This summer has been a season of picnics, days at the beach, and outdoor activities that are socially distanced. Along with unexpected accidents causing personal injuries, like animal attacks and incidents. Every year dog bites in Florida by the thousands are reported, according to the Department of Health, with a major spike during the summer months. Just like their Floridian owners, dogs can be irritable in the heat and grumpy when another Floridian gets in their space.
Common Animal Attacks
As Fort Lauderdale residents are in the water more frequently it’s normal to have a fear of sharks and other animals in their environment. Although the normal fear of animal attacks in the summer months is from shark attacks, according to the CDC numbers on animal-caused fatalities, sharks cause an average of just 1 death per year in the US. The reality for us South Florida residents is that we are way more at risk of having a personal injury from other causes.
Statistically speaking, but the following animals are way more likely to bite or attack you than a shark:
- Venomous Snakes and Lizards: 6 deaths per year
- Spiders: 7 deaths per year
- Non-Venomous Arthropods (ants and such): 9 deaths per year
- Cows: 20 deaths per year
- Dogs: 28 deaths per year
- Bees, Wasps, & Hornets: 58 deaths per year
As one of the top-rated personal injury lawyers in South Florida, Englander Peebles take all animal bites and attacks very seriously. You should know that if you or a loved one has been injured by any kind of animal due to the negligence of its owner or handler, you may very well be entitled to compensation.
Proving Liability After an Animal Attack
One of the trickiest areas of personal injury law is liability in dog bite and animal attack cases. This is due to the relatively large number of variables that are involved when an animal injures a person. For instance, when it comes to South Florida personal injury law, it matters whether or not the victim was bitten on “public property” or “private property” and if another person owned the animal. The bottom line is that animal attack and dog bite injuries fall under the umbrella of personal injury cases, so the name of the game is still proving negligence. And, generally speaking, animal attack cases are considered a type of premises liability case.
So, what does all mean? If you are seeking damages for a personal injury sustained on someone else’s property, as your personal injury lawyers we have to show four things:
- The property owner owed you a reasonable duty of care
- They neglected to show a reasonable duty of care
- They were responsible for directly causing the injury
- The extent of your injuries.
When it comes to wild animals like alligators, raccoons, or snakes passing through someone’s property in South Florida, they are likely not liable for any personal injuries these animals may cause. They are not considered a landowner’s “property” under the legal precedent of ‘ferae naturae’, and therefore property owners are not responsible for them. However, if it could be demonstrated that the property owner knew beforehand about the presence of dangerous wild animals and neglected to do anything about it! Believe it or not, this does happen in Florida.
Of all the animals that could cause harm, which is the one you are most likely to encounter during your South Florida summer activities? Actually, the one that causes the biggest number of personal injuries is man’s best friend – dogs. So this summer, the personal injury lawyers at Englander Peebles urge you to be less worried about sharks and more concerned about your interactions with dogs you encounter. Many people are injured every summer by dogs that they already know, making these kinds of animal attacks especially traumatic.
Contact Us Today
Have you had a personal injury due to an animal bite or attack? Our expert team of dog bite lawyers is here for you. If you or someone you love has been hurt, you may not be thinking clearly and may be wondering what to do next. You only have a set amount of time to bring a claim for your injuries, because of statutes of limitation. So if you need Legal Help, Don’t wait. By contacting Englander Peebles you’ll have a clearer idea of what your next steps should be while focusing on getting your health back on track. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!