Around 4.5 million people are attacked or bitten by dogs every year at a cost of $500 million. Dogs can turn aggressive for no apparent reason at all, leading to serious dog bite injuries, many of them significant injuries that require years of therapy and rehab and a lifetime of pain and disfigurement. If you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog, you can recover damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages and cost of future medical care. The Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman and our Miramar dog bite attorney are ready to help.
Statistics on Dog Bites
The most-likely-to-attack dog is the pit bull; bites from pit bulls account for 65 percent of all dog bite incidents across the country. The two next most-dangerous dogs combined – the rottweiler and the German shepherd – don’t account for as many bites as the pit bull. Those at the greatest risk for being bitten or attacked by a dangerous dog are children age 14 and under and the elderly. Most of the time, the person being attacked knows the dog, but that is not always true. Dogs in parks often bite complete strangers, sometimes because they are afraid or feel like their owners are in danger, but many times, there is no apparent reason for the attack. Two people on average each year in Florida die from injuries sustained during a dog attack, and dogs off their leashes cause around one-third of all dog bites.
Miramar, Florida Dog Bite Liability
Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite injuries, although the degree of liability depends on the circumstances of the case. If the victim is lawfully present in a private or public space, then the owner of the dog is likely held accountable for any injuries the dog causes, regardless of whether or not the dog has shown aggressive tendencies in the past. An exception to this liability is when the victim in the dog bite attack provokes the dog; in this case, the victim is usually held at least partially negligent and that is taken into consideration when determining damages. A second exception is if the dog attack occurs on the dog owner’s property and the owner has posted a sign in a highly visible area that warns that the dog is dangerous. This limits the dog owner’s liability. This exception is not applicable if the bite victim is a child.
Emotional Challenge of Dog Bite Claims
Dog bite claims are complex from a legal standpoint, with successful claims most often launched by a seasoned dog bite attorney. However, there is also an emotional challenge for some dog bite victims in even bringing forth a claim against the dog’s owner, since it is oftentimes a friend or even a family member who owns the dangerous dog. Many clients are apprehensive to come forward and file a legal claim because of the relationship they have with the owner. However, most often it is the dog owner’s home insurance policy that covers dog bite claims, not the owner personally, which negates some of the tension victims may feel.
The trauma of a dog bite injury results in both physical and psychological damage to the victim. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries to the fullest extent allowable. Contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman, PA for a free case review by our Miramar dog bite team today.