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Who's the bully? The dog or its owner?

The love of dogs is far-reaching in Florida and across the country. There seem to be fewer places where dogs are not welcome and pampered. Nevertheless, this unconditional affection does not always extend to all breeds. Even as many households love and treat their dogs like children, certain breeds stir contempt in some hearts.

If you have recently suffered injuries from a dog bite, you may be less concerned about the breed of the dog than you are about getting well. However, the breed of dog that attacked you may play a very important part in your legal rights.

A breed apart

In some states, local jurisdictions have labeled certain dog breeds as dangerous. Homeowners' insurance policies may blacklist certain breeds, and property owners may prohibit renters from owning dogs of those varieties. Why have these dogs gotten such a bad reputation?

You may agree that the media has played its part in swaying public opinion against dogs such as Rottweilers and animals in the pit bull class. Public opinion commonly accepts these dogs as aggressive, unpredictable and even vicious, but dog advocates point the finger at irresponsible breeding and improper handling. Dogs of any breed that are neglected, abused or untrained may become unpredictable or hostile. In fact, the dog that bit you may appear on lists of other breeds some people consider dangerous dogs, such as:

  • Boxers
  • Chow chows
  • Dalmatians
  • Doberman pinschers
  • German shepherds
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian huskies

On the other hand, the dog that attacked you may have been a mutt of indistinguishable breeding, perhaps even a dog most would consider gentle. The reason for the dog's attack may be a mystery, but that may not absolve its owner from liability.

When the bite is worse than the bark

No matter the circumstances surrounding your dog bite, if you suffered an injury that required medical attention, you are likely facing unexpected medical bills. These may include the expense of an emergency room visit, stitches and perhaps reconstructive surgery.

You may feel the dog owner holds some responsibility for your pain and suffering but are not sure how to prove negligence. For help in this area, you may find comfort in the counsel of a personal injury attorney. A lawyer well-versed in Florida laws regarding dog bites and owner responsibility can guide you in seeking to obtain compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

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Anderson & Anderson - personal injury

Anderson & Anderson
213 South Brevard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 800-848-3024
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