Dog Bites Can Be Serious: Contact Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Attorneys at The Winston Law Firm If Injured

4.5 million. According to the CDC, that is the number of Americans bitten by dogs yearly. While some of these bites may be minor, roughly one out of every five people bitten requires medical attention, and half of those victims are children. Dog bites must be taken seriously because a dog owner does not adequately constrain or control their pet. While holding an animal legally accountable for its actions does not make sense, holding an owner accountable for their negligence in handling their dog does make sense.

If you or your child has suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Florida, contact the personal injury law firm of The Winston Firm to learn more about what you can do. It may be worth pursuing a lawsuit not only to recover the compensation you need for medical bills but also to show the dog owner that their negligence has consequences and to give them an incentive to control their dog better, hopefully preventing future accidents from occurring.

Common Injuries from Dog Bites

Sometimes, a dog might lightly nip at a person they mistakenly believe wants to play with them, but other times, dogs will bite because they are scared, are protecting their territory, or are aggressive. These bites can result in much more severe injuries. As dog bite attorneys, we have seen many different types of injuries that have required medical attention, including:

  • Infection: If a dog bite breaks the skin and is not cleaned correctly, there is a relatively high chance of infection. You can reduce the chances of infection by washing the wound with soap and water, applying a sterile bandage, and applying an antibiotic cream to the wound daily until it heals. However, if you cannot do this or the wound still becomes infected, seek medical attention and contact a personal injury lawyer.
  • Facial scarring: Children are particularly at risk for facial scarring, as their faces are likely closer to a dog’s teeth. According to the CDC, more than 27,000 people required facial reconstructive surgery in 2012 because of dog bites.
  • Emotional trauma: This is another issue that is particularly common in children bitten by dogs, although adults may suffer psychological damage as well. In addition to medical bills, someone bitten by a dog might have to pay for psychological treatment to overcome the emotional trauma and psychological damage that it caused.
  • Nerve damage: We often forget that dogs are predators. Because of this, they have strong jaws and sharp teeth to help them clamp down on their prey. When they attack humans, the bites are often deep and may inflict nerve damage, which can lead to long-lasting chronic pain and mobility issues. If you suffer this kind of life-changing injury due to a negligent dog owner, you should seek monetary compensation by contacting Andrew Winston.

What legal action can you take if you are Bitten by a Dog in Florida?

As we mentioned, the owner, not the dog, is legally responsible when a dog bite occurs. Florida has stringent animal laws to prevent the public from being harmed by dogs. In Miami, Davie, and surrounding Florida cities, municipal codes have sections that affirm these state laws on a local level and include variations that a Florida dog bite lawyer will be familiar with.

In short, dog owners are expected to ensure that their animals are kept on their property and that they are sufficiently restrained and under the owner’s control when off the property. Dogs are not allowed to roam at large, and guests visiting or residing on a property where a dog is present should also expect the owner to ensure their safety.

Despite such clear-cut laws and ordinances, people are sometimes put into situations where they are vulnerable to dog bites. Perhaps the owner was negligent by letting his dog run loose in the neighborhood, or perhaps the owner miscalculated the dog’s reaction in a given circumstance, and a person was bitten. Whether intentional or accidental, the dog owner is responsible.

However, it is also important to recognize that when a dog bite occurs in Florida, the onus is on the victim to prove that the owner was negligent or permitted the dog bite to occur. A South Florida lawyer experienced with dog bite cases will be able to help prove these circumstances. Your accident attorney at The Winston Law Firm will investigate your case and seek evidence to help you recover compensation for medical expenses and other injury costs.

Why You Should Contact The Winston Law Firm after a Dog Bite

Dog bite cases are anything but simple. Besides proving the incident after the fact, there is the injury itself to cope with and a potentially prolonged recovery period. The victim may require a series of rabies shots, psychological treatment, or even reconstructive surgery. The cost associated with a dog bite can be much more far-reaching than most people anticipate and may include medical and therapy bills, lost wages, and ongoing pain and suffering.

A dog bite attorney can be instrumental in ensuring that a victim receives all the care and treatment necessary for recovery. Work with The Winston Law Firm to reach a settlement or verdict to help you get your life back on track.

If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog in Florida, contact Andrew Winston for a free consultation to discuss the incident and determine what recourse you may have. Call our offices at 954-606-6606 (South Florida) or 866-306-9606 (Toll-free).

You may also email or fill out our short online contact form; someone from our office will get back to you promptly.

Dog bite cases are time-sensitive, so do not delay if you are considering legal action.