New Port Richey Dog Bite Lawyers
Holding pet owners liable for injuries suffered by victims of dog bites
It is estimated that almost half the households in Florida own at least one dog. Dogs can be loyal and devoted companions to their owners, but they are also responsible for inflicting 4.5 million dog bites each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The New Port Richey dog bite attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett, P.A. understand the physical and emotional trauma dog bite victims suffer, so we are committed to ensuring dog owners pay the rightful compensation to which injured victims are entitled.
Serious injuries and diseases associated with dog bites
Dog bites may cause lacerations and broken bones, but they can also transmit diseases from the dog to the victim. An average of 18 percent of wounds resulting from dog bites become infected from any of the more than 60 types of bacteria carried in a dog’s mouth. Some of the diseases or conditions that may be caused by a dog bite include:
- Tetanus: This is a condition that can cause paralysis in the victim of a dog bite. It develops from the transmission of a type of bacteria from the dog’s mouth to the wound inflicted during an attack.
- Rabies: The rabies virus, when transmitted to a person by a bite from an infected animal, has an extremely high fatality rate in humans. Treatments are available, but they must be administered immediately after the attack.
- MRSA: This is a staph infection caused by bacteria resistant to some types of antibiotics. Wounds that become infected can lead to skin, urinary tract and lung infections.
- Pasteurella: This is a common bacteria transmitted in more than 50 percent of the dog bites where the victim’s skin has been broken. It can cause redness and pain at the infected bite area.
What may at first appear to be a minor cut or laceration inflicted by a dog bite can turn into a life-threatening illness unless medical treatment is sought immediately by the victim. Our New Port Richey dog bite attorneys believe you should receive the care and treatment you need following a dog attack, so we aggressively pursue compensation in the form of medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages from the dog owner. We also help victims injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents and all types of personal injury matters.
Florida law is on your side if you are the victim of a dog bite
Florida imposes strict liability on dog owners who do not keep their dogs under their control or on their property. If a dog running loose inflicts a bite on an innocent victim, the owner can be held liable for the damages even if the dog had not previously displayed signs of being aggressive or vicious. Exceptions to the strict liability law make it essential for victims of dog bites to have experienced legal representation. Some of the exceptions to strict liability include:
- The dog was on the property of its owner at the time of the attack
- The dog was on a leash or otherwise under its owner’s control
- The dog bite occurred while the animal was protecting its owner or another party
- The dog was provoked into attacking by the victim
If any of the exceptions exist, the strict liability rule might not apply, but that does not mean that the owner of the dog cannot be held liable. Our experienced New Port Richey dog bite attorneys understand the importance of uncovering the facts and circumstances surrounding dog bites in order to be in a position to prove that the owner of the dog knew or should have known that the animal was likely to attack.
Contact our New Port Richey dog bite attorneys for a free consultation
The skilled New Port Richey dog bite lawyers at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. represent injured victims. We know the law and understand how to present the evidence needed to prove you are entitled to compensation from the dog owners. Call us today at 727-835-5536 to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online for a free case evaluation.