According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more then 4.7 million people bitten by dogs in the United States every year. Of those, more than 800,000 have to seek medical attention. Sadly half of these are children. Statistics show that most of the attacks are from pit bulls and rottweilers. The majority of the attacks occur on or close to the dog owner’s property. Dog bites often result in infections, fractures, nerve damage, and severe scarring, often to the face.
Medical expenses associated with dog bites can be quite high. Often the nature of the injury results in a lengthy healing process, sometimes requiring surgery and physical therapy.
In Florida, dog owners are held strictly liable for all injuries caused by their dog. That means that you do not have to prove the dog owner was negligent. There are two exceptions to this rule. One exception is if the dog is provoked. The other exception is in so called “bad dog” sign cases. Generally petting or playing with a dog is not considered a provocation. In cases involving children, whether the animal was provoked is debatable since a child might not be expected to know not to provoke the dog. Regarding the “bad dog” sign defense, this will often be a matter for litigation because it could become a tricky legal issue to determine whether or not the signage in question meets the legal standard.
If you are a victim of a dog attack, you should seek immediate medical attention to rule out the risk of rabies, infection, or other complications. You should also notify the police department and your local animal control agency, if applicable, to insure the dog is quarantined and to create a record of the incident. It is also advisable to obtain pictures of your injuries because later they will be useful in showing the severity of the attack. Remember that these injuries could be extremely serious and can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. Dog attacks can often result in lasting emotional trauma such as anxiety attacks, fear of animals, and loss of sleep. This is why it is so important that you seek legal assistance with an experienced dog bite attorney. We will help guide you through the complex statutes and ordinances regarding dog bites and other animal attacks. We will gather and evaluate your medical information and negotiate aggressively on your behalf with the animal owner and their insurance company to obtain a fair result, or go to trial if necessary.
Lakeland Dog Bite Attorney
Pedro Morales, Burnetti, P.A.