Dog Owners In Florida Are Responsible for Dog’s Actions

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Written By: Lenorae Atter
Attorney at Law
In Florida, a dog owner is responsible for the damages caused by their dog. Florida Statutes provide that dog owners are strictly liable, meaning there is no defense, if the owner’s dog attacks or causes damage to another person or property. (Florida Statute 767.01)
If a dog bites someone that is on public grounds, invited onto the owner’s property, has a legal right to be on the property, or is under the age of 6, then the dog’s owner can be held liable for any and all damages. Such damages can be medical, wage loss, pain and suffering, etc. The claim is treated as any personal injury claim, and even though the dog owner is liable, the damages can be lessened if the owner can show that the injured person caused the attack (i.e. violently pulled the dog’s tails and ears), as long as the victim is of a reasonable age to understand his/her actions. The prior behavior of the dog cannot be used as a basis or argument to decrease the damages for which the dog owner is responsible. (Florida Statute 767.04)
If you have been the victim of a dog bite or attack, it is important to seek medical attention because dog bites often become infected. Also, you should document the injuries with photographs because it helps preserve your right to recover for any damages or out-of-pocket expenses you may have occurred.

If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered damages or expenses, then you would look to the home owners insurance of the dog’s owner for compensation. Often, the dog owner attempts to keep a claim from being filed, so it is important to contact an experienced Florida Personal Injury / Dog Bite Attorney who can help you discover whether there is insurance coverage on your claim.

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