Understanding Dog Bite Liability: Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Learn who can be held responsible for dog bite injuries.

Dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional trauma, leaving victims with long-lasting injuries and financial burdens. Understanding who can be held responsible for a dog bite injury is crucial for pursuing compensation. At Ehrlich and Naparstek, our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities of dog bite liability and ensure you receive the justice you deserve.

Potential Parties Liable for a Dog Bite Injury

Determining liability in dog bite cases involves identifying the responsible party or parties. The following are potential parties that can be held liable:

Dog Owner

In most cases, the primary party responsible for a dog bite is the dog’s owner. Dog owners are typically held liable for injuries their pets cause, especially if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior or if the owner failed to restrain the dog properly.

Property Owner

If a dog bite occurs on someone’s property, the property owner may also be held liable, particularly if they knew about the dog’s aggressive tendencies and failed to take appropriate precautions to protect visitors. This situation is common in cases where the property owner is not the dog’s owner but allowed the dog on their premises.


Landlords can be held responsible if they knew a tenant’s dog was dangerous and did not take steps to ensure the safety of other tenants or visitors. This liability typically applies when the landlord has control over the property and the ability to remove the dangerous dog.

Strict Liability Laws

Different states have varying laws regarding dog bite liability. Florida, for example, follows strict liability laws for dog bites. Under Florida Statutes Section 767.04, a dog owner is liable for any damages caused by their dog biting another person, regardless of the dog’s prior behavior or the owner’s knowledge of its aggressiveness. This means the victim does not need to prove the owner was negligent; they only need to demonstrate that the bite occurred and caused injury.

Other states may have different regulations, so it’s essential to consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida who understands local laws and can guide you through the legal process.

Importance of Determining Negligence or Provocation

While strict liability simplifies the process of proving a dog owner’s responsibility, determining negligence or provocation is still crucial in many cases. If the victim provoked the dog, the owner’s liability might be reduced or eliminated. Provocation includes actions like teasing, hitting, or startling the dog.

On the other hand, negligence involves situations where the dog’s owner or another responsible party failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the bite. Examples include allowing the dog to roam freely without a leash or ignoring known aggressive behavior. Proving negligence can strengthen your case and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite incident, it’s vital to seek legal assistance promptly. Contact the experienced attorneys at Ehrlich and Naparstek to discuss your case. We offer compassionate, knowledgeable representation and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Visit our Florida Areas Served page to see the regions we cover, or reach out to us through our Contact Injury Lawyers page. You can also read our Testimonials and Florida Case Results to learn more about our successes.

For immediate assistance, call us at:

  • Stuart: (772) 842-8822
  • West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach: (561) 687-1717

Our office address is 1330 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994. You can also visit our Stuart Office Location or West Palm Beach Office Location for in-person consultations.


Understanding dog bite liability is essential for pursuing compensation and holding the responsible parties accountable. Whether it’s the dog owner, property owner, or landlord, identifying the liable party is the first step towards justice. If you need help navigating dog bite laws and seeking compensation for your injuries, Contact Ehrlich and Naparstek today for expert legal guidance.

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Answers from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about personal injury cases from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers. Learn about your legal rights, the claims process, and how to handle insurance companies effectively.

What is product liability in Florida?

Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of manufacturers, distributors, and sellers to ensure that products are safe for consumers. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

What types of product defects can lead to a liability claim?

Liability claims can arise from manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions. Learn more at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Who can be held liable in a product liability case?

Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers can all be held liable for defective products. For details, see the Florida Bar's Consumer Pamphlet: Product Liability.

What must be proven in a product liability case?

Plaintiffs must prove that the product was defective, the defect caused the injury, and the product was used as intended. Visit the Florida Courts for more information.

How long do I have to file a product liability claim in Florida?

The statute of limitations for product liability claims in Florida is four years from the date of injury. Refer to Florida Statutes Section 95.11 for more details.

What are some common examples of product liability cases?

Common examples include defective medical devices, unsafe drugs, malfunctioning machinery, and dangerous consumer products. Check the FDA's Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts for recent cases.

Can I still file a claim if I was partially at fault for my injury?

Yes, Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, which means you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault. For more information, see Florida Statutes Section 768.81.

What should I do if I am injured by a defective product?

Seek medical attention, preserve the product, document your injuries, and contact a lawyer. For safety tips, visit the CPSC's Safety Education Center.

How do I report a defective product in Florida?

Report defective products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and for state-specific issues, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Can I join a class action lawsuit for a defective product?

Yes, if the product has injured many people, you might join a class action lawsuit. Learn more about class actions at the Florida Bar.

What is strict liability in product liability cases?

Strict liability holds manufacturers and sellers liable for defective products regardless of fault or intent. See Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute for a detailed explanation.

What should I do if I am injured by a defective product?

Seek medical attention, preserve the product, document your injuries, and contact a lawyer. For safety tips, visit the CPSC's Safety Education Center.

How do I report a defective product in Florida?

Report defective products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and for state-specific issues, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

What are some defenses in a product liability case?

Common defenses include product misuse, alteration, and assumption of risk. For legal strategies, consult the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

How can Ehrlich & Naparstek help with my product liability case?

Ehrlich & Naparstek can provide expert legal representation to help you navigate your product liability claim and maximize your compensation. Contact us 24/7 at (772) 842-8822 (Stuart) or (561) 687-1717 (West Palm Beach) to schedule an appointment. Visit our office at 1330 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994.



At Ehrlich & Naparstek, we offer comprehensive legal solutions across a broad spectrum of personal injury areas, ensuring our clients receive the dedicated and expert representation they deserve. Our seasoned attorneys are committed to championing the rights of injury victims and securing the compensation they are entitled to. Below is an overview of the key cities and each case type we service in Florida.

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Guidance from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers

Discover valuable tips and insights from Ehrlich & Naparstek Personal Injury Lawyers to navigate the complexities of personal injury cases. Whether you’ve been in an accident or need advice on dealing with insurance companies, our expert guidance will help you protect your rights and make informed decisions. Contact us 24/7 at (772) 842-8822 (Stuart) or (561) 687-1717 (West Palm Beach) to schedule an appointment