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What if My Dog Bites a Trespasser?

March 12, 2021
By The Wiseman Law Firm

Top Dog Breeds Who Bite the Most

An estimated 1.5-2% of the U.S. population are bitten by dogs every year, which is between 4.5 and 4.7 million people. The majority of the victims are children, and half of these bites occur at home with familiar dogs. Sometimes, though, dog bites happen to people who are not so familiar with the dog or with their owner – trespassers. The law defines trespassing as the act of knowingly entering another person’s property without permission. If your dog bites or attacks someone who does this, then they have attacked a trespasser. You might think it is primarily the large, strong dogs who are more likely to bite humans. While these dogs might be able to cause the most amount of damage, many types of dogs have been known to bite humans. These are some of the breeds that have been linked the most to biting humans:

  • Pitbull

Although experts say that pitbulls are not naturally aggressive towards humans, this breed has unfortunately been bred in cruel situations where they are encouraged to fight. Plus, because of the strong jaws on pitbulls, when they do bite, they can do a lot of damage.

  • Staffordshire bull terrier

Staffordshire bull terriers are similar in appearance to pitbulls. They are also similar to pitbulls in the sense that their roots are associated with fighting and baiting larger animals. Although they can make great family dogs when trained well, these dogs are strong-willed and prone to exhibiting aggressive behavior, especially when faced with a threatening encounter like a trespasser.

  • Rottweiler

Rottweilers are actually ten times more likely to kill a human than the average dog. Rottweilers are also more likely to kill other animals than the average dog. Some homeowners actually choose this breed on purpose because they are looking for a good guard dog. Rottweilers aren’t all scary, though. With proper training, experts say they can make loyal pets and great companions.

  • German shepherd

German shepherds are another breed that was originally bred for purposes other than having a typical household companion. In fact, they were originally bred to herd livestock and are also used by police, military, search, and rescue teams. This breed tends to react quickly when they sense a threat, making them great guard dogs and likely to bite an intruder.

  • Doberman pinscher

While Doberman pinschers do not tend to be aggressive towards their owners, they can be quite aggressive to strangers. They are naturally protective and are usually on the lookout for potential threats. While they can make great family pets, experts say that when Dobermans are not trained properly, they can show aggression to strangers. Their inclination to protect their home makes them likely to bite trespassers.

Are You Liable if Your Dog Bites Someone on Your Property?

In most situations, as a dog owner, you are not liable if your dog hurts a trespasser. While there are laws surrounding ownership accountability for dog bites, these laws do not apply if the person was trespassing or was not on the property lawfully. According to Florida’s dog bite laws, a dog bite victim would need to have been injured in a place where they were “lawfully” in order to be owed any sort of restitution. If the owner is able to prove that the bite victim is trespassing, the victim would not be entitled to retrieve damages.

Another potential defense against a dog bite in Florida is comparative negligence. This law states that if the dog bite injury were due or due in part to the victim’s negligence, the amount of damages the owner pays would be reduced. In these cases, a complete trial would take place, with pleadings, interrogatories, deposition questions, and more. If you are being charged with trespassing or you are a dog owner who is being held liable, getting in contact with a lawyer will help produce the most favorable outcome for your case.

Should You Get a Lawyer for a Dog Bite?

At The Wiseman Law Firm, we provide criminal defense on many fronts as well as personal injury defense. Whether you are being held liable for a dog attack, faced with trespassing charges, or were bit by a dog yourself and need personal injury defense, our team can provide the diligent defense you need. Our personal injury defense services will serve as a vital support system in proving liability and recovering the compensatory payments you deserve.

On the other hand, if you are being faced with a trespassing charge in a situation like this, we have the knowledge necessary to present your case in the best light possible, and we will work endlessly to craft the right approach. Simon Wiseman brings over 18 years of experience to the table and we utilize his insider knowledge to present the strongest possible defenses for our clients. No matter what side of this situation you are on, you are sure to benefit from having our trusted team as your allies.

If you are being charged with trespassing, the team at The Wiseman Law Firm can provide criminal defense for trespassing violations, and we can also help with personal injury defense if you were hurt by a dog bite or other injury. Give us a call at 407-420-4647 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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