten. Depending on the facts of your case, other causes of action may apply. For example, if you experience severe emotional distress accompanied by physical injuries, your Jacksonville dog bite attorney would allege Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in your lawsuit. First Coast Accident Lawyers will identify and allege all the applicable causes of action against all responsible defendants to obtain a favorable resolution to your lawsuit.

Retaining a Jacksonville Dog Bite Injury Attorney

Depending on the severity of your injury, dog bites can be debilitating and traumatic. Your first priority is healing; our first priority is successfully representing our clients to recover the maximum compensation for their injuries. First Coast Accident Lawyers possesses the skill, knowledge, and expertise to successfully represent clients who have suffered dog bite injuries. Please contact First Coast Accident Lawyers at (904) 215-5555 to discuss your potential lawsuit with a seasoned Jacksonville dog bite attorney.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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