Articles Posted in Dog Bite Injuries

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Summer in Florida is a time when kids are out of school and when people take vacations and spend time outdoors. Unfortunately, the more time everyone is spending outside at parks and in neighborhoods, the greater the chances of a dog bite incident occurring. 1267447_muzzled.jpg

While dogs can be man’s best friend, our Fort Myers dog bite attorneys know that they can also cause serious harm if they bite or attack. It is essential that everyone do what they can to stay safe this summer and avoid a bite incident.

Florida Dog Bite Laws
Under Florida law, dog owners are strictly liable if their dog bites someone. This means that a person who has a dog can be held responsible for paying for all costs and losses caused by a dog bite regardless of whether the dog has ever bitten anyone before. As long as the bite occurred when the victim was lawfully on private property or occurred in a public location and as long as the dog wasn’t provoked, the dog’s owner is to blame.

Dog owners can also be held liable based on their negligence if they knowingly have a dangerous dog.

With Florida’s strict liability rules for dog owners, everyone who has a dog should take care to prevent their dog from biting others. Dog owners should:

  • Seek behavioral training for any signs of aggression.
  • Refrain from leaving their dog chained up and alone for many hours, which can foster aggression.
  • Socialize and train their dogs in proper behavior from the time the animals are puppies.
  • Keep their dogs on leashes and/or in secured homes or yards at all times.

Ultimately, each dog owner must take responsibility for preventing injury to others. It is the dog owner who will need to pay for the costs of injuries and it is the dog owner who is in the best position to stop a bite or attack before it starts.

Don’t Become a Dog Bite Victim While the dog owner is primarily responsible for his or her dog’s behavior, this doesn’t mean that everyone else shouldn’t take steps to protect themselves from dog bites as well. It is also especially important for parents to teach their children how to be safe around dogs.

Some tips to ensure you do not become the victim of a dog attack include:

  • Never approaching strange dogs that you do not know. If you or your child wishes to pet a dog, ask the owner first.
  • Staying away from dogs that are eating and avoiding taking a toy from a dog. Some dogs become aggressive or guard their food or possessions and you don’t want to take a chance of getting bit by a dog that has guarding tendencies.
  • Teaching your children how to interact safely with dogs, including letting the dog sniff their hands before petting and treating dogs with kindness.
  • Supervising children when they are around dogs.
  • Refraining from yelling, shouting or using high pitched and nervous voices around strange or aggressive dogs, as this can increase excitement and up the chances of someone getting hurt.

By following these basic safety tips, you can hopefully stay safe around all dogs that you encounter and avoid a dangerous bite or attack incident this summer season.
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Many families were blessed with a new family member over the holidays. We’re talking about a new wet nose and a wagging tail as people invite pets into their home.

It’s important that your take the proper safety steps when introducing this new family member to your household. Our Cape Coral dog bite attorneys are here to offer you some important tips. Dog bite incidents injure millions of Americans each and every year, but there are ways that you can work to minimize these risks.
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The first thing you want to do is prep your home. Make sure you have plenty of puppy supplies. You want to make sure that you have safe chew toys, water bowls, the proper collar and leash, bedding and the right grooming tools. You’re going to also want to make sure that everyone understands their responsibilities with your new dog. Make sure everyone knows who’s going to walk them in the morning, afternoon and night.

It’s important that everyone knows how to act safely around your pup, too!

-Talk with a professional! Make sure you’ve chosen a pup that fits the needs of your household.

-Avoid choosing a pup that has a history of aggression.

-Be wary of children. They might not always be as welcoming to pups as you are. Take notice of their behavior, especially frightened behaviors. Talk with them about important safety tips, too!

-Before bringing a dog in, make sure that they’re spayed or neutered. This will help to calm aggression.

-Never leave young children alone with a dog. Always provide them with the proper supervision.

-Never play aggressive games with your new pup.

-Make sure that they’re properly trained and socialized. Teach them submissive behaviors.

-If your dog begins to display aggressive behaviors, talk with a professional.

-Never approach a dog that’s unfamiliar.

-Always allow a pup to smell you before you try to pet it.

-If you spot a stray dog or a dog that is displaying unusual behavior, report to an adult or professional immediately.

-Never bother a dog that is feeding, caring for pups or sleeping.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 5 million Americans who are bitten by a dog each and every year. Close to a million of these Americans require medical attention for these injuries and another 400,000 require treatment in an emergency department. In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. More than 15 people are killed by dog bites each and every year, too. Remember that children are the most vulnerable in these kinds of incidents, so keep a close eye on them when interacting with dogs.

Welcome your new pup with open arms and welcome it with knowledge of the proper safety precautions. Preparation is your number one defense against a dog bite incident.
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An 11-year-old Florida girl has been grievously injured by a dog attack — a tragic reminder of the dangers associated with our love for man’s best friend.

After suffering a severe dog bite injury in West Palm Beach, she is currently undergoing econstructive surgery to help to fix her face. She lost a good part of her upper lip in the bite and doctors are doing all that they can to help to restore her appearance.
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According to ABC NEWS, the young girl was sleeping over at a friends house when the attack happened. She woke up to the Jack Russell terrier-English bulldog growling at her. In a matter of seconds, the dog jumped at her and bit her face. In the attack, the dog’s teeth ripped off about three-quarters of her upper lip and even part of her nose. When paramedics arrived, the mother of her household turned over parts of the little girl’s lip that was found on the floor. Unfortunately, the blood vessels in the tissue had already died and the skin could not be reused.

Our Cape Coral dog bite attorneys understand how serious dog bite injuries can be. If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to help guide you through the legal process. There are strict laws in the state of Florida regarding dog bite injuries that must be followed. An experienced attorney can help you to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve!

Following the attack, the little girl was rushed off to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. She was then transferred to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood where a specialist could be assigned to handle her reconstructive surgery.

Surgeons decided to do a “switch lip” on her, meaning that they took skin from the lower lip, flipped it upside down and reattached it to the upper lip. Since so many blood vessels were already dead, surgeons had to stitch her mouth shut until new vessels could grow back. It’s expected to take about three weeks.

She’s got many more surgeries to go until doctors can do what’s possible to restore her face. So far, the medical bills total more than $70,000. The family is currently taking donations to help to cover the costs.

In the state of Florida, an owner of a dog that bites someone can be held liable for the damages. This is held true even when the dog has shown no prior signs of viciousness. If there is any kind of negligence on the victim’s behalf that is a proximate cause of the attack, then the liability of the dog owner is reduced by the percentage that the victim’s negligence in the incident.

Young children follow a separate set of guidelines when dealing with these cases. Children who are under the age of 6 presumably cannot comprehend the dangers of a dog and will not be held liable for instigating an incident.
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Our Fort Myers dog bite injury attorneys understand that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. More than half of these dog bite victims are in fact children. The second leading group of victims is Postal Service workers. Of all of the victims, nearly 1 million rely on medical attention for the treatment of these injuries. About 20 victims die each year.

These accidents are no joke and because of it, the third full week of each May is designated as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. During this time, members of State Farm, of the American Veterinary Medical Association and of the U.S. Postal Service, team up to raise awareness. They release nationwide statistics and launch a number of campaigns to help to promote dog safety.

A dog’s tendency to bite can be caused by a number of factors, including health, socialization, behavior, training and heredity.

According to the ASPCA, about half of all children in the U.S. will be bitten by a dog before they turn 12-years-old. What’s most alarming is that a majority of these dog bite incidents will involve a dog in the family or a neighbor’s dog.

According to Florida statues, dangerous dogs are covered under dog bite laws. The owner of a pup that bites a person, when they’re on allowable grounds, is liable for the damages that are suffered by the victim, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.

However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by a corresponding percentage.
If a dog has already been deemed as a dangerous dog or has been involved in prior attacks and the dog acts out again, then the owner will face misdemeanor charges, the pup will be impounded for ten days in which time an owner may request a hearing.

It’s important to contact an experienced attorney when dealing with dog bite claims. These issues are complex. Contact and experienced attorney to help you to navigate your way through the system and to help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve!
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During her early morning walk, Frances Peltier made her last round when she ran into a 3-year-old pit bull who had escaped a home on Euclid Avenue. This short encounter would be one to remember as the dog sprinted towards Peltier, latching on and ferociously attacking, according to the victim. The Fort Myers dog bite injuries to her thigh and her abdomen required hospitalization. A passerby witnessed the attack and reached out to 9-1-1 for help.
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“I could see this dog running like a bullet,” said Peltier.

Our Fort Myers injury attorneys understand that the phone call to local authorities may not have been enough as the pit bull attacked both Peltier and the witness before authorities arrived. Although the viscous attack targeted the two victims, the owner of the dog claims that the victims are overreacting and that the pit bull, Sasha, is innocent and isn’t the attacking type.

According to Dr. Sophia Yin, a California-based veterinarian and animal behaviorist as well as a board member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, you have to treat dogs that bite like they’re going to bite again. Dr. Sophia Yin was brought into the case after a phone call from a witness. The call was to help bring attention to the fact that there are not county laws in place that allow officials to seize and destroy dogs deemed dangerous, according to The News-Press.

According to a spokeswoman for the Lee County Domestic Animal Services, Ria Brown, the dog owner has been cited for letting the dog run unsupervised and for its threatening and menacing behavior. This citation counts as strike number one. Upon strike number two, a dangerous dog investigation will be conducted. If the investigation concludes that Sasha is “dangerous” then the owner faces a $1,500 fee and another $500 yearly registration. In these cases, dogs are required to be muzzled in public and fenced in at home. If a dangerous dog bites another victim, the owner could face time behind bars.

Still, there are no laws that permit Animal Services to take the dog into custody after an attack. Even with the way the ordinance is written, Sasha wouldn’t be considered a dangerous dog. An attack has to be life-threatening to land a pup with a “dangerous” title.

Florida Law Defines a Dangerous Dog As:

-A dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten, endangered or has inflicted a “severe injury” on a person. A severe injury is defined as one that has caused disfiguring lacerations that require reconstructive surgery or sutures, has broken bones or has engaged in multiple bites.

-A dog that has, on more than one occasion, severely injured or killed another domestic animal on the owner’s property.

-A dog that has been trained in dog fighting practices.

-A dog that has, without provocation, approached or chased someone on the street in a menacing fashion or with an apparent attitude of attack.
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As you may have heard, Danell Leyva recently won the horizontal bar to overtake Mykola Kuksenkov for the men’s top spot at the American Cup. What you may not have heard about was the dog bite accident that occurred just a couple of weeks prior. It all happened when three of his bulldogs were fighting and he unwisely stepped in to separate them.
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We understand that dogs are family and that owners will do anything to protect them. Unfortunately, dog fights aren’t a place for humans. Oftentimes, when dogs are eating, fighting, guarding or protecting, the risk for dog bite injuries in Fort Myers and elsewhere increase. There are certain ways that pups have to be handled and treated. These techniques vary from situation to situation.

Our Fort Myers dog bite injury lawyers understand that pets, especially dogs, can be unpredictable. Leyva’s case in particular is a difficult one. Leyva recognized that he shouldn’t have stepped in to stop the fight. As a result of that move, he suffered from severe cuts and lacerations and had to have 80 stitches sewn in from his jawline to his sideburns. After the stitches, a plastic surgeon was called into to fix up the mess. Leyva was in the gym just three days after. The extra scar tissue was removed just the day before nearly 13,000 gathered for the American Cup and for his victory.

Dog bites don’t always happen when a person breaks up a dog fight either. Dog bite accidents can happen virtually any time at any place though. It’s important to know how to act around dogs and how to help avoid a serious bite accident.

Every year, there are more than 4.5 million dog bite accidents in the country. Nearly 100,000 of these bite accidents require medical attention. Some dogs are more likely than others to attack, too. More than 90 percent of fatal dog bite accidents involve male dogs. A large majority of these dogs aren’t neutered.

Don’t think a chained up dog is safe either. About one out of every four dog attacks involves a dog that’s chained up. And just because you know the dog doesn’t mean you’re safe. Most people involved in a dog bite accident actually knew the dog that bit them.

These are some costly accidents, too. Every year, insurance companies pay out for than $1 billion in these kinds of claims, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tips to Avoid a Dog Bite Accident:

-Never approach a dog that’s you’re not familiar with.

-Never run from a dog.

-Don’t scream near dogs.

-Stay still when an unfamiliar dog is approaching you.

-If a dog knocks you over, stay down and remain still.

-Report dangerous dogs immediately.

-Never break up a dog fight.

-Let dogs smell you before petting them.

-Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.

-Never bother a dog when it’s eating, sleeping or caring for pups.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 5 million Americans who suffer dog bite injuries nationwide every year, which includes any dog bite injury in Fort Myers and elsewhere in South Florida. Statistics show that one out of every five dog bite incidents requires medical attention.
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During the holiday season, residents across the state will be venturing out to visit with friends and family members. A majority of these holiday gatherings will be at people’s homes where dogs are present. Although dogs may be referred to as “man’s best friend,” they can be unpredictable and dangerous. Our Fort Myers dog bite injury attorneys ask that everyone take the proper safety precautions to protect people, especially young children, from a dog-related injury. Nearly 1,000,000 people are injured every year from “man’s best friend.” Many of these accidents happen during holiday gatherings when dogs are exposed to unfamiliar people.

In 2006, more than 31,000 Americans underwent reconstructive surgery because of dog bite incidents. Many of these injuries happened to children. Young ones between the ages of 5- and 9-years-old are more likely than any other age group to suffer a dog bite-related injury. People who have a dog in the household are more likely to experience a dog bite injury. As the number of household petsincreases, so does the number of dog bite accidents. Households with more than two dogs are proven to be five times more likely to experience a dog bite-related injury than a household that doesn’t have any dogs.

If you’ll be heading to a holiday gathering where a dog will be present, here are some tips to keep in mind and to share with family members and friends:

-Children should never approach a dog they don’t know.

-When children are afraid of a dog, they shouldn’t run or scream.

-When alarmed, a child should stand still (or “be like a tree”).

-If your child gets knocked over by a dog, the child should get into a ball and remain still.

-Children shouldn’t play with a dog unless an adult is present and is supervising.

-You should report a stray dog or any dog that is displaying unusual behavior.

-Children should avoid direct eye contact with a dog.

-Never bother a dog while it’s caring for its pups, eating or sleeping.

-Always allow a dog to sniff you before you pet it.

-If a child is bitten, it should reported to an adult immediately.

Parents are urged to keep dogs away from children during this year’s holiday gatherings. Children don’t typically understand the proper behavior to exercise when near dogs. At the same time, dogs can be unpredictable. Have a safe and Happy Holiday season!
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Florida dog bites are the number one contributor to dog bite incidents in the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. This newly released information comes after the nation’s largest home and auto insurer released a list of the top 10 states for dog bite claims and the money paid out as a result.
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According to State Farm, Florida holds the record for highest amount paid out per incident, at more than $38,000 per case. States falling under Florida cashed in on claims that were nearly $10,000 less.

Our Fort Myers dog bite attorneys recognize the popularity of our furry family members. We are a nation of dog lovers. Yet everyone is at risk of a serious dog bite as dog behavior can oftentimes be unpredictable. Dogs are naturally inquisitive and will typically not hesitate to approach humans to determine if they pose a threat or not. A wagging tail doesn’t always mean they’re happy, so we urge everyone to remain calm around unfamiliar dogs and allow the pooches to investigate before making any sudden movements.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to help prevent yourself from being the victim of a dog bite:

-Stay away from unfamiliar dogs.

-If you come across an unknown dog, remain motionless.

-Do not run from a dog, and don’t run away while screaming.

-Avoid eye contact with an unknown pup.

-Do not disturb dogs while they’re eating, sleeping or caring for their pups.

-Allow a dog to see and sniff you before you try to pet it.

-If bitten by a dog, report the incident immediately.

-If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.

-Spay or neuter your dog, as this oftentimes reduces aggressive tendencies in the pooch.

-Do not leave infants or any other young children alone with a dog.

-Be sure to play calm with your pooch. It is important to avoid playing aggressive games with your dog.

In 2006, more than 31,000 people that were bitten by dogs were forced to go under reconstructive surgery to correct the damage. Children are the most vulnerable to dog bites as children ages 5- to 9-years-old have the highest probability of being bit by a dog. Children are also more likely to receive medical attention for a dog bite than any other age group.

Nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One-fifth of these dog bites in Florida and elsewhere result in an injury that require medical attention.

According to the Chicago Tribune, dog bites caused more than 30 deaths last year.
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Weimaraner2WTDS_Ap6D.jpgIn just a 9-day time span, two Florida toddlers have lost their lives because the family pet suddenly attacked them in separate vicious, unexplainable attacks.

A pet 8-year-old male Weimeraner bit Liam Perk, a two-year-old from Cape Coral, on the neck on December 22nd. Tragically, the boy died after being rushed to the hospital for treatment. The dog, which by all reports was a well-behaved, indoor pet, bit Liam as he walked past the animal. On December 13, 2009, a 20-month old boy, Dallas Walters, was killed in New Port Richey, Florida, after being mauled by his aunt’s pet Rottweiler inside her residence. In Liam’s case, although the story reported by the AP Wire services and picked up around the country stated the dog apparently attacked without provocation, there are those that feel that is unlikely.

Lee County Chief of Animal Services, Adam Leath, seems to be of the belief that there must have been something Liam did to cause the dog to turn on him. “Animals will react in a fight or flight response depending on the circumstances,” Leath told the Fort Myers News-Press. There are still other experts in the field of animal behavior who feel that even the most mild mannered, well trained dogs will lash out if they feel they are being mistreated, attacked or provoked to fight for their lives. Patrick Logue, an advanced dog behavioral therapist and trainer, adds this advice.” Dogs use body language and vocal tones to communicate,” he said. “You want to make sure kids don’t play too rough with a dog, even if they’re having a good time. A dog might nip at a child even if it’s playing because that’s how a dog communicates.” We have all heard stories about young children who will playfully pull a dog’s ears or tail, and the dog may go years, or even its entire lifetime, seemingly unfazed by that type of treatment. But the fact of the matter is it may not take much to cause the dog to snap back, or worse.

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pitbull.jpgDog bites and attacks are in the news again in Ft. Myers, FL. On August 6, 2009 the Ft. Myers Police responded to a call where a Pit Bull inflicted serious injury on a 5-year-old child. The dog had just been purchased the day before and has been turned over the Animal Control Services. Before and after purchasing a dog you should be informed. Look at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web site http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/biteprevention.html

for helpful information that may prevent more dog bites from happening.

The United States has almost 75 million dogs, including many that bite people. According to the CDC each American has a 1 in 50 chance of getting bitten by a dog in any given year. During an average year, 4.5 million dog bites occur in the USA and more than three-quarters of a million people require medical care.