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What to Do When You Have Been Bitten by a Dog

dog teethIf you have been attacked and injured by a dog, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.  If you have received injuries from a dog bite, you were likely not prepared for it.  Melbourne, FL has had the misfortunate honor of making the list for aggressive dogs in the northern suburb area over the last few years.  Most of these cases have involved dog fighting and some incidents involve people have been “rushed” at but not bitten.  Here are precautions to take if you or someone you known have been bitten by an aggressively behaving dog.

First Things First

Take care of your injury.  This can be as simple as going inside to wash and cover a superficial wound.  However, most dog bites leave one or more puncture wounds that may require stitches.  Dogs also carry and transmit harmful bacteria that can cause infection.  They may even be carrying the rabies virus.  Do not try to catch the dog.  Seek medical attention to ensure you are going to be okay and that your wounds are treated properly.   Once you are out of danger, contact an attorney.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

The unfortunate truth is that injuries sustained from dog attacks range from the easily treatable to the devastatingly irreversible.  Here are some of the most common and less common injuries from dog bites:

  • Single puncture wound
  • Lacerations
  • Multiple puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If the injuries are not life threatening, get the contact info of the dog’s owner so rabies vaccinations can be verified as being up to date.  Most dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property or in a public place.  Florida has a strict liability operation that demands the owners be held responsible for their dog’s behavior anywhere.   While most dog bites are generally non-life threatening the law is very stringent.

Dangerous Dog Statute

In cases where the dog has attacked others before, they are labeled as a “dangerous dog.”  According to Florida law, certain precautions must be taken by the owners to ensure the public’s safety.  Dangerous dogs must be registered with the state and are permanently labeled as such.  They must be secured with warning signs and muzzled whenever outside of their secured dwelling.  There are many other strict requirements to be met by owners and failure to do so can also result in criminal charges.  If a person dies as a result of a dangerous dog attack, the owner could be charged with the homicide.