Man’s best friend is not always so friendly. There is no rhyme or reason as to when a dog bite will occur. There is also no hard and fast rule which type of dog will bite. For example, some pit bulls are very sweet animals that would never hurt anyone. Meanwhile, a cute, tiny dog can launch a vicious attack without any warning. If you have been attacked by a dog, it is important for you to know the law in Florida on this subject, the proper care for your injuries.
Our Boca Raton dog bite injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for injuries caused by a dangerous animal or negligent dog owner. Contact us for a free legal consultation on your potential dog bite case today.
Florida Dog Bite Laws and Owner Liability
Florida’s dog bite statute, 767.04, states that a dog owner is liable for injuries if the dog bites another person, if the person is in a public place or lawfully in a private place. Florida follows a strict liability standard. Strict liability means that if your dog bites someone, you are at fault, even if you dog is not aggressive at all and has never bit anyone in the past.
There are only two dog bite defenses an dog owner to argue that might be considered. A dog owner could argue that the injured person was trespassing and therefore should not be responsible for the injuries caused, in part, because the victim decided to be a trespasser.
The other defense a dog owner might raise is comparative negligence. Under Florida’s dog bite law, if a dog bite injury victim’s own negligence is partly the cause of the dog bite, the amount of damages a liable owner must pay will be reduced by a percentage equal to the percentage of blame assigned to the injured person. If, for example you were teasing the dog and shortly thereafter, the dog attacked you, a court may find that your conduct, in part, caused the accident. As a result, the court may decide to reduce your damages award by the percentage of your comparative negligence. For example, the court find that a plaintiff’s injuries have a value of $50,000.00, but then finds there was 25% in comparative negligence on the behalf of the plaintiff. Therefore, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced to $37,500.00
If you recently suffered a dog bite, there are things you should know about how dog bites should be treated.
Proper Care for Dog Bites
A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on the following:
Type of animal: Most dog bites can be stitched, especially if the wound is large. In general, cat bites are not stitched. Cat bites are usually puncture wounds and can be quite deep. Cat bites have a higher risk of infection than dog bites. Human bites are not usually stitched unless they are on the face or ear. Human bites have a high risk of infection.
The size and location of the bite – Bites to the hand or foot, whether from an animal or a human, are generally not stitched. These bites carry a high risk of infection, and stitching the wound further increases the likelihood of infection. In some situations, a dog bite to the hand may be stitched. Treatment by a health professional is more likely to be needed for bites that are more than 0.25 in. deep, that have jagged edges, or that gape open. Bites on the face, lips, eyelids or any area where scarring may be a concern should be treated with stiches. Also, if the bites continuously bleeds for more than 15 minutes after direct pressure has been applied, should be treated with sutures or stiches.
Time since the bite occurred – It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a health professional. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains untreated. Most wounds that require treatment should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury. If stitches may be needed, avoid using an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment until after a health professional has examined the wound.
Boca Raton Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
At Accident Attorneys Boca Raton, we have years and years of experience with cases animal bites. We know how to fight for our clients had a terrible experience against man’s best friend. If you have been injured by a dog in any way, please contact our office for a free consultation. Our firm will answer all your questions, so you can make an informed decision.