Florida's Dog Bite Liability Law

Even the most docile dog can turn vicious in the blink of an eye. Those who are in such an animal's path at the time can be bitten and attacked in a way that leaves them scrambling to getaway. It only takes one dog bite for an individual to suffer serious injuries that can be challenging to recover from. In addition to the pain and suffering that can be inflicted, dog bite victims can be left with extensive medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and disfigurement.

Although these damages can be overwhelming, their financial ramifications can be lessened when a victim is able to succeed on a personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida law, a dog owner can be held responsible if his or her dog bites another individual when the victim is in public or lawfully upon the dog owner's property. However, if a dog owner prominently displays a sign that warns others of the dog and its behaviors, then the dog owner cannot be held liable for damages suffered unless the victim was under the age of six or the dog owner was otherwise negligent.

If the victim trespassed onto the property where the attack occurred, then it is possible the dog owner may not be liable. If the victim acted negligently, and that negligence caused the dog bite, then the victim's negligence will reduce the liability of the dog owner by the percentage that the victim's negligence contributed to the dog bite. Dog bite victims need to be able to combat these arguments and minimize them, as the strength of the defense's arguments can have a direct impact on a victim's compensatory recovery.

Legal professionals who are skilled in this area of the law know how to build a compelling case that is persuasive to judges and juries. Those professionals know how to analyze and gather evidence to both support a victim's position while at the same time mitigating any defenses.