Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name Dog bite common law only held dog owners liable when the owner had reason to know that their dog was dangerous. Finally, under section 767.04, a dog owner is not liable for bite injuries if he or she had displayed—in a prominent place on the property—an easily readable sign that includes the words “Bad Dog.” Note that such a sign won't protect an owner if the dog bite victim is under six years of age, or if the owner was negligent in connection with the incident. Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case? A dog that has seriously injured or killed another animal more than once. Under Florida law, the owner of any dog that bites someone who is in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, "is liable for the damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness." Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Liability Statute. Laws determining a dog owner's liability for bites and other injuries caused by their pet vary from state to state, but there are essentially two basic rules: liability when the dog owner knew or should have known the dog might bite someone (often referred to as the "one-bite rule") and liability regardless of what the owner knew or should have known (often referred to as "strict liability"). Florida is a "strict liability" state when it comes to dog bites. Florida Dog Bite Law Florida Dog Bite Law A dog bite victim in Florida can recover compensation under a special statute and the doctrines of negligence, negligence per se, scienter, and intentional tort. It has previously determined to be dangerous; or, It has aggressively bitten, attacked, endangered, or inflicted severe injury; or, It has, when unprovoked, chased or menaced a person on any public areas (streets, sidewalks, parks, etc. We recommend using Florida dog bite laws consider a dangerous dog as: A dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten or caused severe injury to a person. If it’s not covered, it comes out of your pocket, because refusing to pay the vet bill may cause the owner to seek legal action in a small claims court. Trying to decipher when a person is liable for their dog’s actions can be hard to understand. However, even if your dog hasn't been previously declared dangerous, you may still be criminally liable if the attack is considered severe. Dog owners have a legal “duty of care” to keep their dog from hurting another person or damaging personal property. Florida's dog bite statute, which can be found at Florida Statutes section 767.04, says that a dog owner is liable for injuries if: This statute only covers injuries caused by dog bites. If your dog has previously attacked someone, it may have been declared a dangerous dog and criminal penalties are more likely to apply. All rights reserved. 767.04 Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten.—. Dog bites happen every day — at the vet ‘s office, on walks around the neighborhood, and at dog … If you or your child have been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, seek immediate medical attention and contact a personal injury lawyer … Bites to Humans and Other Animals. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. In other words, a Florida dog owner may be held liable if his or her dog bites someone, even if the owner had no prior knowledge or warning that the dog might bite. If your dog has never been bitten by another dog, consider yourselves lucky. Florida’s statute of limitations is a hard-and-fast deadline. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Florida's Dog Bite Statute. A Florida dog owner has at least three potential defenses to a dog bite claim: Florida's dog bite law requires an injured person to be "lawfully" in the place where the bite occurred in order to recover damages. You may not be liable for dog bites in Florida if any of the following apply: You display a "Bad Dog" sign (this doesn't relieve you of liability for victims under age 6) The dog is owned, or in the service of a law enforcement agency; The dog is used as a service dog. Florida Dog Bite Law. In Florida the specific statue that addresses dog bites is FLSA 767.04 which states that the owner of the dog who bites any person while in a public place or lawfully on a private property, including the property of the owner is liable for damages. Our dogs are part of our families so it can be easy to forget that they're really animals and not people. Florida dog bite victims have rights that are specifically set forth in Chapter 767, Florida Statutes. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. Unlike Florida’s laws relating to automobile accidents and other types of injuries, dog bite victims in Florida can pursue a claim or case for injuries and damages without the requirement of proving fault or negligence on the part of the dog owner. A person who is trespassing on private property without permission is not "lawfully" on the private property. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. The chart below provides you with a plain language summary of the statutes that comprise Florida's dog bite laws, with links to important code sections. The email address cannot be subscribed. If you find yourself on either side of a dog bite claim as the animal's owner or as someone who suffered a bite injury it may be time to discuss your situation with a, percentage of blame assigned to the injured person, Tips for Getting the Best Personal Injury Settlement. Please try again. Florida is a strict liability state for dog bites. Contact us for a free consultation Call Now for a FREE Consultation (800) 766-1000 Get a Legal Review of Your Florida Dog Bite Situation. Get started on recovering for damages for the dog bite today by having a personal injury attorney in Florida review your case. Florida Protecting Citizens With Dangerous Dog Laws. Learn more about strict liability dog bite laws. In Florida, dog owners are liable for any injury their dog inflicts on a person. ... A dog owner is also liable if their dog bites and injures someone else’s pet or livestock. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Another thing to note is that if you live in an area with “dangerous dog” laws, your dog will most likely be put to sleep whether the other owner seeks that action or not. Learn the steps you should take if … On the other hand, if you have been injured in a dog attack, you have rights. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. This means that a dog owner is held accountable whenever their dog bites another person, even if there was no previous sign that the dog would bite. “Strict Liability” for Florida Dog Bite Law. Florida statute states that a dog owner is liable for damages to a person bitten by his dog, either in public or legally on private property -- even the home where the dog resides. For example, an owner would be held liable if the dog bit someone before. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. Florida law states that if your dog bites a person trespassing on your property, you're not liable for damages. In addition to civil liabilities, dog owners can also be subjected to criminal penalties, especially if your dog is considered a dangerous animal. Or killed another Animal more than once attack, you have been declared a dangerous and! 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