dog bites

What is Your Legal Implication For Dog Bites?

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“Each year injuries from dog bites hospitalized over 600 Floridians…and each year an average of 2 Floridians die from injuries due to dog bites”[1] Dogs are considered ‘man’s best friend’ but they are still animals and no matter how domesticated, they are capable of expressing themselves in a way that can cause harm to others. The laws regarding owner liability with respect to dog bites has evolved as more cases have emerged.

The Florida Legislature created Chapter 767 which originally held owner’s 100% liable for all bites, however, this is no longer the case. The statute was amended by Florida government with additional factors which the law takes into account to allocate how much is the responsibility of the owner. As opposed to the responsibility of the victim. The law calls this comparative negligence and it includes not only the actions of the owner but also what the victim did to cause the bite or what the victim could have done to avoid the incident.

As a dog owner there are several steps you can take towards limiting your liability when it comes to dog bites. These include putting up a warning sign (“Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog”). In Florida having that sign is not a total protection from a lawsuit. However, it can significantly reduce the amount the victim can recover.  A dog owner should always make sure to abide by leash rules. Also to muzzle dogs that may have a history of “playing rough” or even growling at strangers. If a victim is illegally on the premises, then they cannot recover from a lawsuit for a dog bite. Therefore, Fido can still protect your home.

Learn More about Dog Bites Today

It is important to review your homeowner’s insurance to see what kind of coverage your policy provides. It also helps to know a trusted personal injury attorney with knowledge and experience in this field.

dog bites


[1] http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/dog-bite-prevention/