Dog owners and dog bite victims alike should be aware that Florida maintains a strict liability statute to protect victims of dog attacks. Under Florida Statute 767.04, the owner of a dog that bites a person will be held strictly liable for the damages caused if such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the private property of the owner of the dog.
In Florida, the prior lack of viciousness of the dog is irrelevant, and a dog owner will still be held liable for damages including present and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, mental anguish, and destruction of property.
Though the amount of recovery available to the injured party will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault can be attributed to the victim’s own actions, dog owners should be aware of their potential strict liability.
Under the Dog Bite Statute, Dog Owners can protect themselves from liability for attacks that occur on their private property. The statute allows for limited protection of dog owners who display in a prominent place, a sign that reads “Bad Dog”. This protection is not available, however, if the attack was caused by the owner’s own negligence or omission to prevent the attack.
Dog attacks can be devastating, the medical costs that follow can be extensive, and many times the dog owner isn’t even aware of the potential viciousness of their dog.
If you or a loved has been the victim of a dog attack and need legal representation; or if you are a dog owner and need information on how to protect yourself from liability for your dog’s actions, call Blick Law Firm today @ (813) 931-0840. Call to make an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with attorney, Michael C. Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!