Reporting Dog Bites in the State of Florida

Reporting Dog Bites in the State of Florida
Failure to report a dog bite can carry serious legal ramifications in the state of Florida.   Florida’s two main dog bite laws include strict liability and negligence.  This blog will discuss the importance of reporting a dog bite attack and will also highlight some important precautions you can take to prevent accidents and limit your liability.
Failure to report a dog bite can carry serious legal ramifications in the state of Florida. The dog bite victim should seek medical assistance immediately. It is a good idea for the victim to report a dog bite from the medical facility offering treatment. To report a dog bite, the victim needs to call county animal control or the police. Dog bite reports vary between counties, and they may require more detailed medical information or pictures of the bite. If the victim fails to report the dog bite, the victim may never receive compensation for damages incurred. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and mental suffering. For accuracy, it is best to report a dog bite quickly. For example, a dog bite incident may occur between two owners and their two dogs. There have been reports of false dog bite claims in some of these cases, where one owner’s dog was bitten by another owner’s dog. The victim failed to report the incident, thinking they would be a friendly neighbor. The owner of the uninjured dog did file a dog bite report. The victim was forced to quarantine their dog, despite obvious dog bite marks. These false bite claims are typically identified and corrected. However, in cases where both dogs are injured, the only way for police to know which owner may be at fault is through a third-party witness. Florida’s two main dog bite laws include strict liability and negligence. In a strict liability claim, the owner is responsible for any injuries caused by their dog in public areas or to people legally admitted on private property. Negligence claims state that the owner is responsible for injury caused by their dog if a duty of care is breeched. Breeched duty of care occurs if the owner allows the dog to run loose, or allows for other reckless canine behavior. Dog owners need to take precautions for preventing bite incidences and avoiding liability. Owners should keep their dogs inside, in a fenced-in area, or on a leash at all times. Ample dog training is encouraged. An easily readable sign containing the words “Bad Dog” is enough to protect the owner from liability for a dog bite occurring on personal property. The only exception to this case is if the dog bites a child under the age of 6, with the assumption that the child could not read the sign.

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