In Florida, the law takes dog bites seriously. Dog bites are relatively common and can occur with any dog in any setting. If a neighbor’s dog bites you, is he or she liable for your injuries? Normally, the answer is yes. Most of the time, the owner of the dog is liable for his or her dog’s actions. The Florida Statutes on dangerous dogs, however, is multifaceted and complex.

It does not matter if the dog has a history of viciousness. The owner is liable, regardless of the dog’s history, whether the bite occurs on public or private property. The exception to this rule, however, is whether the injured party played a negligent role. A court may reduce an owner’s liability if there is any reason to believe that you behaved negligently to cause the dog bite.

If you were on your neighbor’s property legally, then it is the responsibility of the dog owner. However, if the owner of the property has a sign that includes the words “bad dog” in an easy-to-read position, then he or she may avoid liability. The only exception to this rule is that if the owner acts negligently, then he or she may still be accountable. In dog bite cases, the courts have to decide who was negligent. In many cases, the dog’s owner is liable for any damages caused by a dog bite.

The information presented is for education purposes only and simply here to provide an idea of who is liable for a dog bite. Do not consider it as legal advice.