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Florida’s Dog Bite Laws


Dog biteAs one of the most common pets in the world, dogs have proven to have a special place in the hearts of many. Their loyalty and seemingly unconditional love elevate them to a special place in society. But what happens if you are attacked and injured by man’s best friend? With many different breeds ranging from teacup to mastiff, the injuries you may suffer can be slight or life-threatening. It is important to remember that each state has different laws regarding dog bites. Let’s take a look at how Florida law treats dog bites, and what you can do if you are the victim of a dog attack.

If Someone’s Dog Injures You in Florida, They Are Liable

Florida law treats injuries caused by dog bites with a strict liability standard. This basically means that an owner of a dog that bites and injures another person is liable regardless of the former aggressive or violent behavior of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of that behavior. Put more simply, it is not a defense for the owner to suggest that they are not liable because their dog has never bitten someone in the past, or for the owner to claim that they were unaware of the dog’s tendency to bite.

Florida law carves out an exception to liability for injuries caused by a dog bite when the injury is brought on by the negligence of the injured person. In other words, if you provoke a dog or illegally enter onto the property of the dog’s owner, then the owner might not be liable for your injuries that come as a result. Additionally, unless the victim is under the age of six, owners who post warning signs about the presence of an aggressive dog on their property may also be found not liable for injuries caused by a dog bite.

Statute of Limitations

If you are the victim of a dog bite, the law limits the time in which you can file suit to recover damages for your injuries. Florida sets the deadline to file a lawsuit for dog bite injuries at four years from the date of the bite. Any lawsuit filed after the four-year deadline may result in your case being dismissed.

Dog Bite Injuries

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, it is important for you to seek prompt medical treatment. Dogs are known carriers of rabies, a disease that can be fatal in humans. Additionally, creating and documenting your injuries immediately after the attack serves as important evidence that may ultimately help you prove your case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida

At The Watson Firm, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced at protecting the rights of our clients who have suffered damages due to the harmful actions of others. Our attorneys can effectively advise you as to your options if you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog. We are prepared to aggressively pursue all remedies against those responsible in order to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Call (850) 607-2929 or contact us online to consult with experienced counsel regarding your Florida dog bite accident case.