Are there Dog Bite Laws in Florida?

Dogs are great companions. In fact, we love dogs so much, our dog Dexter is Allen Law’s own mascot! But sometimes, when dogs are trained incorrectly or when they are scared and vulnerable, they can lash out at humans and bite. If a dog bites you, Florida has laws in place to protect you.

Florida Law

The statute concerning dog bites states that a dog owner can be held liable if their dog bites another person while in a public or lawfully private place. Read more about the statute here.

Strict Liability

Florida is a strict liability dog bite state. This means that if you are a Florida dog owner and your dog bites someone, you may be held liable even if you didn’t have any warning that your dog could bite. In many states, when a dog bite occurs, the victim must prove that the owner was negligent or lacked enough reasonable care to prevent the bite.  In Florida, this is not the case.

Defenses

While it’s hard to create a defense in a strict liability state, it is possible. Two ways that dog owners can defend themselves in a claim is by proving that the victim was trespassing or proving that the victim was at least partly at fault for their injury. Two examples of this are:

  1. someone entering your property without permission and in turn, getting bit by your dog
  2. someone unintentionally hurting or scaring your dog, causing them to bite.

If you or a loved one was involved in a dog bite incident in Florida, contact the attorneys at Allen Law. We are well versed in the statute and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 352-331-6789 or visit our website for more information.