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Should You Seek Medical Attention After a Clearwater, Florida Dog Bite?

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation provides that 36.5 of all U.S. households own a pet of some type as of 2012; a total of 43,346,000 households [1].   The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals predicts that there are 70-80 million dogs [2] owned in the United States.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery [3] as a result of being bitten by a dog in 2012.  With this many dogs and dog bites nationwide we are reminded how dangerous a dog bite can be even if the injury is not initially obvious.

A dog bite can cause many different types of injuries including:

  • Punctures
  • Sprains or strains
  • Tissue loss
  • Infections including rabies
  • Skin damage
  • Lacerations

In addition to any physical injuries sustained, it is also likely that the victim of a dog bite suffers from psychological injuries as well including those that may be long lasting.

After you or a loved one are bitten by a dog, you may be able to determine if the outer skin is damaged and, therefore, requiring medical attention.  In many instances, however, it will take a doctor or other medical professional to examine the patient in order to determine if there is any damage to deep structures like muscle, tendons, nerves or bones.  As a general rule, it is likely best to seek medical attention from a doctor or other qualified professional if you have been bitten by a dog.  If you are not treated, a dog bite can cause serious infection and even greater injury especially if the animal was diseased.

Call a Clearwater Dog Bite Lawyer

In the state of Florida, Title XLV, Chapter 767 [4] of the statute relates to damage done by dogs and provides, as follows:

“The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.”

Other Florida laws, as well as local and county regulations, may also apply to a case where you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog.  After you receive medical attention, it is important to speak to a Clearwater dog bite attorney who discusses the specifics of your case and determines if you are entitled to compensation under Florida laws.  At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled dog bite attorneys can explain all of these terms and how they apply to your individual case.  Our dog bite lawyers have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
[2] https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
[3] http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2012-Plastic-Surgery-Statistics/full-plastic-surgery-statistics-report.pdf
[4] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0767/Sections/0767.04.html