Florida dog bite law imposes liability on dog owners if their dog bites another person when the victim is lawfully in a private place or a public place. This statute only includes incidents in which a person suffers injuries specifically resulting from a dog bite. In cases in which a person suffers another type of injury from a dog, such as a scratch or a fall, the owner may be liable if the victim establishes that the owner’s negligence or failure to use reasonable care caused their injury.
Moreover, Florida courts follow strict liability theories when addressing dog bite injuries. Strict liability in dog bite cases means that owners can be liable when their dog bites another person, even if the person had no previous knowledge or warning that the dog might attack or bite someone. Unlike victims of other dog-related injuries, dog bite victims do not need to establish that the owner failed to take reasonable care to prevent their dog from biting the victim.
Dog bite victims may want to hold a landlord liable for injuries that they suffered because of a dog bite. For instance, plaintiffs in a neighboring state filed a lawsuit against a landlord after a dog escaped a yard and bit a woman. The dog bite victim alleged that the landlord was liable because he failed to repair a broken gate latch, which allowed the dog to escape the yard and attack the victim.