Florida Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bites | Orlando | Tampa | Kissimmee | Poinciana | Haines City | Sarasota
Each year, millions of innocent children and adults are seriously injured or even suffer wrongful death as a result of dog bite attacks. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite and don’t know what to do, we urge you to contact a lawyer for dog bite injuries as soon as possible.
It is our goal to educate you on what to expect when you are a victim of a dog bite injury and what to do after you’ve been bitten.
Safe Practices Around Dogs
Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites. There are a number of precautions parents can take to promote dog bite child safety. Most importantly, teach young children, including toddlers, to be careful around pets.
They should not:
- Hug or approach a dog from behind;
- Touch his food bowl;
- Pull parts of his body;
- Stare directly into his eyes; or
- Try to kiss him on the face.
Children should always ask permission from a dog’s owner before touching or petting a dog and when doing so, they should always put their hand out first so the dog can sniff them.
Another important child safety tip is to educate children on what to do if threatened by a dog. Tell them to:
- Remain calm and do not scream;
- Speak calmly and firmly;
- Avoid making eye contact with the dog;
- Try to stay still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight;
- Do not turn and run away; and
- If the child falls or is knocked to the ground, tell them to curl into a ball with their hands over their head and neck, protecting their face.
Our children are precious and we need to do whatever is necessary to promote dog bite child safety. We do not have control over whether a dog decides to attack, but we can arm our children with the knowledge of what to do if they ever come face to face with a vicious dog.
The most dangerous dog breeds include:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Alaskan malamutes
- Doberman pinschers
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
Many small dog owners ignore their dog’s behavior because they are small and think they cannot hurt anyone. The truth is, little dogs bite more than big dogs.
Although there is no way to predict when a dangerous dog will bite, we recommend taking the following into consideration:
- If a dog has been treated harshly or trained to attack, there may be a tendency to bite a person. A dog owner can turn any dog into a dangerous dog. In most cases, the owner is responsible for the aggression, not the breed and not the dog.
- If an infant or toddler is left alone with a dog, a dangerous situation can occur. Young children tend to grab onto dogs without understanding how easily they can hurt the animal. Many dogs bite to protect themselves from the pain they feel and to get the child to stop. 95% of all child fatalities occur when a child is left alone with a dog.
Any dog can be a good, loving pet, even if its considered a dangerous dog and likely to bite. A responsible owner will win a dog’s respect by showing the dog love and respect, no matter its breed. You cannot determine, by breed alone, whether or not it is going to attack.
Dog Bite Statistics
The statistics surrounding dog bites are astonishing and show just how common dog bite injuries are.
- It has been estimated for every animal attack reported, three go unreported.
- As many as one million people nationwide require medical treatment for dog bites every year.
- More than 334,000 victims end up in the emergency room.
- More than 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
- More than half of all the animal attack victims are children.
- National figures estimate that 60% of dog bite injuries happen in the home, either by the family or a friend’s dog.
- It is estimated that about 12-15 people die each year, because of various problems and infections from dog bites.
- Overwhelmingly, male dogs that have not been fixed are more likely to bite.
Where do dogs attack?
- 25% chained dogs
- 25% dogs loose in their yard
- 23% occurred inside the home
- 17% dogs roaming off their property
- 10% leashed dogs or miscellaneous circumstances
Who is attacked?
- 79% of all fatal attacks – children under the age of 12
- 12% elderly, aged 65 – 94
- 9% 13 – 64 years old
What To Do If Attacked
Here are some tips to protect yourself:
- Avoid eye contact with an aggressive dog.
- If you are jogging, stop jogging and walk by the dog, avoiding eye contact and sudden movement.
- Avoid the temptation to fight or argue with the owner of an aggressive dog, this may bring on an attack.
- If a dog approaches growling or barking, stand tough. Command the dog to “Sit”, “Stay” or “Lay Down”. A dog is more likely to listen to the same command as his owner.
- Be sure to keep your hands down to avoid provoking a dog attack.
- If the dog attack is by a small dog, kick it in its nose or body. This will stop most small dog attacks.
- If the dog attack is by a large dog, take a fighting stance. Protect your inner body by putting one leg in front of the other. If you are strong, use your foot as a weapon. If you lose your balance and fall, however, you will lose your height advantage over the dog.
- Punch the dog in the nose as hard as you can, twist or pull the dog’s ears, or poke him in the eyes.
- Kick a dog in the rib cage. This may knock the wind out of him and stun him long enough to make him think twice. Yell for help.
- Pit Bulls are well-known for dog attacks. When a pit bull attacks, their first instinct is to grab and hold on. It is to your advantage to remain standing, however if you find yourself falling to the ground, curl your body up into the fetal position and cover your ears and the back of your neck with your hands and arms.
- If a dog appears to be confused, biting at stationary objects, looks a bit crazy or wild-eyed or if a thick ropy saliva is covering it’s chest, it may have rabies. If you encounter a dog with rabies, call the police.