If a dog bites a person in Florida, the victim may be entitled to compensation for any injuries resulting from the dog bite accident. Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, which means any time a dog bites another person, the dog owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries, regardless of whether the dog has ever bitten anyone else in the past or has exhibited any signs of wanting to attack others.
At the Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our experienced lawyers understand how painful and traumatic it can be to be bitten by a dog. If you have been bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help recovering the compensation that you deserve.
When Is a Dog Owner Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?
In Florida, a dog owner is liable for a victim’s dog bite injuries when his dog bites another person while the other person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place. Since Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, there is no requirement that the dog must have bit someone in the past or that the dog owner should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities. As long as the dog bit another person while the person was lawfully on public or private property, the dog owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries. The only exception is if the dog owner prominently displayed a sign on his or her premises with the words “Bad Dog,” which serves as a warning to others that the dog on the premises is a bad dog.
The “Bad Dog” Exception
If the dog bite takes place on the dog owner’s private property, and there is a sign on the property that is displayed prominently and includes the words “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog,” then strict liability does not apply. This exception only applies to victims six years or older, with the presumption that children younger than six years old may not be able to read the sign.
A dog bite victim’s injury may be reduced if the victim is found to have contributed to the dog bite accident. This requires more than a showing of mere negligence. Rather, the defendant must show that the victim’s conduct was more than just a mistake. If comparative negligence is shown, then the dog bite victim’s award may be reduced by the percentage that the victim is found to be at fault for the dog bite accident.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be permanent and catastrophic. Below is a list of common injuries resulting from dog bites:
- Bite marks
- Cuts, bruises, lacerations
- Permanent scarring
- Fractured or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
Were You a Victim of a Dog Bite?
We can help. At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our experienced lawyers have helped victims of dog bites obtain full compensation for their injuries. Call us at 772-905-8692 for a consultation today.