Responsible Dog Owners

A person in Florida has a right to expect safe passage when walking near another person’s home or business. When it comes to dog bites, the dog owner has a responsibility to control a pet at all times. 

Failure to do so can result in pain and suffering for victims of dog bites. 

Florida law

The Florida Legislature succinctly covers the responsibilities of dog owners. The law clearly states that the dog owner is responsible for damages caused to a person as the result of a dog bite. This is true in the following situations: 

  • In a public place 
  • In a private place (as long as the visitor is there legally) 
  • In the case of a dog without a history of viciousness 

The negligence of the victim of a dog bite might also play a role. This could reduce the liability of the dog owner by the percentage of the negligence of the victim in the incident. The presence of a sign warning of a dangerous dog also works to reduce the liability of the dog owner, except for children under six years of age. 

State dog bites

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that dog bites probably occur more frequently in Florida than in Texas and California. In 2018. Florida residents submitted 1,281 insurance claims for dog-related injuries, which was at a higher rate than Texas and California but at a lower rate than the national average. 

Insurance claims for dog injuries averaged just under $44,000. Dogs bite approximately 4.5 million people each year. Children between five and nine suffer the highest rate of dog bites. By sheer numbers, Florida residents experienced the second-highest number of dog bites in 2018.


About the Author

Pam Olsen Personal Injury Attorney

Ms. Olsen has practiced law since 1992. During her law school education and throughout career she knew, if it is not about people, she is not interested. Everything about people interests Ms. Olsen from the simple details of living to the most profound. She began her law career in a skyscraper in downtown Miami representing corporate interests. Within a VERY short time, Pam knew that side of the things in the world was not for her.

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