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Dog Bites

It is no great revelation to say that people love dogs. Turn on your television and you will quickly lose count of how many dogs and puppies you see in commercials. We humans like to treat dogs like they are just like us.

It can, therefore, be quite easy to forget that dogs are animals that will defend themselves and their territory if they feel threatened. Furthermore, dog bites are extremely common and children are by far the most vulnerable.

Lawyer for Dog Bite Cases in Miami-Dade, FL

Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatizing experience. If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog you need to find legal representation. The attorneys at Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys are experienced trial attorneys that will make sure you or your loved one will be properly compensated for injures from a dog bite.

We serve the greater Miami-Dade area including Miami, Homestead, Hialeah, Coral Gardens, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, North Miami, Doral, Coral Gables, and Cutler Bay. Call us at (305) 709-0880 and make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys. We can evaluate your case and let you know what your next step should be.

Florida Dog Bite Information Center

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Dog Bite Data

While the government has not performed comprehensive studies on dog attacks for some years, it is estimated that between 4.5 million and 6.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year according to the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) last study in 2005. Below are some statistics about canine attacks:

  • 1 in 5 people that are bitten by a dog require medical attention according to the (CDC).
  • Up to 13,000 dog bites require hospitalization every year.
  • 3 percent to 18 percent of dog bite wounds become infected.
  • 7 million dogs live as pets across 40 percent of American households.
  • 54 percent of dog attack fatalities involve children under the age of 10. With males significantly more likely to suffer a fatal dog attack.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), summarized dog bite studies, and found that the breeds highly represented in serious bite injuries were German Shepherds, mixed breed, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Jack Russel Terriers.
  • The AVMA also notes that while pit bulls have a strong breed stigma, controlled studies have not found pit bulls to be disproportionately dangerous.

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Dog Bite Laws in Florida

Dog bites are such a prevalent problem that the Florida Statutes has separate sections for “Damage by Dogs” and for “Dangerous Dogs.” The most relevant portions of the law are discussed below.

  • The owner of any dog that bites a person, while that person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place, is liable for damages regardless of whether the dog was ever vicious before the incident. The last part regarding viciousness is interesting because many states make” vicious propensity” a factor for liability.
  • A person is lawfully on private property if they are invited, performing a duty imposed by the laws of the state, or performing a duty imposed by postal regulations. Another interesting note is mailmen are specifically accounted for in the statue.
  • Liability can be mitigated if the person that was bitten acted negligently and contributed to being bitten. For instance if a person antagonizes a dog, liability can be reduced by a percentage equal to the amount that the person contributed to being bitten.
  • An owner can avoid liability if they prominently place a sign on their premises that includes the words “Bad Dog.” This exception does not apply if the bite was caused by negligence of the owner or if the person bitten is under the age of 6.

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Preventing Dog Bites

It is best to avoid dog bites all together. The CDC has produced some helpful tips for preventing and dealing with dog bites.

Avoiding Dog Bites

  • Always ask if it is okay to pet someone else’s dog that you do not know.
  • Let an unfamiliar dog see and sniff you before you try to pet it.
  • Remain still if you are approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not approach or make eye contact with an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not panic or run from a dog.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

What to do if Bitten by a Dog

  • Wash minor wounds and apply antibiotics and bandages. If the wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen; if you develop a fever; or if the dog that bit you was acting strangely, see a healthcare provider.
  • For a deep wound; apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop bleeding. If bleeding does not stop or you feel faint, call 911.
  • See a healthcare provider if the wound causes uncontrolled bleeding, loss of function, extreme pain, or muscle or bone exposure.
  • You should also see a healthcare provider if it has been more than 5 years since your last tetanus shot.

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Miami-Dade Dog Bite Resources

Florida Dog Statutes – Florida has two sections of its statutes dedicated to dogs. Part I is about damage by dogs, specifically liability of owners when people or dairy cattle are injured. Part I also includes a section for a defense for killing a dog. It also has a specific section dedicated to dogs that have killed sheep.  Part II is in regards to classifying and disposition of dangerous dogs.

CDC Dog Bite Prevention – The CDC has a general information page regarding dog bites. The following link will provide some general statistics, tips for prevention, and a breakdown of diseases related to dog bites. Following the link to the page, you will also find a link to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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Dog Bite Attorney in Miami-Dade, FL

If you have been involved in a dog bite incident it is highly advised you seek out legal counsel. Finding an experienced attorney should be the first step you take in protecting your rights. At Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys we have veteran trial attorneys who know what it takes to win cases.

We will aggressively protect the interests of you and your loved ones. Call us at (305) 709-0880 to make an appointment for a consultation. We serve the greater Miami-Dade area including Miami, Homestead, Hialeah, Palmetto Bay, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, North Miami, Doral, Coral Gables, and Cutler Bay and are ready to help you take your next step.

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