Dog days of summer: Risk of dog bites increases during the summer

Property and pet owners have a duty to protect lawful visitors and residents and prevent accidents. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and a person winds up seriously injured due to hazards like slippery floors, inadequate security and dangerous animals.

When and if an accident occurs, it is crucial that victims and their families understand their right to pursue compensation for damages from a liable property or pet owner. This is especially important to remember as we head into the summer, as reports indicate that dog bites increase during the summer months.

How to avoid being bitten

You can minimize your risk of being bitten by taking certain precautions around all dogs. Remember to:

  • Stay away from a dog’s food
  • Avoid provoking a dog
  • Be aware of signs of stress or aggression
  • Not play rough with dogs
  • Keep a child’s face away from a dog’s face

These simple steps can keep you and your kids out of harm’s way.

When dog owners don’t comply with the law

Unfortunately, all the precautions in the world may not be able to prevent an attack by a dog when the owner fails to control the animal. If an owner lets a dog roam around in public off its leash, or doesn’t keep a dangerous dog appropriately confined and under control, then there may be very little a person can do to stop the dog should it attack.

Who is liable?

In accordance with Florida laws, the owner of a dog is liable for any damages caused by a bite or attack. Even if a victim is partially to blame, he or she can still recover compensation, though the courts will reduce any award in proportion to the victim’s role in the incident.

If a dog bites you or a loved one this summer, it is critical that you seek medical attention and file a report. Afterward, if the damage is serious, you can file a legal claim pursuing compensation from the negligent or reckless party. This financial award will not undo the frightening incident, but it can allow you and your family to cope with the fallout and focus on recovering.