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Dog Profile

Dog Bite Injury

Dog Bite Injury

There are an estimated 75 million dogs in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those dog bites, about 800,000 cause serious injuries that require medical attention. Approximately, 1000 people visit hospital emergency rooms each day due to dog bites. Unfortunately, the majority of dog bite victims are children, half of which are bitten in the face. Dog bites account for the fifth most common reason for children visiting hospital emergency rooms.


If you’ve been a victim of a dog bite injury let the experience of Florida personal injury firm Lewis & Williams help you.


The Florida personal injury attorneys at Lewis & Williams offer free case consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing unless we win your case.


We’ve had many years of experience helping those suffering from personal injuries including dog bite injuries. With over 45 years of combined experience, the lawyers and professional expert’s team at Lewis & Williams have won millions of dollars in damages for their clients.


Some insurance companies will immediately offer a settlement but even if you’ve been promised a settlement, don’t accept anything until you’ve spoken to a Florida dog bite injury attorney at Lewis & Williams.


Over 40 percent of dog owners acquired their pets mainly for protection. Dogs from breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and Mastiffs—some of the most dangerous dog breeds.


Children are more likely to be attacked by dogs because of their size. Most dog breeds are instinctually inhibited from attacking someone larger than the dog itself. There is a noticeable exception to this general rule. That is the Pit Bull. Pit Bulls are one breed that statistically attack adults as often as children.


The following breeds have been reported as being involved in the most lethal attacks:


  •     Doberman Pinschers

  •     Pit Bulls

  •     Rottweilers

  •     Presa Canarios and their mixes

  •     German Shepards

  •     Huskies

  •     Alaskan Malamutes

  •     Chows

  •     Great Danes

  •     St. Bernards

  •     Akitas


Note: This doesn't mean other breeds are by definition less dangerous. Many other breeds have much more propensity for biting, however, simply due to their size, they are not likely to be involved in a lethal attack. Many bites by smaller breeds are not even reported.


When choosing a lawyer, it is critical that you hire an experienced Florida Dog Bite Lawyer. You should be comfortable with your lawyer's experience handling Florida Dog Bite Personal Injury Cases. in which you have been involved. Contact an Experienced Florida Dog Bite Lawyer.


Florida Dog Bite Law


Florida law has developed from one of general negligence, i.e. a dog bite victim used to have to show that the owner was somehow negligent in their control of the dog, to a more strict theory of liability for owners of dogs. Florida dog owners are now automatically liable for harms or damages caused by their dogs.


A.     Dog Injury Statute


Section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes. Owner's Liability for Damage Caused by Dog; 

767.04- Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten.—The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.


A person who has suffered severe injuries as a result of a pet owner's or property owners negligence may have the right to compensation. A person whose beloved child or other loved one has died as a result of a dog attack may also have a right to compensation and redress. Compensation may include reimbursement for:


  •     Medical Bills

  •     Hospital Bills

  •     Rehabilitation Costs

  •     Lost Wages

  •     Loss of Earning Capacity

  •     Pain and Other Physical Distress

  •     Psychological Suffering


When choosing a lawyer, it is critical that you hire an experienced Florida Dog Bite Lawyer. You should be comfortable with your lawyer's experience handling Florida Dog Bite Personal Injury Cases. in which you have been involved. Contact an Experienced Florida Dog Bite Lawyer.


Florida Dog Bite Prevention


Most experts agree that the majority of dog bites can be avoided, especially dog bites to children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most dog bites are preventable. There are certain things that potential dog bite victims should not do in order to lessen the likelihood of being bit by a dog. Also, there certain things that owners should do, in order to prevent dog bites.


A.    Do's & Dont's Around Dogs


  •     Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.

  •     Do not run from a dog and scream. You want to be boring and not engage the dog.

  •     Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.

  •     Do not pet a dog that appears sick or injured.

  •     Teach children to avoid escalating the situation by yelling, running, hitting or making sudden movements toward the dog.

  •     Teach kids to never pull a dog’s ears or tail, climb on or try to ride dogs.

  •     If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "like the drill for a tornado with your arms protecting your head").

  •     Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

  •     Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.

  •     Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.

  •     If the dog is on the other side of a fence, don’t reach through or over a fence to pet the dog.

  •     Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

  •     Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.

  •     If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.  


 B.     What Dog Owners Should Do


  •     Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household.

  •     Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in households with children.

  •     Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.

  •     Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a dog.

  •     Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it.

  •     Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation

  •     Use caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler.

  •     Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog and to show others that you are in control of your dog

  •     Spay/neuter virtually all dogs (this frequently reduces aggressive tendencies).

  •     Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.

  •     Do not play aggressive games with your dog (e.g., wrestling) as such teaches bad habits and bad behavior.

  •     Properly socialize and train any dog entering the household.

  •     Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g., rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling).

  •     Immediately seek professional advice (e.g., from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders) if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.


For more information about prevention of dog bites and model polices for the control of dangerous dogs, see the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions: A community approach to dog bite prevention.


If you’ve been attacked by a dog recently, or if your child or another family member was attacked by a dog:


  •     Take it seriously, no matter what the degree of injury. Keep all of the medical records regarding the treatment for the injury.

  •     Take photographs of the injuries, including for days or weeks after the attack.

  •     Do all that you can to safely identify both the dog and its owner.

  •     Write down all relevant information about the attack: the date/time, location, circumstances, witnesses’ information.


Don’t talk to the owner’s insurance agent or attorney about the dog attack or your injuries before consulting a Florida dog bite attorney. You are welcome and encouraged to contact Lewis & Williams. Contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and options. 


You don’t have to be just another statistic. Put the Florida personal injury firm of Lewis & Williams to work for you. Make an appointment for a free case consultation. If we determine that you have a legitimate case, we’ll work hard to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Remember, you pay nothing unless we win your personal injury case.


Contact an Experienced Florida Dog Bite Attorney. The personal injury attorneys here at the Law Offices of Lewis & Williams offer a free consultation. For more information call us today at 561-444-2260.

Law Offices of Lewis & Williams

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