For any Florida resident who has been the victim of a dog bite and is seeking remuneration for injuries sustained, it is vital to first establish whether or not the owner was previously aware of the dangerous nature of the animal. If an owner was cognizant of the potential of the animal to attack visitors, he or she may well be liable.
Legally, it is possible to determine whether or not an owner was aware of their animal’s aggressive predisposition by several means. It may be telling if the owner of an animal was ever alerted to the pet’s aggressive nature by others in the past. If the animal is a member of a giant breed commonly known to display viciousness, it is probable that the owner knew attacks were possible.
Evidence of liability may also be found in situations where the animal is kept as a deterrent to trespassers. A “Beware of Dog” sign might demonstrate that an owner was aware of their dog’s potential for aggression; the same could be said for any situation in which the animal was frequently secured by heavy chains or a muzzle.
In cases like these, it can be extremely helpful to obtain the testimonies of neighbors or passersby who were warned about the animal by the owner. If an owner failed to secure a dog they knew to be dangerous, he or she could be held liable for any injuries suffered by others due to an attack. A personal injury attorney familiar with laws surrounding domesticated animal attacks might be able to help.
Source: Findlaw, “How to Prove Fault in States Without Dog Bite Laws“, December 31, 2014