While dog attacks are not common in Florida, the potential damage can be serious. It is estimated about 5 million people are bitten by a domestic animal each year. Out of those, about 800,000 seek medical attention, and a handful of wounds even become fatal.
The physical and emotional effects of a dog bite can affect a person for the rest of their lives – especially a child. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering. Contact the dog bite attorneys at Leifer Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Understanding the “One Bite” Rule
In the state, there is a “One Bite” rule. That means that a dog could bite someone one time without the owner being charged criminally. But, that doesn’t mean they are free and clear of any civil claims filed against them. According to Florida statute FLSA 767.04, an owner is liable for any injuries sustained if:
- The dog bites someone
- The person was in a public place or lawfully on the owner’s property
Dangerous Dog Breeds
The Animal People compiled a list of the deadliest and most dangerous dog breeds out there. This list was created by looking at the number of injuries and attacks between 1982 and 2013.
According to the study, the most dangerous breeds included:
- Pit bulls
- Presa canaries
- Fila brasieros
- Can corsos
- …and any mixes of those breeds
The dog breeds most likely to cause death were:
- Pit bulls
- Wolf hybrids
- Bull Mastiff
- German Shepherd
- Doberman pincher
It is important to realize, however, that a dangerous dog breed is not always inherently dangerous. How the dog is trained can also play a role in whether or not the dog is likely to attack someone.
Common Injuries from Dog Bites
Injuries from dog bites are serious, and could have long-term emotional and physical effects on the victim. According to the CDC, there are nearly 4.5 million Americans injured by dogs each year. Approximately half of these cases are children. In 2012, it was reported that over 27,000 individuals had to go through reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite.
Dog bites, no matter how severe, require medical attention. At the very least, a victim will need rabies shots and possibly antibiotics to avoid any serious complications.
Some common injuries seen with these types of vicious attacks include:
- Bites – These include tearing and puncture of the skin. Because the fangs of a dog are quite long, the cuts and lacerations can go very deep. Also, the victim may have scratches or other cuts associated with the attack.
- Scars – Most victims of dog bite attacks have scars. These scars can permanently disfigure a person and lead to lifelong physical and emotional effects. Facial scars may require multiple costly and painful plastic surgeries to correct.
- Emotional Trauma – Being attacked by a vicious dog can also leave a person emotionally scarred. They may be afraid of animals the rest of their lives, or even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and associated issues.
- Rabies – Rabies attacks the brain and central nervous system. It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and it can be fatal if the victim is not treated in time. Most victims receive rabies shots after an attack, but these shots are extremely painful and require a series of six to fully treat the victim.
- Brain or Head Injuries – If the dog bites the victim in the head, then he or she may suffer trauma. But, most often victims fall down fighting off the dog, and will hit their heads on the ground below them.
- Broken Bones – The jaws of a dog are extremely powerful; therefore, a dog could easily puncture the skin and crush the bones beneath. Certain dog breeds are known for clamping down on their victims and crushing the bones.
- Death – While rare, there are still fatal dog attacks that happen each year in the United States.
Hire a Boca Raton Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite or dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation. The dog bite attorneys at Leifer Law Firm will aggressively protect your rights and ensure the owner of that vicious dog is held liable for their negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.