Dog attacks and ensuing bites have long been a concern across the US. In an effort to deal with the issue, Florida enacted legislation with a focus on protecting the public from the actions of dogs not being controlled by their owners. Florida’s statute, FLSA 767.04, states that a dog owner is liable for injuries if the dog bites another person, and/or the person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place when such an attack takes place.
Pet owners being held accountable
Two types of legislation have emerged nation-wide in an attempt to provide the most effective and efficient means of bite prevention: dangerous-dog laws and breed-specific legislation. Owners should purchase dangerous dog insurance if they feel that their pet may pose a threat to other individuals.
Dangerous-dog laws are designed to determine whether a dog is vicious or dangerous and impose ownership regulations based on the particular dog’s prior conduct. In contrast, breed-specific legislation regulates or bans ownership of particular breeds based on a belief that the breed is inherently vicious or dangerous. Breed-specific legislation may be the primary means of regulating dangerous dogs or supplemental to existing state or local dangerous-dog laws.
More than thirty states, as well as the District of Columbia, and numerous cities have enacted dangerous-dog laws as a means of addressing the dog-bite epidemic. These laws were enacted in an attempt to require owners of dogs considered to be a danger to abide by statutorily defined precautionary measures.
Deadlines related to filing a lawsuit
Florida’s statute of limitations limits the amount of time an injured person has to file a lawsuit after a dog bite injury. It requires an injured person to get their lawsuit filed in Florida’s civil court system within four years of the date of a dog bite. The court will likely throw out the case of anyone filing past this four-year deadline. Dog bites are a serious concern and Florida dog bite laws are meant to protect the public. An owner can protect himself and his dog by using proper restraints at all times and purchasing dangerous dog insurance.