Generally, if you only have your primary residence in Florida, then Florida's Homestead law would protect your home from a judgement. However, you may have other attachable assets that should the individual sue you, then you may be at risk of losing. You should seek the advice of a local attorney for further guidance regarding the specifics of your case and your assets, etc.
You may not have known this when you called the folks who sent you the letter back, but if you have a homeowner's policy, it would likely cover it the costs of defending you and settling the claim.
If you don't have a policy and really have no money to hire a lawyer, then consider the options that Ms. Kadetskaya and Mr. Lassen have provided.
Likely not. Under Florida law most homeowners have a homestead exemption which can not be attached by creditors. I suspect once the injured person's attorney discovers you have no insurance or any assets that could be used to satisfy a judgment they will simply go away. Worse case situation may require you to file bankruptcy and you would still likely keep your home in that case as well.
This response is to provide general legal information and does not constitute legal advice nor should it be considered or viewed as forming any sort of attorney-client relationship and such information provided is viewable by the general public.
In Florida there generally is strict liability for dog bite incidents. Do you own a home, but do not have homeowners insurance? It is unwise to have a home with no insurance on it. Homeowners insurance will pay for fire damage, as well as for your own personal liability.
If you are sued in court, it will be desirable for you to hire a civil defense attorney to defend you.
If you don't have homeowners insurance, I suggest you speak with an independent insurance agent ASAP and secure some. It will not protect you for the past bite, but can give you some peace of mind for the future. Make sure that any policy you purchase provides for dog bite coverage. Many do not.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
It's very odd for you to own a home but have no homeowners ins. Go buy some asap. Your homestead is generally protected under Fl. law. however they can sue you and seek a judgment for damages caused by the bite. You would need to hire an attorney to defend you in that case. You could then try to work out some form of settlement. Ultimately, if they get a Judgment against you they could take steps to collect however, again so long as the house is your "homestead", it is exempt.
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