The State of Florida is a strict liability state. That means that if you’re bitten by someone else’s dog, they will be held liable for their pet’s actions in the majority of cases.
According to the 2019 Florida Statutes, any person’s dog that bites another person in a public place or while that person is in a private place lawfully can be held liable for the damages. It doesn’t matter if the owner knew that the dog was dangerous or if this is the first time any such event has happened; they’ll still be liable.
There is one exception. If at the time of an injury the owner had already displayed a sign that states “Bad Dog” then they won’t be held liable for the injuries that result from interaction with the animal. The sign needs to be in an obvious and prominent place on their property. This exception does not apply if the victim is under the age of 6.
What should you do if you’re bitten by someone’s dog?
If you are bitten by another person’s dog, you need to seek medical attention right away. Dog bites can be physically damaging and lead to infection, so it’s important that you have the wound cleaned by a medical professional.
The other party should have information about their dog’s vaccinations. If they do not, you may need to go through a series of inoculations yourself. The individual whose dog bit you should be held liable for those medical expenses as well as any further damages that you suffer as a result of the dog-bite incident.