Is a Dog Owner Liable for the First Bite of a Dog in the State of Florida?

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Dog bite liability laws vary from State to State. Some of the genre of laws are as follows:

1. Negligence Standard. Under the negligence standard, a dog owner is liable if the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous propensities but failed to take preventative actions to protect children and others from the aggressions of the dog.

2. One Bite Standard. Under the one bite standard, a dog owner is not liable for the first bite of the dog but after the first bite or first incident – then the dog owner may be held liable for the damages or injuries caused by the dog.

3. Strict Liability Standard. Under this the strict liability standard, a dog owner is liable for the damages or injuries caused by the dog regardless of the previous agreement and regardless if the dog had bitten a child or an adult in the past.

Florida has adopted a strict liability basis for dog bite liability; however, there are some exceptions or exemptions if the dog owner meets certain standards set forth in the Florida Statutes under Chapter 767.

When a child is bitten by a dog, it is important that the parent or responsible adult protect the child from further harm, stabilize the child, and obtain medical care for the injured child from a first aid kit, fire rescue, a pediatrician, an urgent care center, or (if necessary) a local emergency room.

It is also important for a parent of an injured child to consult with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer about the respective rights of the injured child and the responsibilities of the dog owner.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Dog Bite Injuries, Homeowner’s Insurance, Playground Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.