What Happens if a Dog Bite Happens in a Public Place in Florida?

Dog bites overwhelmingly occur on private property like at a dog owner’s home. Your neighbor may be having you over for a barbecue when suddenly his or her normally friendly dog inexplicably becomes aggressive and bites you on the hand, causing a deep laceration that requires you to go to the hospital and receive multiple stitches. Given this dog bite took place on private property (your neighbor’s home), then your sole means of recovering compensation for your injuries from this incident would usually be the insurance carried by your neighbor.

However, contrary to most of the stories you hear or read about in the news, dog bites/attacks happen both in private spaces like homes, as well as, in public places like parks. However, a dog bite that takes place in a public place may also bring with it a variety of different issues than dog bites that occur on private property. It may increase the number of potential avenues for recovery for compensation for your injuries by adding additional parties against whom you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and other damages suffered as a result of a dog bite.     

Dog Bites in Public Places: How They Can Be Different Than Those That Take Place on Private Property

If you are at a park and a dog attacks you or a loved one, then the dog’s owner can be held liable to the same extent that he or she would be liable if the attack happened in a private home or other private property. However, depending on where the dog attack happens, you may also be entitled to compensation from additional parties, if the dog bite takes place on public property. For example, if you are at the park with your children nearby and a dog escapes the adjacent dog park through a hole in the fence that could easily have been prevented by routine inspection and maintenance of the fence separating the dog park and the park you are at and bites you on the hand, then the city/municipality or county, whichever owns and operates that park, could also be on the hook for your injuries in addition to the dog owner whose animal bit you. In the municipality or the county’s case, the basis for its liability would be that failure to inspect and/or maintain the fence to keep potentially dangerous dogs separated from those at the park next door and to prevent exactly what happened in this instance to you.

What Is The Practical Implication of a Dog Bite Happening on Public vs. Private Property?

The damages available in a dog bite are the same regardless of where the incident takes place, whether on private property like your neighbor’s home or at the park like in the second scenario above. However, the practical implications for your personal injury claim are that a dog bite on public property can open additional opportunities for you to seek damages from other parties like in the example above. This can be particularly useful when, for example, the dog owner may have limited insurance or assets. 

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley Today

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A. today. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined practice representing victims of dog bites and their families. We understand how devastating it can be when someone you love, particularly an infant or a young child, is attacked by a dog, and we do everything in our power to ensure that the dog’s owner compensates you or your child to the maximum extent permitted under Florida law, regardless of where the dog bite in question occurred. Therefore, if you, a family member or a loved one have been injured by a pet owner’s failure to properly restrain or control his or her dog or other animal, contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.