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What Does the Law Have to Say About Injuries Caused by Dogs?


As much as dogs are man’s best friend, it’s undeniable that they’ve still got primal instincts in them. As a matter of fact, there are sadly over 4.5 million dog bite cases occurring in the U.S. every year. Dog bites are not only painful, but certain dog bites could also infect you with rabies and other serious diseases.

While having dogs around can’t really be considered a threat (and many dogs are quite affectionate and harmless!), it isn’t the most favorable situation when it comes to personal safety, either. Keeping that in mind, a question arises: does the government regulate dog laws of any kind to protect the people who might end up getting attacked or bitten by them? If you ever find yourself unfortunately attacked or bitten by a dog, then it’s essential that you know your rights.

An Overview of Dog Laws

In addition to the general laws for injuries and wrongful death, accidents concerning dog bites are governed by under Florida laws for dog safety. As a general rule, dog owners are always responsible for anything that their dogs do. This is regardless of whether they know of it or not.

Is It Legal to Kill a Dog in Self-Defense?

Subsection 767.03 of the aforementioned law states that you can kill a dog in self-defense. With that in mind, you do need to provide proof that the dog was attacking you. It is also legal to kill a legally defined “dangerous dog” if it was found roaming around outside of the dog owner’s home territory. A dangerous dog, for example, is one that has a history of attacking people or pets or has attacked a person on public property (without provocation).

What Are the Exemptions for Owner Liability?

Dog owners can be exempted if the following conditions are met:

  • If the victim enters the dog owner’s home while there is a visible sign that has the words “bad dog” on it.
  • If the victim was doing any form of criminal activity when the attack happened.
  • If the attacking dog was a police canine.
  • If the attacking dog was a service dog for people with disabilities but has a current rabies examination.

However, the dog owner will always be liable if the victim in question was under 6 years old.

The dog owner will also be held liable if the warning sign is not readable or not easily found. The sign is supposed to warn anyone that they are entering a territory in which they may be attacked by a rather dangerous dog.

Got Bitten or Attacked by a Dog?

In Florida, you could get compensated for the pain and suffering caused to you if you act quickly. Getting the advice and assistance of a personal injury attorney can prove to be priceless in such cases, as the statute of limitations expires four years after the initial attack. Our experienced Orlando personal injury lawyers here at Payer Law can guide you through the complex legal procedures and strengthen your case in court. Please give us a call at (866) 930-1238 to schedule a free consultation with us today.



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