Florida is a strict liability state for persons bitten by a dog. That means an owner of a dog is strictly liable for all injuries and damages done by their dog.
The Florida legislature has abolished this “one-bite” rule and created the strict liability rule. There are a few exceptions to the rule imposing strict liability. These exceptions include situations where the dog is provoked or the owner has “Bad Dog” signs prominently displayed on their property. If the dog was provoked by kicking or striking, teasing or tormenting, or attacking the owner in the dog’s presence, the dog owner may not be held responsible.
If the owner of the dog is not present during an attack, but the dog is being kept by a third person, such as a veterinarian or at a dog kennel, the person watching the dog at the time may also be held liable.
If you, or someone you know, is bitten or attacked by a dog, you should obtain immediate medical care to rule out the risk of rabies, infection or other complications. After seeking medical care, you should then notify the police department and/or your local Animal Care and Control agency about the incident so that a record is created and the dog can be quarantined by the proper authorities.
Injuries from dog bites can be extremely serious, and cost the victim large sums of money due to medical bills. In addition, dog bites may cause strong emotional trauma to young children and adults. Children and adults who have been bitten by a dog may experience loss of sleep, fear of dogs, and general anxiety. It is important for anyone who has suffered from a serious dog bite injury to seek a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney is invaluable in sorting through statutes and ordinances regarding dogs, gathering and evaluating medical information, and negotiating with dog owners and/or their insurance companies.