January 27, 2023
Based on Florida law, dog owners can be held financially liable for injuries that were caused from a dog bite, whether in a private or public space. Those who have been injured only have a set period of time to request compensation from the owner responsible, so it’s imperative to act quickly and in your best interests. The consequences of the bite incident go farther than the immediate moment it happened. Dog bites can be painful, scary, and leave someone with emotional anguish and newly developed fears surrounding interactions with animals.
What are the dog bite laws for the state of Florida?
The laws and statutes for animal attacks vary by state. For Florida specifically, a dog owner may be liable for injuries if it can be shown that the dog bit a person that was either in a lawfully private property or public space. If the victim was harmed in a situation otherwise, it may still be permissible to file a personal injury claim against the owner. The victim will have to show with proof how the owner acted negligently or without regard for the safety of others, which ultimately led to their injury.
Can I recover compensation for my injuries?
One of the first options in recovering compensation is through a negligence claim, in which an owner is responsible for the incident if they did not offer a duty of care to protect others from harm and another reasonable person in the same situation would have acted differently. The second type of claim that can be filed is referred to as negligence per se, in which an owner may be liable if they violated regulations or statutes that protect the safety of the public. Thirdly, a scienter claim (also known as the “one bite rule”), allows anyone with information about a dog’s attack background or attempted bites to hold the owner liable for resulting damages. Lastly, in some cases, an intentional tort may be filed, if the owner of the dog coaxed the dog to attack the victim.
Why was the Florida dangerous dog statute established?
The dangerous dog statute is intended to safeguard the general public from dogs that are dangerous. An aggressive dog may be declared as a safety risk under Florida law if they meet certain criteria. If a dog is categorized as dangerous, an owner has to abide by strict rules and take specific measures for the animal. For instance, the dog will have to be registered with local authorities and kept in a location with properly marked dog warning signs. If the dog is taken away from the premises, it has to be restrained with a muzzle, and harness or leash.
How does a canine get defined as a dangerous dog?
Based on Florida law, a dangerous dog is a dog that has previously aggressively bitten, attacked, or caused serious injury to a person. An attempt to endanger or attack a person is also viewed as dangerous behavior. A dog that has aggressively approached or chased a person without provocation is considered dangerous as well. And a dog that has previously killed or injured another animal more than once may be deemed a safety risk to the public.