Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Whether you're a Florida dog owner, or you've been bitten or otherwise harmed by someone else's dog, laws related to, including the property of the owner of the dog, Section 767.04 specifically states that the dog owner is "liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.". While Florida’s statute for dog bites does exercise strict liability, there are a couple of instances in which a dog owner may not be held liable if their dog bites another person. So a dog owner could argue that the injured person was trespassing and therefore not entitled to collect damages. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. This liability may be reduced if the bite is because of the negligence of the person bitten. Florida is a "strict liability" state when it comes to dog bites. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Florida's Dog Bite Statute. 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. 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. A dog owner in Florida is strictly liable for the actions of his or her dog. 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"). Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. This law is in place if the incident occurs while the person is in a public place or anywhere private, they are legally allowed. 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 is a strict liability state for dog bites. This statute only covers injuries caused by dog bites. When you allow your tenants to have pets, there are certain problems you may have to deal with as a landlord.It can open up a whole new set of complaints from other tenants.A bigger fear is that a tenant’s dog will injure or bite another tenant. Please try again. According to the Florida Statutes §767.04, Florida law makes it clear that the owner of any dog that bites another person while they are on public property, or lawfully on private property, is liable for the damages a victim suffered. | Last updated April 29, 2019. 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. Florida law states that if your dog bites a person trespassing on your property, you're not liable for damages. This statute of limitations only covers injuries caused by dog bites. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Florida follows a "strict liability" theory in this regard. 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: their dog bites another person, and; that person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place (including the property of the owner of the dog.) Our dog bite lawyers in Florida can help you pursue compensation from the owner of a dog who attacked you or a loved one. Dissatisfaction with the common law rule led to the enactment of F.S. The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness. In addition to not having a “one bite” law, Florida State also uses “dangerous dog laws” to label canines that have posed a threat to people in the past. Florida Dog Bite Law. 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. Trying to decipher when a person is liable for their dog’s actions can be hard to understand. 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. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Unlike many other states, Florida has a statute that governs dog bites. Section 767.04 specifically states that the dog owner is "liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.". When Dogs Injure Other Dogs. Contact us for a free consultation Call Now for a FREE Consultation (800) 766-1000 Florida's law on "Damages by Dogs" states that a dog owner is liable for any damages that results from his dog biting a person, whether in public or private, including in the owner's home. 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. When something sets them off, your cuddly ball of fur may go all Rambo on you and attack or bite someone. For instance, a person who is knocked down and injured by a dog may be able to hold the owner liable for failing to properly restrain the dog. First, if the bitten person was on the owner’s private property unlawfully, the owner will likely not be held liable. In Florida dog bite cases, a lawsuit must ordinarily be filed in the Florida court system within four years of the date on which the plaintiff sustained the dog bite injury. 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. All rights reserved. How Long Will It Take To Settle Your Personal Injury Case? Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. Dog owners have a legal “duty of care” to keep their dog from hurting another person or damaging personal property. Florida Dog Bite Laws. The dog may become fearful of other dogs and the owner may become tense every time another dog approaches. Dog bite laws vary by state and often are confusing combinations of the "one bite" rule and county ordinances, state law, and case law. I Found One Of My Animals Being Attacked By Another Dog And I Killed That Dog. 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. Florida’s Dog Bite Statute. Get started on recovering for damages for the dog bite today by having a personal injury attorney in Florida review your case. Copyright ©2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. Florida dog bite laws consider a dangerous dog as: A dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten or caused severe injury to a person. While your dog's behavior may be unexpected or perhaps provoked, as a Floridian you are strictly liable for any damage or injury caused. Learn the steps you should take if … A claim for dog bite injuries would be considered a personal injury lawsuit, and Florida's statute of limitations on personal injury cases (Florida Statutes section 95.11) gives you four years to get this kind of case started (that means filing a personal injury complaint in court). 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." LawInfo provides free Florida pet law legal information. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name Florida dog bite victims have rights that are specifically set forth in Chapter 767, Florida Statutes. If you try to file your lawsuit after the four-year deadline has passed, the court will almost certainly dismiss it, unless the circumstances call for a rare extension of the filing deadline. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Check if your home owner’s insurance covers any bites caused by your dog to third parties. 16 From its inception, this provision imposed strict liability, removing the need for victims to prove the “former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.” Florida Dog Bite Laws In Florida, if a dog bites a person or another pet, the owner is held strictly liable. Get a Legal Review of Your Florida Dog Bite Situation. Under Florida's dog bite law, if a dog bite injury victim's own negligence is partly the cause of the dog bite, the amount of damages a liable owner must pay will be reduced by a percentage equal to the percentage of blame assigned to the injured person. If your dog has never been bitten by another dog, consider yourselves lucky. This is the case even if the dog does not have a prior violent history. 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