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4.5 million. That is the number of Americans who are bitten by dogs every year, according to the CDC. While some of these bites may be minor, roughly one out of every five people bitten require medical attention, and half of those victims are children. It is clear that dog bites need to be taken seriously, especially when they occur because a dog owner does not properly constrain or control their pet. While it does not make sense to hold an animal legally accountable for its actions, it does make sense to hold an owner accountable for their negligence in handling their dog.
If you or your child has suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Florida, contact the personal injury law firm of Andrew Winston 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 to show the dog owner that their negligence has consequences and to give them an incentive to better control their dog, hopefully preventing future accidents from occurring.
Sometimes a dog might lightly nip at a person who 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, and these bites can result in much more serious injuries. As dog bite attorneys, we have seen many different types of injuries that have required medical attention, including:
As we mentioned previously, it is the owner, not the dog, who is deemed legally responsible when a dog bite occurs. The state of Florida has stringent animal laws in place 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 also include variations that a Florida dog bite lawyer will be well familiar with.
In short, there is an expectation that dog owners will ensure that their animals are kept on their property, and that they are sufficiently restrained and under the control of the owner when off property. Dogs are not allowed to roam at large, and guests visiting a property where a dog is present or resides should also expect that the owner will ensure their safety.
Despite such clear cut laws and ordinances, however, 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 as a result. 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 who is experienced with dog bite cases will be able to help prove these circumstances. Your accident attorney at the Law Firm of Andrew Winston will investigate your case and look for evidence that can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses and other injury costs.
Dog bite cases are anything but simple. Besides the task of proving the incident after the fact, there is the injury itself to cope with, as well as 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 to their recovery. Work with Andrew Winston to reach a settlement or verdict that can 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).
Dog bite cases are time-sensitive, so do not delay if you are considering legal action.