We’ve heard it many times that a dog bites children in the neighborhood, or when they’re going to the store. Sometimes a dog can escape from his owner to cause serious damage to other people more especially children that cannot control a dog. When situations like arise where a dog escape from its owner and then bites a child, who is liable? Is the owner liable for the attack or is it someone else? In order to answer such question, there is the need to under the statute governing dog bite in Florida and the dangerous dog act.
Florida Statute Concerning Dog Bite
There are a lot of rules and regulations regarding dog bite which can be found in section 767.04 of Florida Statutes. This law states that dog owners are liable for any damages caused by the dog, this applies when a dog bites someone and that person is residing in a public place or staying lawfully in any private property. When there is a dog bite in this situation, the dog owner must take care of all the damages the resulted from that dog bite.
According to the Florida dog bite statute, the owner will still be responsible even if the dog owner isn’t aware of the dog’s dangerous brutality, it also applies even if the dog owner has taken all the preventive measures to stop the dog from attacking in public. We all know that dog owners do the best they can to protect dogs from going out, but if the dog cut off from the owner’s premise and causes damage, he is still responsible.
If however there is negligence from the victim’s part or he enters any residence illegally, then, in that case, the victim will as well be liable for whatever that happens to him. This shows that even if the victim is held responsible there is still some compensation that’s required from the dog owner, it is just that in such situations the settlement is reduced for the dog owner depending on the type of negligence contributed by the victim.
Dangerous Dog Act In Florida
There is a special law that deals with dog owners who allow their dogs to roam freely in public knowing that their dog is vicious. Under section 767.13 of Florida statute; any dog owner that has full knowledge that the dog is dangerous and at the same time do some recklessness by letting the dog to cause damage to the public, he will be charged with a 2nd-degree criminal misdemeanor. If also a dog was charged and declared as a dangerous dog by any animal control authority and the dog went on biting again, the dog owner will be charged with 1st–degree misdemeanor offense. Sometimes the dog owner can be charged with 3rd–degree felony if the bite leads to serious injury.
Does Florida Dog Bite Liability Differ From Other States?
Dog bite liabilities differ from one state to another throughout the United States. The dog bite liability laws that apply in Florida might not be applicable to other states even if you’re a Florida resident. Other states, for instance, use the “one-bite-rule”, this is a rule that states that before a victim is compensated for dog bite by the owner, the dog must have previously bite another person. This means before getting compensated the must have been declared as a dangerous or vicious dog.
When Is A Dog Considered As Dangerous Dog?
According to the Florida law, any dog will be considered dangerous if it falls under the following situations;
- When a dog aggressively attacks someone and causes serious injury to the person, any attack attempt that will endanger a person can still be labeled as a dangerous dog.
- A dog that has killed other animals multiple times or if it causes serious injuries to other animals more than once.
- A dog that’s chasing people without been provoked.
If a dog bites you or your spouse, you have the right to make a claim; it’s good to gather proofs that show that it’s a dangerous dog.
Limitation Of Liability For The Dog Owner
In most cases the dog owner is held liable for the damages caused by their dog, there are of course situations where the dog owner’s liability is reduced and sometimes can even be completely waved. These in include;
- If the victim is responsible for provoking the dog.
- When the victim unlawfully enters the dog owners property.
- If the dog was defending its owner from an attack.
Hiring Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Pets are taken seriously in Florida, there are a lot of laws that govern dog bites in Florida, whenever a dog bites you there is the need to hire a professional attorney. Contact us now at for free consultation on any dog bite claims.