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.
Under Florida law, a landlord may be liable if the plaintiff presents evidence that the landlord knew that a dog was vicious or had vicious propensities, and they failed to enforce protections against the dog despite a lease agreement. Plaintiffs in these cases will often face challenges because landlords will argue that they did not know that a dog was on their property or that the dog was dangerous. Additionally, landlords may assert comparative negligence defenses. They may argue that the plaintiff was partially at fault for their injuries because they failed to protect against an attack. For example, a landlord may claim that a victim ignored warning signs or provoked the dog.
Dog bite victims must comply with the state’s statute of limitations to ensure that they can recover their damages. In Florida, dog bite injury lawsuits must be filed within four years of the attack. If the claim is filed after that time, the court will likely dismiss the lawsuit.
Have You Suffered Injuries From a Dog Bite?
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from a dog bite, you should contact the experienced Florida dog bite attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. Dog bites can have long-lasting psychological and physical ramifications for a victim. Dog bite victims may face significant costs related to medical and psychological treatment. Our attorneys understand that dog owners and landlords can and should be liable for the injuries that their dogs cause, and we work tirelessly to get Florida plaintiffs the compensation that they deserve. Compensation often includes payments for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact our law firm at 877-448-8585 to discuss your rights and remedies with an attorney on our team.