Dealing with Dog Bites
Miami and North Miami Beach Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Accident Victims Seeking Compensation for Dog Attacks in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties
Best Advice by Perazzo Law for Dealing with Dog Bites
If you, a loved-one, or family member has been bitten by a dog in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Davie, Kendall, or any other city in Miami-Dade or Broward County, Perazzo Law suggests you read our best advice for dealing with dog bites.
You will hear many people approach a dog owner and ask him/her the question; "Does it bit?" The answer is' "YES, dogs bite!" Though many dogs, especially little ones, might seem friendly and cute, they have teeth, and those teeth are there to bite. Though a Chihuahua may not represent grave danger to another individual, their bite may lead to serious complications by way of infection or permanent scarring.
Dog bites in Miami-Dade and Broward County take place all the time in both rural and urban areas where dogs and humans coexist. A dog may attack a stranger out of sheer instinct or under the direct orders of its owner. Many times, people approach dogs because the dog may seem harmless or gentle, but many dogs may react defensively to a stranger's touch. Dogs bite more than 4.5 million people in the USA every year, with most of the dog bit victims being children aged 5 thru 9 years of age. Though most dog bites don't go beyond minor flesh wounds, 20% of dog bites cause injuries that require medical care.
Determining the Severity of a Dog Bite
A dog bite by a stray dog or by a dog that lacks proper vaccination may lead to infections such as rabies or tetanus. If the skin surface around the dog bite turns red, swells, or causes pain, there may be a rabies or tetanus infection that requires medical treatment. The dog bite may be considered serious if there is heavy bleeding, if the wound emits pus or feels tender, grows numb, if a fever develops, or if the victims lymph nodes swell. If any of these symptoms follow a dog bite, the dog bite victim MUST seek immediate medical attention. Less serious dog bites may only require first aid attention that includes cleansing the wound with soap and water, flushing out as much bacteria as possible by applying pressure to the wound in the event the dog's teeth pierce the victim's skin. After wiping the wound clean, it should be wrapped in a sterile bandage. It's important to keep an eye on the wound to make sure no signs of infection appear. If so, seek medical care. A healthcare practitioner may prescribe an antibiotic combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate to treat a dog bite infection. If a person is bitten by a large and aggressive dog, stitches or surgical intervention may be required to heal the wound. Scarring is very important to the proper healing of a serious dog bite.
If you, a loved one, or family member has been bit by a stray dog in Miami-Dade or Broward County, the Perazzo Law firm recommends seeking immediate medical care to rule out any possible infection.
Dog Bites and Florida Law
According to Florida Statute 767.04, Dog owners are legally liable for any injuries or damages brought about to innocent parties as a result of their dog biting or attacking them. This does not necessarily apply to dogs that attack and bite trespassers. However, it must be proven by law that a trespassers was indeed a trespasser and that there wasn't negligence on behalf of the injured party. Following a dog bite, the victim should report the dog bite incident as soon as possible if legal action is to be sought. However, there is a statute of limitations for presenting a legal claim against a dog owner or to file a lawsuit for a dog bite. A person that was bitten by a dog in Miami-Dade or Broward County must file his/her lawsuit within four years of the dog bite incident. To report a dog bite, the victim may file a police report or contact the Dangerous Dog Hotline at 136 186 and follow the instructions for filing a dog bite complaint.
Dog owners need to be aware of the fact that, contrary to many states, Florida does not implement the "One Bite Law", which provides the dog and the dog owner with some leniency when facing charges for a dog bite. Though there are exceptions to the rule, it was mainly conceived to take into consideration the dogs natural animal instinct, as dogs are in fact closely related to wolves. Sadly for dogs and dog owners, Florida enforces "Dangerous Dog Laws" which is used to label dogs with a history of aggressive behavior that may have led to an attack or bite. In the event that the dog causes severe personal injuries to an individual, the dog may be legally required to be put down. If the dog receives a justifiable pardon, the owner may have to agree to a number of set conditions in order to avoid having the dog put down. One condition may be that the dog be confined or leashed on a permanent basis; depending on the characteristics of each dog, of course. Following a dog bite, the victim should report the dog bite incident as soon as possible if legal action is to be sought. However, there is a statute of limitations for presenting a legal claim against a dog owner or to file a lawsuit for a dog bite. It is also worth noting that Florida does not have a 'Leash Law' though some areas restrict urban households to limit the number of dogs to two or three. This does not apply to rural areas as long as the dogs don't bring about property damage or loss to their neighbors.
What Dogs are Considered Illegal in Florida?
Floridians are not permitted by law to own any dog they want. Some dogs are restricted in Florida. These are:
- The Argentine Dogo (Argentine Mastiff)
- The Brazilian Fila (Brazilian Mastiff)
- The Japanese Tosa
- The American Pit Bull and other Pit Bull breeds.
- Podenco Canario Dogs
- Mixed breeds dogs of the above mentioned breeds.
If you, a family member or loved-one has been bit by a dog, the Perazzo Law Firm urges you to contact our Miami or North Miami Beach office ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation to find out more about Dog Bite Claims for Compensation in Miami-Dade and Broward County.
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