Understanding and Adhering to the Florida Dog Bite Law

Understanding and Adhering to the Florida Dog Bite Law

Any victim of a dog bite in the state of Florida can recover compensation under a special statute, known as the Florida dog bite law. Different states have different ordinances related to the ownership and care of animals, as well as the rights of the victim when a dog bites them. Dog owners should be aware of these laws in order to protect themselves and their pets.

There are homeowner insurance policies that contain coverage for people who have pets living in their homes. This coverage may or may not be sufficient for all concerns related to injuries sustained or caused by pets. Purchasing dog bite insurance is advisable for pet owners who are worried that their pet has a propensity for biting people, especially those owners of the breeds of dogs that are more difficult to insure.

Negligence is a primary ground for liability in Florida

Negligence is considered the lack of ordinary care; that is, the absence of the kind of care a reasonably prudent and careful person would exercise in similar circumstances. For example, if a person’s conduct in a given circumstance doesn’t measure up to the conduct one might expect given the situation, then that person could be deemed negligent. For example, letting dog run around without a leash that has a history of biting is being negligent.

Negligence per se” is a doctrine that can help a victim recover compensation if the bite happened because the dog owner violated a statute, ordinance or regulation that has been enacted for people’s safety. Examples include a violation of a leash law, a law prohibiting dogs from being at large, or a law prohibiting dogs from trespassing. The owner will be held liable in each instance if the animal, provoked or not, attacks, resulting in the victim being bitten.

Dog owners have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of anyone who might come into contact with their pets. Statistics show that small children and elderly people are more often the targets of dog attacks. Florida is a statutory strict liability state. The Florida dog bite law will compensate anyone who is a dog bite victim, which means that they can recover damages pursuant to the dog bite statute.

 

photo credit: danbruell cc

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