Tampa Area Dog Bite
Dogs are terrific companions, but all dogs are perfectly capable of biting or attacking. Some breeds have worse reputations than others, but… dogs are dogs. If you or a pet has been a victim of a Tampa area dog bite, you have rights.
Dogs have very powerful jaws and sharp teeth designed to tear flesh. Seek medical care. Bites can injure muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, and can cause scarring. In addition, roughly 18% of dog bites become infected. There is also a risk of tetanus and rabies. Medical care generally includes cleaning, suturing, a tetanus shot, and possibly treatment for rabies. Medical professionals are legally required to report the dog bite to law enforcement.
Law Enforcement and Tampa Area Dog Bite
The officer will take a report and will speak with the owner. Regardless of rabies vaccination records, the dog must be quarantined for fourteen days. If the dog shows signs of rabies or the dog cannot be located, the bite victim must start treatment for rabies. The situation around the bite will determine the officer’s subsequent actions.
Premise Liability and Dog Bites
Premise liability deals with injuries that occur from dangerous conditions on your personal property. Half of all dog bites occur at home and to people familiar to the dog. Children between five and nine years old are the most common victims of dog bites. Under Florida law, the dog’s owner/handler is almost always responsible for the dog’s behavior. This strict liability means that the dog’s owner owes damages to the victim. Except in certain cases, negligence is not shared by the two parties.
In certain situations, dog owners are not responsible for bites. One situation is if an individual over 6 years of age is trespassing. Another occurs when a person over six provokes the dog to the point of attack.
Additionally, Florida law protects domesticated animals (horses, and other equines, cattle, sheep, domestic cats, domesticated bird including ostriches, emu, chickens, etc., swine, and other dogs. Wildlife is also protected and dogs harassing wildlife can be destroyed.
Homeowners do have some protection under Florida law. A prominently placed sign reading “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog” will cover you, as long as the victim is over six years old. Children under six are considered unable to understand the sign. They are also not responsible for provoking the dog.
If you or a loved one, including another animal, has been bitten by a dog, contact a personal injury attorney like Brian Hoag. You are entitled to collect damages.
About Brian Hoag
Hopefully, you will need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer that specializes in premise liability, but if you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.