Dog Bite Statistics in Florida

Florida has one of the highest rates of dog bites in the United States. Understanding dog bite statistics and trends in Florida can help residents stay safe and advocate for stronger laws and regulations around dangerous dogs. This article will provide an overview of key dog bite facts and figures in Florida.

Dog Bites in Florida

Florida recorded 1,532 dog bite-related insurance claims in 2023, the second highest of any state after California. The average cost per claim was $66,615, also the second highest after California.

Overall, dog bites and dog-related injuries have been steadily increasing in Florida over the past decade. Some key statistics include:

  • In 2023, there were over 1,500 dog bite-related insurance claims in Florida, up from 1,475 claims in 2022.
  • Between 2010 and 2023, dog bites and dog-related injuries have increased by 86% in Florida.
  • Florida has a per capita dog bite rate of 25.2 out of every 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 18.9.
  • Children make up over 50% of all dog bite victims in Florida. The highest rates of bites are among children ages 5-9 years old.

Dog Bite Fatalities

Along with frequent bites and injuries, Florida also records a high number of fatal dog attacks each year.

  • Between 2010 and 2023, there were 47 fatal dog attacks in Florida, the fourth highest of any state.
  • On average, Florida sees 3 to 4 dog bite-related deaths per year.
  • Over 75% of all fatal dog attacks in Florida involved pit bulls or Rottweilers.
  • Young children and elderly adults are the most common victims of fatal dog attacks in the state.

Breed-Specific Legislation in Florida

In light of the high number of severe and fatal pit bull attacks, some Florida counties have attempted to enact breed-specific legislation (BSL) to regulate pit bull ownership. However, enforcement of these laws has proven challenging.

  • Miami-Dade County was the first region in Florida to enact a full ban on pit bulls in 1989. However, the ban has not been strongly enforced in recent years and ended completely in 2023.
  • Many cities and counties rely on “dangerous dog” ordinances that place restrictions on dogs designated as dangerous, rather than banning specific breeds. Critics argue these laws have limited effectiveness.
  • State law now prohibits breed-specific bans.

Prevention Tips for Florida Residents

While Florida clearly faces significant challenges around dog attacks, residents can take steps to prevent bites and improve safety:

  • Carefully supervise children around any dogs and teach them proper behavior around pets.
  • Never approach unfamiliar dogs and avoid petting dogs without the owner’s permission.
  • Report unleashed and stray dogs to animal control authorities immediately.
  • Consider extra precautions around high-risk dogs like pit bulls, including added leashing, muzzling, and secured fencing.
  • Support stronger dangerous dog laws and breed-specific legislation in your community.
  • Educate dog owners about proper socialization, confinement, and control of their pets.
  • Post clear signage and warnings about dog risks on your property.

Florida Dog Bite Law

If you or a family member are bitten or attacked by a dog in Florida, you have legal rights to pursue compensation. Florida is a strict liability state for dog bites, meaning owners are responsible for bites regardless of whether their dog has a history of aggression.

Contact a qualified Florida dog bite attorney to explore your right to compensation. Financial recovery can help pay for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. An attorney can also advise if you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the dog owner and their insurance company. Don’t hesitate to take legal action if you or a loved one are injured by a dog bite in Florida.

Dog bites and attacks remain an urgent public health issue in Florida. While no state laws fully prevent bites, stronger regulation of dangerous dogs and breeds can help lower risks. Consider supporting breed-specific legislation in your community. Most importantly, take precautions around dogs and supervise children carefully.

Contact Our Florida Dog Bite Lawyers Today

The dog bite attorneys at Monge & Associates are prepared to fight for maximum compensation if you or a loved one suffered a dog bite or attack in Florida. We have years of experience holding dog owners accountable and helping injured victims recover damages.

Contact our office today for a free consultation – with 32 offices across 19 states, including Florida, Colorado, and Georgia, we are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t wait to get the justice you deserve.

Call us now on (888) 477-0597 for a free consultation.