As a parent, it is difficult to deal with the everyday challenges of raisin a child in Florida. The duties of a parent are made much more difficult when there is an injury to a child. This is especially true when dealing with dog bite injuries. When a child is bit or attacked by a dog, it is often times a sudden, unexpected event. In some cases, the injuries are minor and do not require any medical care. In other instances, emergency medical care is necessary. In serious cases, there are permanent injuries including scarring to a child. This is especially traumatic when there are facial injuries inflicted upon the innocent child. Parents often times do their best in the face of danger and trauma to help children through this most difficult time. Here are some basic tips (both legal and common sense) to help parents deal with the issues of a dog bite injury to a child:
1. Stay calm. Attend to your child first. Provide for the safety and care of your child above all else. Assessing the whys and hows of the incident can be taken care of later.
2. Get Medical Attention. There are several options for medical care including: first aid kit, emergency room visit, urgent care center visit, and / or pediatrician visit.
3. Talk to Your Child. In most cases, the child did nothing to provoke the dog. Make sure you tell your child that he / she did nothing wrong and that sometimes dogs get confused and scared and react this way.
4. Take Photographs. When you are able to (whether at the scene, at the doctor, or elsewhere) - take photographs of the injuries on a good digital camera. A built in camera on a mobile phone will do but many such built in cameras lack the quality of a good digital camera. Video footage may be helpful as well to illustrate the damages.
5. Animal Control. If you believe that the dog in questions poses a continuing threat to the neighborhood or others, contact your local Animal Control office to make sure that the incident is reported and that safety measures are taken by the owner and / or Animal Control to protect others from the dog at issue.
6. Refrain from Making Statements to Insurance Companies. Some insurance companies act very quickly on dog bite matters. Some will contact you the same day. Before giving any statements to an insurance adjuster or providing access to your child for a statement or for photographs, consult with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and possible legal representation.
7. Contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer / Florida Personal Injury Attorney. Getting legal advice on a Florida dog bite matter will provide you with the information you need to make better decisions on how to handle the legal and practical issues involved with a dog bite injury. These include the following:
Who is going to pay for the current medical bills?
Who is going to pay for the future medical care?
Where should my child get treated for the dog bite injuries?
Are there any doctors who specialize in treating dog bite injuries / wounds?
What plastic surgeons in town treat children / adult with dog bite injuries?
Is there going to be scarring or other serious injuries from the dog bite?
What is the Florida law on point as to dog bite injuries?
Is the dog owner legally responsible for the damages to my child?
What kind of insurance is required for owners of dogs in Florida?
Will the homeowner's insurance of the dog owner cover my child's injuries?
The above issues apply to just about every dog bite case. Of course, there are many other practical and legal issues that arise in these Florida dog bite situations that can be addressed by a Florida Child Injury Lawyer. A child who has been injured by a dog bite or dog attack in Florida has rights that should be enforced and protected.
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Levy County requires all dogs, who are roaming freely, to wear an identification tag that identifies the dog's owner and the owner's address. It is unlawful to permit your dog to roam free or become a stray without the proper identification. An animal control officer is permitted to pick up any roaming, unidentified dog and place it in the city animal pound. The animal control officer shall contact the owner of the dog, if the owner is known. The owner then has 3 days to pick up the dog and pay the county for any fees or expenses incurred in enforcing the ordinance. If the dog owner fails to comply with the ordinance or the owner is unable to be identified, the dog will be disposed of as provided by law. If you would like to read more of the provisions of Levy County's animal control statute see Code of Ordinances of Levy, County, Florida.
Levy County is located in North Central Florida and includes the following cities:
Bronson, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Inglis, Morriston, Rosewood, Otter Creek, Williston, and Yankeetown. It is important to note that although the county may not have a leash requirement, a city within the county made have their own leash law.
It is critical to follow the laws of your county and city so you do not run the risk of liability. Dog bites can result in serious injury and you, as an owner, will more than likely incur the damages resulting from that injury. Florida Law does not have a "one free bite" law - if your dog bites someone, the owner is liable regardless of the dog's history. Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for questions or issues you may have regarding dog-bite-related injuries.
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Is There a Dog Leash Law in Citrus County (Crystal River, Hernando, Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, Inverness) Florida?
It is a punishable offense for a dog owner to permit their dog to run at-large on any public street, sidewalk, park or any private property unless given consent by the owner of the private property. A dog is only allowed to be on public property if the dog is restrained by (1) a person of sufficient strength to control the dog and (2) a suitable leash of dependable strength and reasonable length. In the event your dog happens for be impounded, you, as the dog's owner are liable for any fees or expenses incurred by the county as a result of the proper care and confinement of the animal. If a dog is found at large and the it reasonably appears to the officer that the dog is of imminent death or cannot be cured or rendered fit for service, the officer has the authority to dispose of the animal as provided under Citrus County Law.
"At large" is defined as being off the premises of the owner and not under direct control, custody, charge or possession of the owner, or other responsible person, either by leash, cord or chain by an individual physically capable of providing strength. Chapter 14, Animals, Article II, Animal Control, Section 14-32, Definitions.
To read more on laws concerning dogs or other animals in Citrus County see Code of Ordinances, County of Citrus, Florida.
Citrus County is located in West Central Florida and includes the following cities:
Beverly Hills, Black Diamond, Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, Crystal River, Floral City, Hernando, Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, Inverness, Lecanto, Pine Ridge, and Sugarmill Woods.
Dealing with Florida dog-bite related injuries can be very stressful. A victim may suffer from high amounts of pain and discomfort as well as the additional concern of permanent injury, such as scarring. Also, medical bills can start piling up and the expenses can become overwhelming. Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to discuss issues of liability and damages regarding dog attacks.Posted by David A. Wolf
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Is There a Dog Leash Law in Volusia County (Daytona Beach, DeLand, New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach, South Daytona) Florida?
It is required under Volusia County ordinance Chapter 14, Article 2, Section 14-45 for any dog owner to ensure that (1) the animal is kept under restraint; (2) reasonable care and precautions are taken to prevent the animal from leaving, while unattended, the real property of the owner; and (3) the animal is:
a. securely and humanely confined within a house, building, fence, crate, or other enclosure;
b. humanely secured by chain, cable, or rope of sufficient strength to prevent escape; or
c. leashed or otherwise controlled by a responsible person. Or, if the animal is unrestrained, is under command of a person present with the animal. The voice command must be demonstrated as effective restrained if requested.
Owners of dangerous dogs are required to take additional safety precautions. The owner of a dangerous dog or its successor must fence their property with an area or perimeter fence. Within this area, the dog must be humanely confined in a kennel of adequate size. The sides to the kennel must be buried two-feet under ground or sunk into a concrete pad. The gate of the kennel must always be locked.
You can read more of the laws pertaining to dogs and other animals in Volusia County at Code of Ordinances, County of Volusia, Florida.
Dogs can inflict serious or permanent injury upon their victims. It is important, as a dog owner, to know the laws of your county, city and other surrounding areas. Although your county may not have a specific leash law, your city may and as a resident of both, you are obligated to follow each set of ordinances.Posted by David A. Wolf
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Summer time is a great time to be outdoors and take your children to area parks or playgrounds. Playgrounds are a great way to stay active and have fun, however, the nation's emergency physicians urge parents to be attentive in order for their children to avoid sustaining a playground injury. Generally, playground injuries are only minor, involving a small cut or scrape, but there are sometime playground injuries can be much more serious. Emergency physicians see more than 200,000 children per year who sustained a playground injury to the head, neck and spinal cord or suffer from internal bleeding or strangulation.
An article published by PR Newswire suggested some tips parents can use to prevent playground injuries:
1. Closely supervise your children, whether they are young or old.
2. Inspect the playground facility to ensure it is properly maintained. - Are any pieces of equipment broken? Is the playground equipment surrounded by adequate cushioning?
3. Make sure the playground equipment is age appropriate. - Some equipment is meant for older children.
4. Older children should play at a distance from younger children, this keeps older children from injuring children who are physically smaller.
5. Do not let your children wear articles of clothing that have hoods or strings on them. - Wearing this type of clothing while playing on playground equipment increases the risk of choking hazards.
6. Teach your children to follow the safety rules of the playground.
To read more on this topic see Reduce the Risk of Playground Injuries this Summer.Posted by David A. Wolf
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In Polk County, Florida, dog owners are prohibited from allowing their dog to become a stray or run at large upon any public street, sidewalk, park, other public property or private property of another. In these specified areas a dog is required to be leashed and under the direct control of the person in custody of the animal. The only exclusion is a hunting dog who is engaged in the sport of hunting in authorized areas at authorized times and under the supervision of a competent person. While in a dog park, the dog must be under the direct control and supervision of its owner or custodian. Violation of this ordinance is a punishable offense. For more specific language on this ordinance see Polk County Ordinance, Section 14-27.
A dog at large is defined by Section 14-22 as a dog who is off the premises of its owner or custodian and who is not under the direct control or supervision of its owner or custodian. "Under direct control" means a dog is, at all times, under the immediate and continuous physical control by means of a leash, fence, chain or cord of sufficient strength.
Polk County is located in West Central Florida and includes the following cities:
Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fedhaven, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Highland Park, Hillcrest Heights, Indian Lake Estates, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Lakeland, Mulberry, Nalcrest, Polk City, Providence, and Winter Haven.
To read more Dog Provisions in Polk County, Florida see Code of Ordinances of Polk County, Florida.
Under Florida Law, dog owners are liable for the injuries inflicted by their dog and the damages resulting therefrom. These types of damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of value of life. If you have been bit or otherwise attacked by a dog you should contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to discuss the various legal issues of your case.Posted by David A. Wolf
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13 Year Old Admits to Punching / Abusing Child at Day Care Center According to Bradenton Florida Detectives
Heather Lovett, a 21-year-old woman of Bradenton, Florida and owner of Our Kids Home Daycare was arrested and charged with child neglect after a toddler in her care had to be rushed the the emergency room. The 22-month-old toddler had bruises all over her body, including her head, face and neck as well as dried blood in her ears. According to a police report, the toddler also had injuries consistent with a sexual assault.
Lovett told police that her boyfriend's 13-year-old son was at the daycare during the time the toddler incurred the injuries. When detectives confronted the teenage boy, he gave them numerous accounts as to what happened to the toddler. Eventually, detectives say the teenager admitted to "losing control" and punching the toddler at least 20 times in the face and body. The boy said he became enraged after the toddler threw a golf ball at his face. The 13-year-old did not admit to any sexual abuse. He was charged with aggravated child abuse, but could face additional charges.
This is not the first time the police have responded to a complaint at Lovett's daycare. In June 2010, detectives investigated a claim of child molestation at the daycare after a 3-year-old boy said he was abused. According to a police report, the suspect in that investigation was a 15-year-old boy and brother of the 13-year-old arrested in this case. Investigators said, the 15-year-old denied the allegations against him.
Each criminal defense in this case has a right to a lawyer and speedy trial. If you would like to read more about this story see Teenager accused of abusing a 2-month-old toddler at Bradenton, Florida daycare facility.
Violence, both sexual and physical, against a child is a repugnant offense, the consequences of which can be lifelong. If you suspect any incidents of abuse, you should immediately report them to local authorities, police, sheriff's office, and / or the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) so a criminal investigation can be initiated. Furthermore, a Florida Child Injury Lawyer can assist in investigating the abuse, neglect, and personal injuries to a child.Posted by David A. Wolf
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