Dog bites are not only physically painful, but also emotionally traumatic.
Victims of severe dog bite injuries may require extensive rehabilitation
or surgery. They may suffer from permanent scarring or physical impairments,
in addition to lasting emotional scars. In rare cases, dogs have even
mauled people to death. If a dog attacked you or your loved one, you may
be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and
pain and suffering. An experienced Sarasota injury attorney can protect
your legal rights and fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the American Humane Association:
- An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur annually in the United States
- Nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical treatment
- Approximately 71 percent of dog bite injuries involve arms, legs, hands and feet
- Approximately 50 percent of dog attacks involve children under age 12
- Children under age 10 account for approximately 70 percent of dog bite
- Most dog bite victims know the dog
Leash laws around the country strive to keep both people and pets safe.
Leash Laws in Florida
Although Florida does not have a statewide leash law, most of the state’s
67 counties do have leash laws in place. In Sarasota County, for instance,
pet owners cannot allow their dogs to run at large and must keep their
dogs leashed when on public property, on someone else’s property
and in common areas of condominium developments and mobile home parks.
Several parks in Sarasota County offer fenced leash-free areas, while
other parks permit leashed dogs. Sarasota County allows service dogs at
all parks and beaches.
What You Can Do to Prevent Dog Bites
In addition to abiding by leash laws, dog owners can take the following
measures to prevent dog bites:
- Spay or neuter all non-breeding dogs
- Supervise dogs, especially around children
- Train and socialize dogs
- Keep dogs behind a fence or on a leash
- Avoid chaining or tethering dogs
People can also observe the following dog safety tips to minimize their
risk of injury:
- Do not pet a dog without asking the owner for permission first
- Do not pet a dog that is behind a fence or sitting in its owner’s car
- Do not approach a dog while it is sleeping or eating
- Do not pet a dog that is playing with a toy
It is important to remember that dogs are animals with the potential for
unpredictable behavior, even though we cherish them as members of the
family. If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, contact
a knowledgeable Sarasota injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.