In Florida, all dog owners are held strictly liable for the actions of their pets.
This means that, under the law, a dog owner can be held liable for damages if their dog bites another person—even if they had no prior knowledge that their dog was dangerous or had the propensity to bite. This also means that the victim does not need to show that the bite was caused by a lack of reasonable care on the part of the owner.
The law simply states that an owner is liable for damages if their dog bites another person who is “on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog.” However, it should be noted that a dog owner’s liability can be reduced if the victim provoked the attack. Similarly, the owner cannot be held liable if another person was bitten while trespassing on their property.
There are exceptions to Florida’s “strict liability” dog bite law, including:
1. The victim was trespassing on private property
2. The owner posted a sign that displayed “bad dog”
3. The victim provoked or antagonized the dog
In Florida dog bite cases, the degree of liability varies depending on the case.