Dog Bite Accident Lawyers in Miami, Florida, Representing Victims Injured by Another Owner’s Animal
We love the furry, feathered, and scaley animals we welcome into our homes as pets and companions. But however much they may love us back, they are still animals at heart, and animals can attack violently when they feel threatened. Dogs are, by far, the most popular animal companion kept in homes across the United States of America. And, despite the monicker of ‘man’s best friend,’ dogs bite, sometimes quite ferociously.
When a dog attacks a person, they almost invariably cause some form of physical and/or mental harm to the dog bite victim. If dog bite victims are lucky, they will walk away from the attack with only a cut and a case of anxiety. However, some victims are far less lucky. A serious dog bite incident can leave a victim hospitalized, disfigured, disabled, or, in some cases, claim the life of the victim.
Children under the age of six are the most likely to be bitten by a dog and are also those least capable of defending themselves from serious injury.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries from dog bite wounds, you may be eligible to pursue compensation from the pet owners. To discuss the potential of your dog bite claims, you are encouraged to contact an experienced dog bite attorney familiar with state laws pertaining to animal attacks.
At the personal injury law firm Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC, our dog bite lawyers are well-versed in handling these cases under Florida law. If it is possible to prove negligence on the part of the dog owners, we will seek maximum compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of this incident.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. In this consultation, we will examine the potential of your dog bite injury claim and help you determine what course of action you should take in pursuit of justice.
What Are the Statistics of Dog Bites in Florida and Across the Country?
There are some 70 million dogs across the United States. Every year, 4.5 million Americans become victims of dog bites, with hundreds of thousands of those victims needing medical attention.
In the state of Florida, there are approximately 600 hospitalized dog bite victims every year. Annually, an average of two Floridians will lose their lives as a result of their dog bite injuries.
While most reported dog bites are the result of a dog biting another person, sometimes the dog’s owner is the victim of a bite. In these cases, the dog owner was typically reported to be interacting with the dog at a time when the dog was not expecting physical closeness and touching. Such examples would include petting or getting close to the dog while it was eating, chewing a toy, or waking the dog from a deep sleep. Dog owners can also be the victims of dog bites when they try to separate two dogs from fighting.
Most dog attacks on strangers result from a dog feeling protective over its property or family. Wandering dogs that are off-leash are also commonly seen in dog bite cases.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Dog bites can inflict injuries that vary from minor to severe. The difference in the type of injury often depends on the strength of the animal vs. the strength of the victim and the victim’s actions at the time of the animal attack. This is to say, how a dog bite victim responds to their attacker can be a deciding factor in how badly they are injured in the biting incident.
Commonly seen dog bite injuries and disorders include:
- Broken bones and fractures.
- Internal organ damage.
- Loss of limbs.
- Permanent scarring.
- Psychological damage.
- Puncture wounds.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
What Typically Causes a Dog to Bite?
We do not want to pass the blame onto the dog bite victims. However, sometimes the cause of a dog bite is the behavior of the human themselves. For example, those who interfere with a dog while it is eating, chewing a bone, or waking it from a deep slumber may get bitten as the animal reacts suddenly to the unexpected human interaction.
Those who abuse and harm dogs can also expect to be attacked, as the dog seeks to defend itself the only way it knows how.
No matter how well you know that dog, leaving children alone with a dog is ill-advised. Children can climb all over dogs and hurt them by accident. The animal needs only a single second of impatience to bite the child and cause lasting injuries.
Additionally, those who trespass or get too close to a dog’s family may provoke the dog into attacking in order to defend its family (its pack). This is why, even on private property, if the dog is outside, it should be leashed at all times.
What is Considered the Most Dangerous Florida Dog Breed?
Pit bulls are considered the easy #1 most threatening dog breed. Some of this reputation is earned; some of it is not. Pit bulls are often trained as guard dogs and fight dogs because of their muscular form and powerful jaws. When guard dogs and fight dogs are mistreated or set loose without being rehabilitated, they can pose a threat to the community.
The pit bull can also be a sweetheart family dog when given the proper care. Try telling that to an home insurance company, though. Owning a pit bull can result in huge spikes in insurance rates, and some insurance companies refuse to cover a pit bull dog bite. In certain jurisdictions and planned communities, the breed is banned altogether.
Following the pit bull, the breeds that are considered the ‘most dangerous’ in Florida include:
- German Shepherds.
- Great Danes.
- Presa Canarios.
- Staffordshire Terriers.
Research shows that there is no true bad dog breed. Every dog can be loving or violent, regardless of its genetic history. What makes for a ‘bad dog’ is often mistreatment, malnutrition, abuse, and sickness. A dog does not want to hurt people. But if a dog owner trains a dog to inflict damage, then it may be only a matter of time before the animal attacks a human being.
Does Florida Have a ‘One-Bite’ Rule?
Florida law does not recognize the so-called ‘one-bite rule’ for a dog that had been previously believed to be docile and safe.
Florida is a strict liability state. This means that a dog owner can be held liable if their dog bit a person, even if there was no record of their dog ever showing aggression at any previous time.
Is the Dog Owner Held Liable for the Bite Victims’ Injuries?
A successful dog bite lawsuit must show the dog owner’s negligence led, in some way, to the dog attack. The dog bite injury victim must show that they did nothing to provoke the dog. Similarly, the victim must have been either on public property or have been present on the dog owner’s property with consent from the owner.
Depending on the case’s particulars, dog owners may be held accountable for personal injury in civil and criminal courts.
Suppose a dog owner posted signs declaring ‘warning, beware of dog’ and the victim ignored those signs and proceeded to enter the dog’s property. In that case, it may prove difficult to hold the dog’s owner financially responsible. Additionally, if it is shown that the victim’s comparative negligence led to the dog bite, then it may be difficult to recover compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer Today
If you or a family member have been the victim of a dog bite injury, you may be eligible to pursue compensation with a personal injury lawsuit. For a better chance of success in personal injury cases, it is recommended that the victim hire the legal representation of a personal injury attorney.
Our dog bite lawyers have years of experience representing clients with their dog bite injury claims at our firm. With a well-constructed dog bite claim, you may be able to financially recover compensation for lost wages, property damage, and medical bills.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please contact our Florida dog bite lawyers at 305-344-4878