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Dog bites: What the law in Florida says

Dog bite laws vary according to the state in which they occur. While some jurisdictions follow the one-bite rule, which gives some leeway to the dog’s owner, others, like Florida, follow the strict liability rule. Here is how it works.

Under strict liability, the owner of a dog is liable for any attacks even if they were not aware that the dog could cause injuries to a person. Therefore, even if their dog has never attacked anyone before or shown vicious tendencies, the owner can still be held liable for injuries sustained by another.

Your actions matter

While the dog’s owner ought to compensate you for the injuries from an attack, it is not always the case. There are instances where you might not recover any compensation from a dog attack. They include:

  • If an attack occurred while you were engaging in criminal activity or trespassing, the owner might not be held liable
  • Police or military dogs performing their duties cannot give rise to a dog bite claim
  • If you were taunting or prodding the dog when it attacked you
  • You ignored warning signs that a dangerous dog was within the premises, among other negligent acts on your part

For children under the age of 6 years, the law is a bit lenient to them. It could be possible to claim compensation even if their actions led to an attack.

Getting justice after a dog attack

Dog bite cases can get complex, especially when establishing negligence. Therefore, it is advisable to get qualified assistance if you, or a loved one, has been attacked by a dog and has sustained serious injuries.

It is possible to hold a dog owner accountable and get full settlement for your injuries but only if you know what you need to do when navigating your claim.