Pair of Pit Bulls Attack Toddler in Melbourne

Among the recent tragedies to hit South Florida was the mauling of a four year old boy in Melbourne by multiple pit bulls. According to a report on the attack from Florida Today, three pit bull dogs attacked a four year old child in a mobile home park for unknown reason when the dogs’ owner left her home. According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s office, three pit bull mix dogs were taken from the scene of the mauling, but there were actually four dogs in the home at the time of the attack. Police reported that the child’s mother had left him with two women who lived down the street while she went out for unknown reason. When one of the two women watching the boy went out to run an errand, the dogs turned on both the toddler as well as the other woman, who attempted to intervene to stop the attack but was herself bitten by the dogs. A Good Samaritan who lives across the street was able to step in and safely retrieve the child and separate him from the dogs. However, the child still suffered multiple lacerations to undisclosed parts of his body, but his injuries were believed to be non-life threatening according to police. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, he was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for treatment. Melbourne police advised that this was the first incident involving these particular pitbull mixes and that the dogs will remain with Brevard County Animal Services until their investigation into the circumstances of the mailing is complete.

Florida Law Regarding Dog Bites

The scenario of a dog biting someone is so common in the Sunshine State that the Florida Legislature has specifically enacted legislation relating to dog bites, which sets forth the duty of care dog owners owe to others who may come into contact with their dogs.  This legislation, which appears in Section 767.04, Florida Statutes, sets forth a dog owner’s liability in the event his or her dog bites someone in Florida.  Under that statute, the owner of a dog that bites someone who is in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. Therefore, the owner of the three dogs that mauled the four year old in Melbourne likely would be liable for the boy’s injuries given that it appears she agreed to watch the boy while his mother was gone, during which time her dogs attacked the boy.

Damages Available in a Dog Bite or Animal Attack Case

A victim injured by a dog bite or other animal attack in Florida can recover damages consistent with any losses and injuries the victim has suffered.  This includes any bills for medical treatment or other expenses related to the dog bite or animal attack, any lost income (both past and future) the victim may have suffered as a result of the dog bite as well as the expenses associated with whatever future medical treatment is necessitated by the dog bite or other animal attack.  This also includes any pain and suffering, both past and future, the victim may have experienced as a result of the animal attack.  In the case above, because a minor child was injured, his parents would be entitled to bring a lawsuit on his behalf to recover for whatever medical expenses were necessitated as a result of the boy’s injuries, for the expenses of any future medical care the boy will need for his injuries, as well as for the toddler’s pain and suffering as a result of the incident. Given his age, this was most likely a traumatic incident that the little boy will not forget any time soon.

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley if You or a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Dog Bite Incident

Dog bites often can result in serious personal injuries, especially when a child is attacked like in the recent episode in Melbourne.  The experienced dog bite attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. have represented dozens of dog bite victims and their families in personal injury lawsuits involving dog bites and other animal attacks. In many cases, the dog owner may be liable for any injuries suffered as a result of a dog bite or other animal attack in Florida, particularly if they failed to exercise their duty under Florida law to keep others safe from the dog.  If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog or another animal owned by someone else, contact our firm today at (877) 694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation regarding your situation.

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