Delivery Driver Mauled By Two Dogs in North Florida
According to reporting from First Coast News, an Amazon delivery driver was seriously injured after being mauled by two dogs in North Florida. Zelda Fleming, 56, was making a delivery in a neighborhood in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, when a woman opened the door, two rottweilers lept out and attacked.
The delivery driver suffered significant bite injuries on her arms, hands, and legs. Notably, there were no warning signs posted at the home or on the property. She is currently recovering from her injuries. For its part, Amazon has responded by temporarily cutting off package deliveries to the neighborhood where the attack occurred.
Dog Bite Law in Florida: An Overview
Strict Liability for Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
Florida law recognizes the inherent danger posed by dogs and other animals. In our state, pet owners are strictly liable for the conduct of their animals. In other words, you can hold a dog owner liable for “any damage” caused by their animal. To do so, you do not necessarily need to prove negligence in order to hold the dog owner at fault. While most personal injury claims arise under Florida’s negligence standard, animal injuries are an exception.
Landlords are Responsible for Dogs on the Property
Following a dog bite injury, the victim may have a claim against multiple defendants. The dog owner is not the only person who can potentially be held liable for injuries. In Florida, landlords are legally responsible for the animals on the premises. Indeed, landlords have a basic responsibility to protect the health and safety of tenants and other invited guests. If you were injured by a dog at an apartment complex, the landlord/management company may bear liability.
Exception to Strict Liability: Bad Dog Warning
While Florida’s strict liability standard applies to most dog bite injury claims, there is an important exception contained in the statute. If the victim is at least six years old, a dog owner is not liable for injuries if they can prove the following three things:
- They did not act in a negligent manner;
- The attack occurred on their own property; and
- They had conspicuously posted signs on the property that read “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog”.
Only when all three of those criteria are met can a dog owner escape Florida’s strict liability rules. If the dog escaped from their premises or they lacked the proper warning signs, then a dog owner is not permitted to rely on this statutory exception.
Call Our Miami, FL Personal Injury Attorney Right Away
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience to handle dog bite injury claims. We are proud advocates for justice. If you or someone you know was injured by a dangerous dog, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today for a free, no obligation review of your case. With conveniently located offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we handle personal injury claims around South Florida.