Being bitten by a dog where you rent a property can leave you confused about who to sue. After all, the landlord is the technical property owner of where the dog owner lives. Florida laws say you can sue the dog owner, but you may have heard about landlord liability in these situations. If you have any questions, feel free to address them with a Tampa personal injury attorney to see what you can do.
Medical Risks of a Dog Bite
There are several things that can go wrong with a dog bite. Many of these depend on how deep and large the bite is and where the bite happened on the body. Some minor dog bites can be cared for at home with proper cleaning to reduce the risk of infection. Moderate to severe dog bites may need immediate medical attention.
Deep and large bites that involve bleeding may require professional medical help. If you have not received a tetanus shot, you may want to see your doctor. Seek immediate medical attention when there are signs of infection:
- Increased pain over time
Seek emergency medical help if the dog has rabies or you are showing signs of rabies. As a viral infection, rabies can be spread with one bite and can have detrimental effects. The most common initial symptoms of rabies are:
- Itching, numbness, and tingling sensations on the wound
- Ongoing fevers
Without treatment, symptoms can worsen into difficulty swallowing, disorientation, agitation, and paralysis. Some people can die or fall into a coma from rabies. There is no direct cure for rabies, but there is a rabies vaccine. The sooner a person receives a vaccine after the bite, the better the chances of recovery.
Landlord Liability for Dog Bites
You might be wondering who to sue for a dog bite when you live in rented housing, the dog owner, or your landlord. The Florida dog bite laws say you can sue the dog owner on any property where the dog bite occurred. This is regardless of whether the dog owner lives at or owns the property or not.
However, things become complicated when you factor in whether the dog owner lives in the same housing facility you rent. If the property owner claims you were trespassing on their property, then your dog bite claim could be challenged. At the same time, the landlord owns the whole property, so this can become complex.
A landlord may be held liable for a dog bite when aware of the dangerous dog and failed to protect you from the dog. Try contacting a Tampa personal injury lawyer to learn more.
Tampa Dog Bite Attorney
The effects of a serious dog bite can be expensive. Contact the Rebein Law Firm today at (813) 305-7285 to speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Our experienced Tampa dog bite attorneys can help you figure out whether you can sue your landlord or the dog owner. We are located in the Florida cities of Tampa, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Pasco, and Polk County.