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. Florida is a strict liability state for dog bites. the statute of limitations deadline for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Florida's civil court, Florida's dog bite statute and its status as a "strict liability" state for dog bite injuries, and, defenses a Florida dog owner might be able to raise in response to a, that person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place (. LawInfo provides free Florida pet law legal information. You may be able to reduce your liability if the person bitten was negligent in causing the biting incident, but most likely you'll be liable for some or all of the injury. Most of the time these criminal charges will be misdemeanors, but felony charges may apply in cases of serious injury or death. Florida is a “strict liability” state for dog bite injuries. Please try again. On the other hand, if you have been injured in a dog attack, you have rights. ... A dog owner is also liable if their dog bites and injures someone else’s pet or livestock. Under Florida law,1 dog owner is civilly liable for injuries to another person if the owner’s dog bites another person and the victim is in a public place or lawfully in a private place. 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. A Florida dog owner has at least three potential defenses to a dog bite claim: Florida's dog bite law requires an injured person to be "lawfully" in the place where the bite occurred in order to recover damages. 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.". This liability may be reduced if the bite is because of the negligence of the person bitten. Dangerous dogs are typically impounded and put down if the injuries they cause are severe. Dog owners have a legal “duty of care” to keep their dog from hurting another person or damaging personal property. A dog owner in Florida is strictly liable for the actions of his or her dog. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. In Florida, the answer is usually yes. Dissatisfaction with the common law rule led to the enactment of F.S. If your dog has never been bitten by another dog, consider yourselves lucky. Bites to Humans and Other Animals. Florida dog bite victims have rights that are specifically set forth in Chapter 767, Florida Statutes. 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. 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. 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. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. So a dog owner could argue that the injured person was trespassing and therefore not entitled to collect damages. If your dog has previously attacked someone, it may have been declared a dangerous dog and criminal penalties are more likely to apply. Contact us for a free consultation Call Now for a FREE Consultation (800) 766-1000 The email address cannot be subscribed. Since the owner of a dog that bites you can be strictly liable for your injuries, you may not have to prove negligence. Our dog bite lawyers in Florida can help you pursue compensation from the owner of a dog who attacked you or a loved one. However, a person who is injured by a dog in another way may be able to prove the owner is liable if the injured person can show the owner's negligence (or failure to use reasonable care) resulted in the injury. The dog may become fearful of other dogs and the owner may become tense every time another dog approaches. Trying to decipher when a person is liable for their dog’s actions can be hard to understand. Whether you're a Florida dog owner, or you've been bitten or otherwise harmed by someone else's dog, laws related to dog bite liability and lawsuits may be of interest to you. In this article, we'll discuss: A statute of limitations is a law that places a strict deadline on your right to file a lawsuit in your state's civil court system. Check if your home owner’s insurance covers any bites caused by your dog to third parties. 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: This statute only covers injuries caused by dog bites. We recommend using Florida is a "strict liability" state when it comes to dog bites. “Strict Liability” for Florida Dog Bite Law. Dog bites happen every day — at the vet ‘s office, on walks around the neighborhood, and at dog … Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. The "clock" starts running on the day of the injury. If your dog kills another dog, and you were not at fault, there’s probably nothing for you to do. 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. 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. 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 … This same deadline applies to all personal injury cases in Florida. Florida law (Statute 767.04) states: D og owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten. Learn more about strict liability dog bite laws. Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. However, even if your dog hasn't been previously declared dangerous, you may still be criminally liable if the attack is considered severe. Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors First, if the bitten person was on the owner’s private property unlawfully, the owner will likely not be held liable. Get a Legal Review of Your Florida Dog Bite Situation. 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). 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. This is the case even if the dog does not have a prior violent history. Finally, under section 767.04, a dog 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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Dog bite common law only held dog owners liable when the owner had reason to know that their dog was dangerous. Dog bite laws vary by state and often are confusing combinations of the "one bite" rule and county ordinances, state law, and case law. Our dogs are part of our families so it can be easy to forget that they're really animals and not people. 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. Firefox, or The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. These Florida statutes outline the state's dog provisions, which mainly cover dangerous dog/dog bite laws. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. If you or your child have been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, seek immediate medical attention and contact a personal injury lawyer … When something sets them off, your cuddly ball of fur may go all Rambo on you and attack or bite someone. 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"). Florida Dog Bite Law Florida Dog Bite Law A dog bite victim in Florida can recover compensation under a special statute and the doctrines of negligence, negligence per se, scienter, and intentional tort. The only exceptions are if a hound is provoked or if a dog bites you while you’re trespassing. Any attempt to attack or endanger a person is also considered dangerous behavior. Overview of Florida dog bite law 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. 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. Learn the steps you should take if … Florida Dog Bite Laws In Florida, if a dog bites a person or another pet, the owner is held strictly liable. Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case? The bite victim does … Get started on recovering for damages for the dog bite today by having a personal injury attorney in Florida review your case. In Florida the specific statue that addresses dog bites is FLSA 767.04 which states that the owner of the dog who bites any person while in a public place or lawfully on a private property, including the property of the owner is liable for damages. Unlike many other states, Florida has a statute that governs dog bites. Florida's Dog Bite Statute. This statute only covers injuries caused by dog bites. Florida Dog Bite Law. The 2020 Florida Statutes. If you've been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do -- after getting the contact information of the owner (if nearby) -- is seek medical attention. When a dog bites you in Florida, the dog’s owner is responsible for all of the damages including any medical condition that may develop later as a result of the attack. | Last updated April 29, 2019. §767.04, the dog bite provision, in 1949. For example, an owner would be held liable if the dog bit someone before. I Found One Of My Animals Being Attacked By Another Dog And I Killed That Dog. While your dog's behavior may be unexpected or perhaps provoked, as a Floridian you are strictly liable for any damage or injury caused. This means that if your dog bites another dog, animal or person, generally you are responsible for paying the vet bills and any other necessary damages to the owner of the animal that was bitten. In addition to civil liabilities, dog owners can also be subjected to criminal penalties, especially if your dog is considered a dangerous animal. If you find yourself on either side of a dog bite claim as the animal's owner or as someone who suffered a bite injury it may be time to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer. Florida statute states that a dog owner is liable for damages to a person bitten by his dog, either in public or legally on private property -- even the home where the dog resides. 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