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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

How to Handle a Dog Bite Injury

Dogs dominate discussion of animal-related personal injuries. Roughly 85,000 of the four million people bitten by dogs each year are treated in emergency rooms for dog bite injuries, according to a Centers for Disease Control study. Dog bites can cause permanent injuries, both physical and psychological. They can even be lethal. During a recent three-year period, 88 Americans died from dog attacks.

The laws in Florida about who is responsible are pretty clear. If you’re in a public place or in a private place with an invitation and you’re bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog is liable for the injury — although it helps if the dog has displayed vicious behavior in the past. The law becomes more nuanced as different circumstances are considered, such as the injured person’s percentage of fault.

A dog bite is a complicated injury for a doctor to treat. The obvious trauma might need immediate medical repair. To prevent bad scarring, a plastic surgeon’s skills might be required. There is also the real danger of infection. Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent that danger. You may also require a tetanus shot. Doctors try to determine whether the dog is up to date on its rabies and other shots if that information is available. If not, capturing the dog for examination is often recommended. The police can help with that.

In short, it’s a complicated injury — almost as complicated as the law around dog bites. It’s no place for a legal neophyte because the degree of liability is determined by whether there is negligence of the dog owner involved.

The attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm have almost five decades of experience practicing law in Florida. That type of experience is indispensable when dealing with complicated personal injury cases.

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