Although most dog owners are responsible and train their dog to behave around strangers, negligence can sometimes lead to a severe dog attack. A dog bite can result in serious injury and require immediate and costly medical care, especially when a child is the victim of the attack. Victims of dog bites can also suffer from psychological trauma long after the attack, and require counseling and therapy to recover from the experience.
Often times, dog owners will fight vigorously to evade liability after a dog attack or may attempt to downplay the severity of your injuries. This is where a dog bite attorney can help. Did you know that the average cost of a hospital stay due to a dog attack is $18,200, according to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality?
If you are the victim of a dog attack, our dog bite attorneys in Miami can work with you to try and recover compensation for expensive medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.
In our state, pet owners are responsible for ensuring their dog is properly trained. The dog owner is liable for any attacks that occur in a public place or private property, whether the attack involves a person or livestock, with some exceptions. The victim of the dog attack may be partly liable for the attack if they have provoked the dog in some way, trespassed upon the property of the dog owner, or if the dog owner prominently displayed a sign warning others of the dog’s problem behavior, according to state law. This partial liability does not apply to victims under the age of six, however.
Miami-Dade County Leash Law
Although Florida does not have a state-mandated leash law, in Miami-Dade County, dog owners are prohibited from allowing their dogs to roam freely off private property. Dogs must be leashed at all times when on public property at the risk of a $50-$150 fine, depending on whether the dog is sterilized or not. 32 percent of dog bites reported in Florida involved dogs that were roaming freely without a leash off of the dog owner’s property, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Common Dog Bite Victims
Each year, over 600 Florida residents are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries, according to the Florida DOH. The most common victims of dog bites include children between the ages of 1 and 9 and boys between the ages of 6 and 14. Another common scenario that results in dog bites occurs when a victim interacts with a dog while it is eating, touches the dog while it’s playing, or pets the dog against its will. In these instances, the victim may be held partially liable for their injury, as their behavior may have contributed to the accident. This contributes to 26 percent of dog bite accidents in Florida, according to the Florida DOH.
Typical Dog Bite Injuries
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the typical injuries and diseases associated with dog attacks may include:
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Rabies infection
- Pasteurella infection
- MRSA infection
- Tetanus infection
Up to 18 percent of dog bites become infected with bacteria, according to the CDC. Rabies, although rare, is an especially serious disease and is fatal if not treated immediately.
How a Miami Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Our attorneys will work with victims of dog attacks to prove liability on the part of the dog owner and support your claim. This may include:
- Gathering information about the time, location, and nature of the attack
- Investigating previous dangerous behavior from the dog
- Proving the dog was unsterilized
- Collecting evidence of the attack, including photographs of the injuries
- Researching the dog’s previous vaccinations, including whether they have been vaccinated for rabies
- Proving the owner let the dog roam free off of private property, violating the Miami-Dade County Leash Law
How Much Does a Dog Bite Attorney Cost?
Our Miami dog bite attorneys at Morgan & Morgan work on a contingency-fee basis with no upfront costs. That means that you only pay a fee if your attorney successfully recovers compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
What Can I Recover From a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
If you or someone you love is the victim of a serious dog bite, you may be able entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of wages, property damage, and more. Our dog bite attorneys in Miami will fight on your behalf to try and prove fault on the part of the dog owner to recover the maximum compensation for your injury. To learn more about how our dog bite attorneys may be able to help you, fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.