When it comes to determining liability in dog bite cases, states employ a variety of different approaches. Most commonly, states will either apply a “strict liability” standard or a “negligence” standard. Many states also require a plaintiff to prove that the dog’s owner knew of an animal’s aggressive tendencies.
In Florida dog bite cases, a dog’s owner is held strictly liable for injuries caused by their animal, regardless of the dog’s history or aggression. A recent case illustrates the difference between a strict liability standard and a negligence standard in dog bite cases.
The Case Facts
The defendant’s dog bit the plaintiff as he approached the animal with an extended hand. As it turns out, the dog had bitten several other people, and had drawn blood during two of those incidents. The dog was usually kept confined within the defendant’s backyard, and on the fence outside the defendant’s home there was a sign stating “Beware of Dog.”