Sometimes, for whatever reason, dogs act on their instinct to defend themselves and attack humans they know or humans they don’t know. In some cases, they may attack unprovoked and without warning.
Dogs may have a history of being vicious, or they may become aggressive out of the blue just one time. Unfortunately, it only takes one dog attack to seriously injure (or kill) an unsuspecting person perceived as a threat by an angry dog.
Watching someone you love suffer is one of the worst experiences anyone can endure, and when parents witness their children being hurt, the pain is often unbearable. Many dog bites result in serious injuries to adults, but when dogs attack children, the injuries usually affect much more than the physical health of the child.
Children who suffer dog bites may suffer years of emotional trauma along with any physical injuries and/or scarring after the attack. Small children, adolescents, and young adults attacked by dogs often suffer a wide range of psychological trauma including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and:
- Mood swings/emotional lability
- Memory repression
- Sleep difficulty
- Being “on edge” and startling easily
- Being clingy with parents
- Acting out
Florida Dog Bite Law
If you or someone you love has suffered a dog bite that has required medical attention, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. If you have medical bills, lost time from work, physical therapy, counseling costs, and any other expenses resulting from the dog bite, you will need a Florida personal injury attorney who handles tough dog bite cases.
The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Florida is four years, which means the injured person must file a lawsuit within four years of the date of the dog bite. By meeting with experienced dog bite attorney Lee P. Marks as soon as possible, you’ll get a fighting chance to recover compensation for your losses and hold the owner of the dog accountable for the attack.
Florida follows the law of “strict liability” in dog bite cases. Strict liability states that a Florida dog owner may be held liable if his dog bites someone, even if the owner had no prior knowledge or warning that the dog might bite. It means that the victim doesn’t’ have to prove that a “lack of reasonable care” caused the dog bite.
Florida is a “comparative negligence” state, which means that if a person taunted a dog and the dog attacked, the person may be held partially responsible for the injuries he sustained. If a dog bite victim is deemed partially responsible for the attack (indicated by a percentage of liability), the dollar amount of compensation awarded in the case may be reduced.
Florida Dog Bite Statistics
As we all know, Florida is a destination for people of all ages from all over the world. Unfortunately, Florida has some of the most alarming dog bite statistics in the US:
- 600 Floridians are hospitalized annually for dog bites
- 2 Floridians die each year due to dog bites
- In 2018, Florida had the second highest number of dog bite claims out of all the states
- Dog bite claims in Florida in 2018 totaled over $56 million
- The average cost of a dog bite claim in Florida in 2018 was just under $44,000
If you or someone you love has suffered physical or psychological harm from a dog bite, please contact the Law Offices of Lee P. Marks, P.A. serving Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas of Florida.