Under Florida law, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. This means that negligence by the dog´s owner does not have to be proven. Florida Statute 767.01 provides, “owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person…” This statute makes dog owners the virtual insurers of their dogs conduct.
Dog attack victims in the US suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses every year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites cost insurers $345.5 million in 2002, $321.6 million in 2003, $317.2 million in 2005, and $351.4 in 2006. The number of claims paid by insurers was 20,800 in 2002, but fell to 15,000 in 2005. The insurance payment for the average dog bite claim was $16,600 in 2002, but rose to $21,200 in 2005. Liability claims accounted for approximately 4 percent of homeowner’s claims. Dog bite claims in 2005 accounted for about 15 percent of liability claims dollars paid under homeowner’s insurance policies. Over half of 50 the dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property.
Although dog owners are held to be strictly liable under the law, many homeowner insurance policies exclude coverage for dog bite claims. Toward that end, should a neighbor have a breed of dog which is known to have violent propensities and their dog or dogs are not being properly controlled, you may contact Animal Control and they will ensure that the dog or dogs are properly controlled, and in certain instances, properly insured.
 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey.
 Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. “Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments,” JAMA 1998;279:53, citing US CPSC, “Injuries associated with selected sports and recreational equipment treated in hospital emergency departments, calendar year 1994.” CPSC Review, Summer 1996;1:5. Also citing US CPSC, “Stair Steps and Baby Walkers Don’t Mix.” Washington D.C.:US CPSC;1992. Consumer Product Safety Alert No. 009207.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog BiteBRelated Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments C United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:605-610. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is published by the CDC.
 Clifton, Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006.
 Insurance Information Institute, Dog Bite Liability.
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