Articles Posted in Dog Bite

Shaquille O’Neal has bought new furniture for the family of a 5-year-old Atlanta girl who survived a dog attack that left another child dead.

According to reports, the girl returned home this week after being hospitalized since the Jan. 17 attack. The two children were walking to a bus stop when they were attacked by two dogs. One died from his injuries. The dogs’ owner has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

O’Neal met the family at an Atlanta furniture store and picked up the tab for new items. The family said that the former NBA star and current TNT analyst has been involved with the family since the attack.

This may come as a surprise, but nearly 4.7 million Americans are attacked by dogs every year. These attacks result in 800,000 people requiring medical treatment for their injuries. Sadly, the dog attacks that result in fatalities usually involve innocent children.

It is true that most dogs go through their lives without delivering harm to anyone. However, most does not mean all and traumatic dog attacks do happen. If a victim survives a dog attack, they are usually left to deal with painful, permanent scarring to the face and body.

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This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, so it is important to note that the cost of dog-bite claims for U.S. insurers reached 16 percent last year due to higher medical expenses and larger settlements to resolve court disputes.

The average claim increased to $37,214 in 2015 from $32,072 a year earlier, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The highest figure among the 10 states with the most claims was Arizona with an average of $56,654. California has the second highest average cost per dog bite claim at $44,983 while New York, at $44,320, comes in third.

Health officials and companies such as State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. are seeking to limit the confrontations, which accounted for more than one-third of homeowners liability claims costs last year, the institute said.

About 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and almost a fifth of those incidents require medical attention, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of claims fell 7.2 percent last year to 15,352. Still, dog-related injuries cost the industry $571.3 million, up from $530.8 million. The average cost per claim nationally has risen 94 percent since 2003.

With strict liability laws set in place, a dog owner is responsible for the actions of their dog, regardless of the breed or the circumstances surrounding an attack. With that said, dogs can have vicious outbursts at any time, despite how calm or gentle their usual temperament is. All dogs can behave differently around strangers, which can be surprising to their owners. If your dog suddenly attacks a stranger, as the owner, you could be liable for any injuries or damages.

There is a lot of responsibility placed on a dog’s owner, so care and caution is so important. In order to reduce the chance of a dog attack:

  • Remember that a dog’s behavior can be unpredictable, no matter how well you know your dog.
  • When you answer the door, make sure you hold your dog back.
  • Separate your dogs from strangers, like postal workers, maintenance men, etc. when they are in your home or at your door.
  • Keep dogs away from strangers and be cautious when around other dogs.

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A dog was euthanized Thursday evening after wounding four people in West Palm Beach, including a city firefighter and a 3-year-old girl.

According to the director for Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, the dog’s brain tissue will be tested for rabies as a precaution.

The dog, a cane corso mix, apparently bit a 13-year-old girl on the arm around 6 p.m. Shortly after the attack, West Palm Beach Fire-Rescue crews arrived at the scene.

The dog appeared to have attacked its owner’s grandmother before biting the girl, but the woman did not require medical attention.

While Fire-Rescue crews were treating the girl, the dog apparently freed itself from restraints and nipped the buttocks of a 3-year-old girl. A firefighter quickly intervened and was bitten on the forearm and hand as he attempted to separate the girl from the dog.

The firefighter and the two girls were taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The 13-year-old does not live at the residence and it is unclear whether the 3-year-old lives there.

Following the attack, the dog was classified as vicious and the owner was not allowed to keep it. It is unknown if the owner will face any charges stemming from the attack.
The director for Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control claims the owner was in violation of some regulations. The dog was apparently not current on its rabies vaccinations, and it appears the dog was not licensed, which is a civil infraction. The dog also apparently was not vaccinated, which is a violation of state and local law. It was unknown whether the dog had been sterilized, as required by local ordinance.

A dog bite attack can be a traumatic event, especially for a child bitten by a dog, which may result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. Numerous deaths are reported every year as a result of vicious dog attacks. Most dog bite attacks leave a victim with permanent scarring, nerve damage and at great risk for developing and infection. Often there is psychological harm that remains with the victim well beyond the physical personal injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly five million people across the U.S. are attacked by dogs every year. In fact, it is estimated that every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. requires medical treatment for a dog bite-related injury. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of vicious dog attacks. The CDC has reported that dog attacks pose a greater risk to children’s health than whooping cough, mumps, and measles combined. Perhaps even more frightening, nearly two-thirds of dog bite injuries among children ages four and younger are to the head and neck region.

For most dog attack cases, the owner is liable for any injuries caused by their dog. The Florida Dog Attack Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones recover damages associated with a dog bite injury. It is important to note that your ability to recover financial compensation relies heavily upon the scope of your injuries as well as the medical care needed to treat those injuries. Due to statutes of limitations, the ability to file a dog mauling claim is time sensitive, so it is imperative to contact Whittel & Melton immediately right away.

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A Florida two-year-old boy is reportedly in stable condition following a vicious dog attack in Port Orange Tuesday afternoon.

The boy and his parents were apparently visiting relatives when the boy was mauled on the porch of the home shortly before 4 p.m.

The boy was first taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach and then transferred
to Florida Hospital Orlando.

According to Port Orange police, the dog, a pit bull mix, was seized by the Halifax Humane Society and is supposedly under quarantine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million Americans suffer from dog bite attacks each year. An estimated 800,000 of the total dog bites recorded cause serious injuries that require medical attention. Due to these facts, Florida statutes hold dog owners strictly liable for any injuries or damages their dog inflicts on others, regardless of the dog’s history of violence or prior biting episodes. The state of Florida recognizes that a dog’s behavior is always the responsibility of its owner. If a dog bites someone, the owner is potentially liable for the dog’s actions despite the dog’s breed. A dog’s owner cannot shirk liability by attempting to prove that he or she did not realize a dog would bite because the dog has never behaved that way before.

There are a few steps to follow if you or someone in your family has been attacked or bitten by a dog or any other type of animal. As always, the Florida Dog Bite Injury Attorneys encourage you to seek out the proper medical attention needed before taking any other steps.

• Always obtain a medical evaluation, even if you feel it is not needed.

• Get the contact information of the dog owner. This includes their name, phone number, address, etc. It is pertinent to find out the dog’s information as well, such as the dog’s age, what breed it is, if the dog has any diseases and if it is up to date with its vaccinations.

• Get the name and contact information for any witnesses.

• Report the injury to the police and request a copy of the incident report.

• Take photographs of the dog, area of attack and your injuries, if you can.

• Save any clothing that was damaged by the dog.

• Contact the Florida Dog Bite Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton right away.

• Do not accept any amount of settlement from a dog owner’s insurance company before speaking with an attorney.

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An 85-pound pit bull mastiff mauled a two-year-old girl’s face and upper body after she reportedly tried to feed it a treat. The unneutered dog named Fresh, was euthanized by Hillsborough County Animal Services after the dog’s owner stabbed the dog in the face to allegedly get him off of the toddler.

The child was taken to a local hospital where her conditions are unknown. A man and woman suffered injuries on their arms from the attack.

Officers cited the owners because they could not show proof of the dog’s vaccinations or tags. Officers said that charges are unlikely to be filed since the attack happened to a family member and not a stranger.

No previous problems with the dog or its owners were reported.

In the 3-year time frame of 2006 to 2008, pit bull type dogs reportedly killed 52 Americans and accounted for 59 percent of all fatal attacks. Together, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73 percent of these deaths. Each day, an estimated 1,000 Americans need emergency care treatment for dog bite injuries. Through a compilation of U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2010, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, named pit bulls, rottweilers, presa canarios and their mixes as the breeds most liable for serious injuries and death.

Dogs that bite are a liability to their owners and can pose dangerous threats to other people. Most states have comprehensive laws pertaining to dog bites and dangerous dogs, and Florida is no exclusion to these regulations. Florida’s law, “Damage by Dogs” makes it clear that a dog owner is responsible for any and all destruction that arises from a dog biting an individual, whether in public or private. This includes the dog owner’s home. This accountability can be reduced if the bite happens because of the victim’s negligence or taunting. Any injuries the dog in question inflicts on other persons, livestock or domestic pets, is an owner’s legal responsibility.

Local governments in Florida can enact their own regulations, which can differ by city and town. Unlike other states that may let owners off the hook for first time dog attacks, Florida law has no tolerance for vicious dogs, first time offenders or not. This means that if a victim is harmed because of a dog attack, the owner may be liable for present and future medical bills, present lost wages and future earnings, present and future damages relating to pain, scarring and even psychological suffering and property destruction.

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