On Wednesday, January 09, 2013, a 10 year-old Miami boy was attacked by a dog causing permanent injuries. Dog bite injuries are not uncommon to Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida. The 10 year-old boy is now recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital from a deep dog bite wound to his right leg. The attack happened in the area around NW 10 Avenue and NW 108 Street. Fortunately, Police arrived at the scene of the dog attack. The dog then attempted to attack the police and officers opened fire on the dog killing it.
The dog who attacked the boy was not without an owner. Chris Fuentes, the dog’s owner, told the press that at the time of the attack the dog was not on a leash. However, he claims that his property was secure and the dog was kept within the property behind a chained fence. He was unsure of how the dog got off his property. Mr. Fuentes also alleged that his dog had never been aggressive with another individual.
Unfortunately, a small child was permanently injured and possibly scarred for life as a result of this dog attack. His family may have a cause of action against Mr. Fuentes the dog owner. In addition, if the property where the dog was residing was owned by another individual, the victim maybe able to bring a lawsuit against the land owner. The family should retain a local personal injury attorney in order to determine if their is a case.
Florida has clear laws regarding dog bites and the liability of dog owners/property owners. Florida is not a one free bite state, meaning that although a dog has never exhibited aggressive behavior, owners are still liable for a dog’s first attack. In addition, it is reported that the dog was able to exit off its owner’s property. Therefore, a personal injury attorney would want to investigate who constructed the fence and the maintenance of such fence. In addition, a personal injury attorney would need to investigate whether the dog was provoked by the child, obtain the animal control file on the dog, obtain the 911 tape, and obtain the police report. Finally, since the owner has been so forthcoming, it would also be important to preserve all of Mr.Fuente’s statements.
Unfortunately, even if there is no question regarding the liability of the dog owner/property owner, the victim may not be able to recover due to a frequent insurance clause exemption regarding dog bites placed in insurance policies.
The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A.., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases such as dog bite cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.
If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at (305) 577-3777.