There is nothing more unpleasant than walking calmly through your neighborhood or visiting a home and getting bit by a dog without provocation. Dog bites are very common in our area.
On many occasions, dog bites have fatal consequences, especially in children, who can end up with permanent damage and disfigurement.
Common Injuries in Dog Bite Accidents
Dog bites can result in excruciating injuries, both physical and emotional, leaving victims with lasting trauma. Some common injuries may include:
- Puncture Wounds: Dogs have powerful jaws, and their bites can cause deep puncture wounds that could lead to infections.
- Lacerations: Sharp teeth can cause cuts and tears in the skin, often needing stitches or other medical interventions.
- Fractures: The force of a dog bite can lead to broken bones, especially in vulnerable areas such as the hands, arms, or face.
- Scarring: Dog bites can leave permanent scars, impacting the victim's appearance and potentially requiring cosmetic procedures.
- Nerve Damage: Severe bites may damage nerves, leading to long-term pain, numbness, or loss of sensation in affected areas.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): The traumatic experience of a dog attack can lead to persistent anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks.
When is a Dog Owner Liable for A Dog Bite?
According to the Florida Statutes section 767.04 a dog owner can be held liable for the injuries their animal inflicts if:
- The animal bit another person
- The injury victim was on public property or lawfully on private property
Additionally, Florida is one of the states that follow a “strict liability” law when it comes to dog bite cases. This means that a dog owner can be liable for a dog bite even if the owner did not have knowledge that their dog was a potential threat to another person.
What Damages Could Be Recovered in a Dog Bite Claim in Florida?
When pursuing a dog bite claim in Florida, victims may be entitled to various damages, compensating them for the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the incident. Potential damages that could be recovered may include:
- Medical Expenses: Costs associated with immediate medical care after the dog bite. Expenses related to surgical procedures and ongoing medical treatments. The cost of prescribed medications to aid in recovery.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for earnings lost during the recovery period.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation may be awarded for the physical and emotional distress caused by the dog bite.
- Property Damage: If personal property, like clothing or belongings, is damaged during the attack, victims may be entitled to compensation for the cost of replacement or repair.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims in Florida?
In Florida, there is a specific time limit within which a dog bite claim must be filed. The statute of limitations for a dog bite lawsuit is generally four years from the date of the incident. It is crucial for victims to take prompt legal action within this timeframe to preserve their right to seek compensation.
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