The dog bite laws of Florida are one of the strictest in the United States. A dog owner is liable if a dog attacks and injures another person. The state has strict liability statutes that hold the dog owner responsible, meaning that if you own a dog and it attacks someone, they may sue you for the damages that your dog causes. You will, therefore, end up paying for costs such as any lost wages, medical bills, and emotional trauma. Unlike many other states, the injured party does not have to prove that there was a lack of reasonable care for the dog bite to happen.
However, the statute only covers injuries that come about due to a dog bite. If the victim gets injured in another way, they will require to prove that your negligence and failure to use reasonable care led to the injury.
There are two ways as well that you may defend yourself from a dog claim. You may claim that the injured party was trespassing, or you may claim comparative negligence. When someone trespasses on your property unlawfully, they cannot claim any damages if your dog bites them.
Under comparative negligence, if the victim of a dog bite was partly responsible in leading to the injury, the amount of damage that you get to pay due to the injury will be reduced by the percent of the victim’s negligence. Therefore, if your friend accidentally steps on your dog’s tail leading to the dog biting them, they have partial responsibility to the injury. If the jury finds them to be 30 percent negligent, the amount of damage you have to pay will reduce by 30 percent.
This information is only for educational use. It is not legal advice.