Alachua, FL asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death for Florida

Q: On December 22nd 2022 my dog was hit and killed by an Amazon driver on my property,Amazon left and never said anything.

Amazon driver dropped off a package roughly in between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. and upon leaving struck my dog with the vehicle. And left my property without saying anything or contacting amazon. When I came back to my property minutes later my neighbor informed me that Amazon delivered a package and I informed my neighbor my dog was dead and my neighbor then informed me that Amazon probably hit my dog because they slammed on the brakes in my driveway backed up and went around something. What are my rights and how long do I have to take legal action

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sorry to hear about the loss of your pet. I have a dog, too, and can imagine your pain. If the death was accidentally caused (that, is caused by ordinary negligence), you likely have four years from the accident date to take legal action to recover (A) the fair market value of your dog at the age of death, and (B) any vet expenses incurred, such as for disposal of the body.

If you could prove the driver intentionally struck your dog, you could likely sue for emotional distress damages and punitive damages, in addition to the damages mentioned above (and likely within four years). From your description, though, it sounds like an accident.

If you could prove gross negligence (that is, recklessness), some jurisdictions would or might allow emotional distress damages and punitive damages for that as well; however, I see you are writing from Alachua, Fla., and if this incident happened there, the court is unlikely to allow such additional damages for gross negligence, as an appellate court decision in your jurisdiction called Kennedy vs. Byas, appears to strictly limit the damages in this situation to fair market value and economic losses unless you can prove intent.

When you're ready to make your claim, you may first want to try setting up a claim with Amazon's insurer to see if you can reach an amicable resolution without filing suit, then file suit if you have no success there.

Terrence H Thorgaard agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.