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Florida Dog Bites Can Mean Legal Problems For Homeowners

Florida pet owners need to be aware of Florida premises liability laws because when Florida slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and other injuries occur to visitors or guests, a legal action can be the result. Under Florida law, business owners and homeowners have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for visitors. Business owners, for example, must take care to provide a reasonably safe environment for customers, employees, and clients. Homeowners must ensure that visitors, mail personnel, and other guests at their home also are kept safe.

While property owners cannot, of course, foresee and forestall every possible danger, there is a legal expectation that they will take steps to provide a reasonably safe environment. Homeowners who have a dog, for example, are expected to keep the dog inside or on a leash to ensure that it cannot bite visitors. Businesses are expected to ensure that parking areas and store areas are well-lit to help prevent Florida slip and fall accidents.

If homeowners and businesses know about a potential hazard that causes an injury or should have known about a hazard, they can be help liable. With dogs and pets, this poses a special problem. Dogs often want to roam and busy homeowners sometimes place a dog in a fenced area of the yard to provide some exercise for the pet. Unfortunately, if the dog bites someone, the homeowner may be held liable.

In some cases, dogs are on private property but curious strangers walk onto the property without knowing that there is a dog in the area. In some cases, curious children or strangers reach into a property to pet a dog, only to get bitten. Dogs also pose another hazard: they may carry and fling their toys and bowls about, causing a tripping hazard.

There are several things that pet owners can do to help prevent legal action from dog bites and premises liability claims. The first and most important step is to get the dog socialized through frequent attention and obedience classes. Dogs that are well-trained are less likely to bite. As well, regular vet check-ups are a must. Not only does this ensure that the pet’s vaccinations are in order, but regular vet care can help catch any illnesses which can cause a dog to act aggressively.

Homeowners who own pets will want to take additional steps to protect themselves, others, and their pets. Keeping a dog inside unless the dog is being walked on a leash is a savvy precaution. If you must keep your dog outdoors some of the time, consider a large kennel or a fenced in area away from your main door, where strangers will not be able to easily approach the animal. Signs warning strangers of the presence of a dog is another smart investment.


If you have sustained a Florida personal injury, contact the experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group. With law offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group is always only a short drive away from nearly anywhere in the South Florida area. After handling thousands of Florida personal injury cases, our legal team has the experience you may need for your case. Call the Flaxman Law Group today to set up your free initial consultation to discuss your case.