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Dog Bites & Owner Liability in Florida


Dogs are often considered as man’s best friend, providing unwavering companionship and loyalty to their owners. Unfortunately, our canine companions also have the propensity to bite or attack people. If you suffered a serious injury caused by a dog bite in Florida, you may hold the dog’s owner liable for your injury.

According to Florida dog bite law, a dog owner is liable for injuries inflicted by their dog if:

  • The dog bites another individual
  • The individual is on public property or is lawfully in a private place

Strict Liability vs. Negligence

Florida’s dog bite law is a “strict liability” statute, meaning that it doesn’t matter if the owner knew that their dog was likely to bite another person. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if the owner took reasonable steps to prevent the dog bite, such as keeping the dog on a leash or placing a fence around the dog’s area of the yard.

However, if the dog causes injuries that did not occur from a bite – such as a dog jumping and knocking a person down with their body – then strict liability does not apply. Instead, the injured person needs to prove negligence against the dog owner for failing to use reasonable care.

The statute of limitations requires an injured party must have their lawsuit filed in Florida’s civil court system within four years of the date of a dog bite.

If you suffered an injury from a dog bite or attack in Florida, contact our Dunedin personal injury lawyer at Paulsen Law Group and schedule a free consultation today.

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