Who Is Liable In A Dog Bite Accident?

The dog is still one of the most popular pets in America, and thanks to Florida’s mild, year-round weather, it’s a great pet to have here, since you can take it out—or even keep it outside—all year long without worrying about winter discomfort. However, caring for a dog, while not on the same level as a child, does take responsibility and commitment to ensure the health and happiness of the pet.

On the other hand, exactly like a child, whatever happens to a dog, or with a dog is the responsibility of the owner. A dog can’t read, can’t talk to others, can’t explain itself or its decisions. So all the actions a dog takes, and the consequences that result, are something that an owner must answer for.
This is especially true with bites, although certain conditions may change this.

Your Pet, Your Consequences


The most common legal conclusion in a dog bite scenario is that the owner is the one that must answer for any liability if a dog bites someone. Florida is a “strict liability” state in this regard, meaning that even if an owner is not aware that a dog may be aggressive and bite people, there’s still legal responsibility if the dog does so. In other states, if the owner isn’t initially aware of this characteristic in an animal, there’s some room to maneuver away from having to take full liability for an accident.

Dog owners have to think about their liability in a biting situation if it takes place either in public or on their own property, with a legally invited guest. Intruders are not protected by dog bite laws, and dog owners do not have to worry about getting sued by a thief if a dog bites a home invader.

Other Handlers Count Too


Even if you’re the owner of a property, but you’re not living there, you’re a landlord, it’s possible for you to still be liable for a dog bite. If you approve of pets being on your property, you must ascertain whether the animals may require special confinement or put a warning on your property about the presence of an animal. If you don’t, a dog bite/attack that occurs on your property may still find you liable even if you’re not there.

This also applies to people who may be handling a dog that isn’t actually the owner. If a third party, such as someone hired to walk dogs, runs afoul of a dog attack or bite, that other handler may also be potentially liable in court for personal injury through negligence, resulting in a dog bite.

In the case of landlords and third parties such as dog walkers, ignorance may be an excuse. It is only if they know that an animal is aggressive, but choose not to take appropriate precautions, that a negligence-based lawsuit may move forward.

If you or anyone you know has been bitten by a dog due to the owner’s—or someone else’s—negligence, talk to an attorney experienced in dog bite lawsuits, and get the help you need.


 

Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.

Get Your Free Case Review

Fill out my online form.

Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office

Sarasota

941-954-1234

3550 S Tamiami Trail, 3rd Floor Sarasota Florida 34239

Bradenton Office

Bradenton

941-752-7000

5291 Office Park Blvd. Bradenton Florida 34203

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg

727-381-9200

6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Venice Office

Venice

941-496-9555

3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office

Englewood

941-474-4800

2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte

941-613-1141

3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office

Arcadia

863-494-0122

10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers

239-332-0770

8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office

Lakeland

863-683-5600

5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.


 
×