Every once in a while our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys hear of peculiar news involving personal injuries in Florida. In early February the Orlando Sentinel published a story in reference to a dead dog biting a 7-year-old Casselberry boy. Evidently the dog owner has claimed that his dog had died sometime last summer after animal control officers showed up at his door in an attempt to pick up the dog. Prior to this event, the owner and the Seminole County Animal Control agency had gotten into a dispute which resulted in the animal control board voting to have its officers subject the dog to euthanasia.
The board’s decision came after the dog allegedly bit a 5-year-old girl in which a Florida personal injury lawsuit was filed against the owner. The girl was a granddaughter of a neighbor and suffered severe facial lacerations which would require 25 stitches to close the wounds. The owner settled the lawsuit with the plaintiffs for $25,000. However, besides these two incidents a more recent report surfaced claiming that the dog was alive and had bitten another person. But, the owner still claims that the dog died last August. Now, Seminole County has requested that the court issue an order to the owner for the dog’s surrender, and if he fails to comply he could face possible jail punishment.
In Florida, dog owners can be held strictly liable when their dog causes a Florida personal injury to another person. Under this legal theory, it is irrelevant if the owner knew or did not know of the dog’s propensity to bite or its viciousness. Although some owners will attempt to argue that a child was trespasser upon their land, but under Florida law, it is a generally recognize that owners can be held liable by failing to exercising reasonable care to remove dangerous conditions on their property or failing to protect a child.
Dog bites are a common cause of severe injuries to children, including death. In 2011, there were 13 children in the United States that died as a result of a dog attack. The treatment costs of serious dog bites can exceed thousands of dollars because stitches or sutures are often required to close deep wounds. However, these costs could be recovered if a personal injury lawsuit is filed against the owner of a dog. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys help parents and their children to recover damages and can file a lawsuit on their behalf. If parents are expected to be responsible for their children, so should owners of pets be held liable when their dog has caused harm, and it is our belief that a child’s life is more valuable than a household pet?
If your child has been recently bitten by a dog, your first response should be to seek medical treatment immediately. Not every dog owner is responsible person who keeps their dog up to date with its vaccinations and it is possible that the dog carries communicable diseases which can be transmitted to humans. Also, you should consult with our Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyers who can advise you of your legal rights or if you have a potential lawsuit to sue the owner for damages.
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