4-Year-Old Girl Survives Dog Attack
Dogs are generally friendly creatures, but some can get upset or startled easily. When a dog gets uncomfortable, they can attack humans.
This was what happened in Florida. A 4-year-old girl was playing at a neighbor’s house when she was attacked by the family dog. The girl was mauled but did survive her injuries. She is now in stable condition.
The incident happened on April 20 in Panama Beach. The girl was play wrestling on the couch with another girl in the neighbor’s home. The girl fell off the couch and landed on the dog, a pitbull mastiff mix. The dog got upset and attacked the girl.
The girl was airlifted to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville for medical treatment. She suffered approximately six lacerations to the face as well as one to a finger. All were stitched up. The girl’s skull was also slightly fractured. The dog has been quarantined to check for rabies.
Strict Liability in Florida
Each state has its own laws when it comes to dog bite claims. Some allow one free bite, which puts owners off the hook for the first time it happens. Florida, however, does not have this law in place. Instead, it has a stricter rule called “strict liability.” This means that dog owners are strictly liable for any dog bite injury, whether or not the dog had bitten before. Dog owners are liable even for that first bite, regardless of whether the dog had ever bitten before or if the owner knew that the dog had vicious tendencies.
Strict liability also means that negligence is not an issue. The victim does not have to prove the owner was negligent, and owners can’t prove they are not liable by claiming they are careful owners. All that needs to be proven is that victims were on public property or legally on private property when the dog attack happened.
There is a defense to strict liability, though. Dog owners can keep a sign posted in their yard warning people about a “bad dog” on the premises. When this sign is present, the burden is then on the dog bite victim to prove that the owner was negligent in order to receive compensation for damages. One example would be allowing a dangerous dog to roam freely in an unfenced yard. In these situations, the dog could easily attack a person. The bottom line is that if a dog owner knows that their dog might bite, they are obligated to take reasonable steps to prevent an attack.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Unfortunately, millions of people are injured in dog attacks in the United States every year. Many of these victims are young children who get seriously injured or fatally mauled.
A Bradenton dog bite lawyer from Cahall Law Firm can help you with your dog bite case. We’ll help you recover physically and financially. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (941) 281-2019 or filling out the online form.