Dog Laws In Florida

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In Florida, the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages irrespective of whether the dog owner had knowledge of the dog’s viciousness.

If the person who was bitten was also at fault for causing the incident, the dog owner’s liability will be reduced by the percentage of the bitten person’s negligence.

A dog owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any injury, the owner had prominently displayed a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.”

Florida law holds that landlords may have a duty to tenants to protect them from a dog who is vicious when the landlord has knowledge of that viciousness. Where a landlord knows that a tenant’s dog is vicious, and also maintains a sufficient degree of control over the property to protect people from dog bites, and the landlord fails to take reasonable measures to deter injury, the landlord can be held liable.

In addition, where a lease agreement includes language prohibiting tenants from keeping certain breeds of dogs on the landlord’s leased property, landlords could be liable for failing to enforce that language if an injured person can prove that the landlord knew or should have known that the prohibited breeds resided on the property.

Damages that can be recovered depend upon the nature and extent of injury, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, periods of total and/or partial disability, physical pain and mental suffering, disfiguring scarring, permanency of injury, and loss of consortium.


In Florida, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of injury. This means you must file a lawsuit against the owner/keeper of the dog within that time, or you will be forever time barred from pursuing a case.


Fla. Stat. §§ 767.01, 767.04

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The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed through the use of this website.  Laws relating to dog injuries can, and do, change.  To learn your legal rights, contact The Snow Law Firm, or contact a licensed and experienced attorney in your state.


In most states, when a minor is bitten or injured by a dog, the statute of limitation period does not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of 18.  Thus, for example, if an 11-year-old child is bitten or injured by a dog in a state that has a 3 year statute of limitation period within which to file a lawsuit, they will have three years from the date they turn 18 years of age, and would thus have to file a lawsuit before they turn 21 years of age.  In most instances, however, it is recommended that a parent or guardian bring a claim for a dog bite or injury claim on behalf of a minor child before waiting for the injured child to turn 18.


Some states limit the type of damages that a person bitten or injured by a dog can recover.  In most states, however, a person who is bitten or injured by a dog can recover damages that include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, scarring, permanency of injury, periods of total and/or partial disability and loss of spousal consortium.