skip to content
Home Strict Liability for Florida Dog Bites

Strict Liability for Florida Dog Bites

Florida’s dog bite statute, found in code section 767.04, imposes strict liability on dog owners when their dog bites another that causes injury. Specifically, the owner of any dog that bites any person while that person is in a public place or lawfully on private property (including the property of the dog’s owner) is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten. Because the law imposes strict liability, this means that the owner is liable regardless of the dog’s former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

That being said, Florida’s comparative negligence laws will also come into play. Thus, if the person who was bitten was in any way negligence and that negligence is proximate cause of the dog bite injury, the dog owner’s liability will be reduced by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the injury.

Another important factor to keep in mind is the issue of one being lawful on private property. According to Florida law, this means that a person was on the dog owner’s property to perform a specific, legal duty or was expressly invited to be on the property by the owner. There is however an important exception. If at the time of the injury the owner has prominently displayed a sign on their property that includes the words "Bad Dog", then the owner will not be held liable. It is important to note here that according to Florida law, these exact words must be readily displayed on the sign. Simply writing "Beware of Dog" will not suffice.

But like many legal issues, there are exceptions to the exceptions. For instance, if the person bitten is under the age of six, then the owner will be held liable regardless of whether or not a sign was displayed. Likewise, if the damages were proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner they will be held liable regardless of whether or not the "Bad Dog" sign was posted.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a Florida dog bite injury, or if you are the owner of a dog that has bit another, then you should seek the advice of an experienced Florida dog bite injury lawyer. As can be seen, the law if full of complex exceptions. To make sure your rights are fully protected, contact us today at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for your free initial consultation.

Do I Have A Case?

padlock 100% Secure and Confidential

Martindale Hubbell | Highest Ethical standing
  • 5 StarsMr. Cunningham is an excellent and knowledgeable attorney.

    I would and have recommended Mr. Cunningham as an attorney. I am extremely happy with the service he has provided for me and my family. I will definately use Mr. Cunningham in the future if I ever need an attorney again.

    - John, a Personal Injury client
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • The Florida Bar Board Certified
  • NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • The Florida Bar Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
  • Avvo Clients' Choice Personal Injury
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Personal Injury
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent High Ethical Standing
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Super Lawyers
  • Florida Legal Elite

Client Testimonials

5 StarsGreat Service (auto accident)
After totalling my vehicle my father recommended I retain Mr. Cunningham. A little online research lead us to Mr. Cunningham who made this case an easy process and educational. I recommend Jim Cunningham. He is doing a great service. Tyrone, an Auto Accident Client

5 StarsOutstanding Attorney
I was in an automobile accident and didn't know where to turn. My son-in-law recommended James Cunningham and I am so happy I took his advice. James and his staff were very professional and compassionate in guiding me through a difficult time. I highly recommend him. Hilda, an Auto Accident Client

5 StarsExcellent Service
Mr Cunninghan was a consientious, competant attorney and very professional. His service was excellent and we would recommend him highly. Barbara his assistance was also excellent in her services to us both. Lawrence, a Car Accident client

Read Reviews

Request a free 30-minute case evaluation with attorney James O. Cunningham. Request Free Evaluation

Close Form

Receive a free case evaluation.

All submissions are personally reviewed by attorney James O. Cunningham within hours.

padlock 100% Secure and Confidential