Orlando Dog Bite Attorney
Representing Victims of animal Attacks in Florida
A recent survey conducted in the United States estimated that there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites each year. Nearly 1,000 people are treated for injuries from a dog bite each day in emergency rooms across the country. Fatalities from dog bites are not extremely common, however, the physical and emotional devastation caused by a horrifying attack may have lasting consequences. Most dog bites occur on the owner’s property and the majority of victims are family or friends of the owner. The dog owner and property owner may share responsibility for the attack in some circumstances.
Florida Dog Bite Laws
By Florida law, whether a dog bites because it felt threatened or simply because it was not restrained, it is the responsibility of the owner if it attacks someone. The Florida Dog Bite Law says the following:
- A dog owner can be held liable if their dog bites someone in a public area or who is legally on their property
- Strict Liability means that dog owners can be held liable for a bite regardless of fault or intent
- If a dog is declared “dangerous”, it has to be registered with the state and kept inside a sheltered area with “danger” signs at all places of entry. The dog must have a muzzle if taken to a public place
- If a “dangerous dog” bites someone, the owner may be liable for criminal charges
What Can You Do If You’ve Been Bitten?
If you’ve been bitten, you have the ability to legally hold the dog owner liable. Typically, owners are sued under negligence or negligence per se statues, which say that the dog owner didn’t do enough to reasonably keep the dog from injuring a person. If the injury received from the dog was intentional on the part of the owner, a claim can be made under intentional tort, which means that a dog owner intended for the dog to hurt someone. No matter what your situation, if you’ve been bitter by a dog, don’t suffer alone. Contact an attorney immediately to get advice on how you can get legally compensated for your injuries and medical bills.
What To Do After a Dog Bite
The moments immediately after you’ve suffered a dog bite are stressful and confusing. The surprise of the attack, combined with the pain you’re suffering, make the decision-making process difficult. However, it’s crucial that you take the steps needed to protect yourself and any future injury claim you might make. Doing so will enable our Orlando injury lawyers to help you pursue compensation when the time comes.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority is your health. After being bitten by a dog, do not just walk away thinking everything is OK. Even severe injuries can take a long time to show up, and their symptoms are often subtle and can lead to scarring and disfigurement.
If an ambulance has been called to the scene, accept whatever help the EMTs might offer. If there’s no ambulance, go to your doctor or the nearest hospital. Get thoroughly checked out and follow all the instructions your doctor gives you.
Further, you should be sure to get copies of any medical records that come out of the attack. This information will prove invaluable to your injury lawyer should you decide to file a claim.
Notify the Owner, Learn About the Dog
After receiving all the medical attention that trained professionals recommend, speak to the dog’s owner about the incident. Be calm and polite and don’t get into any arguments. Don’t admit any fault for the attack.
Instead, notify the owner and get as much information about the dog as possible. That includes age, breed and whether the dog is up to date on its shots. This information will be useful to your injury lawyer, but also to your doctor as he treats the bite.
Notify Animal Control
It’s important that you let your local animal control unit know of the attack. They will quarantine the animal, review its medical history, test it for rabies and other diseases and keep records of the attack.
The phone number for Orange County animal control is 407-254-9410.
Contact an Injury Lawyer
Finally, contact our experienced injury lawyers.
It’s easy after a dog bite to shrug off the attack and talk yourself into dealing with the incident on your own. This is understandable, but you should always have someone representing you. Mr. Barszcz is experienced with animal attacks and knows how to pursue a case involving dog bite injuries.
Speaking to our injury lawyers does not obligate you to anything, but it does give you the opportunity to learn about your options and have a discussion about what to do next.
Considerations for Dog Owners
Veterinarians, animal behaviorists and responsible breeders can aid in helping you to determine which breed of dog is safest for your household. Dogs that tend to be aggressive are not suitable for homes that have other pets and children. The dog owner has a responsibility to know the animal and to prevent any attacks, especially if the animal has a violent history. The owner should understand the significance of prior episodes of aggressive behavior and should take appropriate measures to assure that the general public is not subjected to danger of attack.
Preventing Dog Bites
Animal experts offer the following tips to reduce your likelihood of injury:
- Avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog
- Avoid screaming or running from an aggressive dog
- When approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain still
- If a dog knocks you over, curl up in a ball and do not move
- Do not play with an unfamiliar dog unless the owner is present
- Avoid stray dogs and report them, especially if they present strange behavior
- Do not make direct eye contact with a dog, it is considered a challenge
- Do not disturb a mother dog with puppies, or a dog that is eating or sleeping
- Do not pet a dog unless it has been able to see and smell you first
- Report a bite immediately to the owner and seek medical attention
Contact the Firm Today!
At the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., our Florida dog bite lawyerrepresents clients on a contingency basis. This means that the attorneys are only paid a fee if there is a recovery in your case. To learn more about legal representation for a dog bite claim, please contact the MDJDat the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., for a free consultation.
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