The dogs reportedly dragged her by her ponytail and elbow, scrapping her around the concrete yard for 15 minutes before the animals were maced by Lee County sheriff’s deputies. The dogs remain behind a fenced yard on Fort Myers Beach with signs warning of their danger. Lee County Animal Services claims there is nothing they can do about requests from the victim’s family to have the dogs destroyed.
The woman underwent 13 hours of surgery on Thursday and has been hospitalized for 3 weeks. The victim said she did not want to provide a statement and did not want the dogs destroyed. After a 10-day quarantine, the dogs were released to their owner.
The incident happened June 24 when the victim went to the Fort Myers Beach home to pick up an 88-year-old woman. She was attacked while attempting to put the dogs in their cages so they would not interfere with the elderly woman’s passage.
Dog attacks are a startlingly common occurrence. Nationwide, 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly a million require emergency medical attention and more than 30,000 will undergo reconstructive surgery.
A Fort Myers dog bite lawyer should be consulted whenever someone is bitten by a dog. Children are the frequent victims and infections, scaring and emotional issues frequently result. As this case illustrates, adults can be victimized too and the injuries can be very serious.
Under Florida’s dog bite law, a victim can seek a recovery under common liability, negligence, negligence per se, intentional injury or violation of the dog bite statute. Negligence per se deals with violation of other rules governing dogs, such as a local leash ordinance. Florida is a strict liability state, meaning an owner is responsible for injuries inflicted by a dog.
There are few exceptions, including trespass and comparative negligence, in which an owner’s responsibility can be reduced in cases where the victim shares some of the blame for an attack, as in cases where a dog is provoked. Florida law states that small children are unable to contribute to an attack and will be held blameless.
In many cases, the animal in question is a family pet or the beloved pet of a neighbor or family member. In such cases, a Fort Myers dog bite attorney can work in as amicable a manner as possible to file a claim against a homeowner’s insurance policy. Of critical importance is documenting the injuries and the fact that a dog was responsible. In the event of future medical complications, victims who are injured in an undocumented dog attack may be unable to collect damages.