Can Animal Control be Responsible for My Personal Injuries?

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Fear of dogs is something that most people brush off until they’re face to face with an angry canine. Not only can sweet dogs turn vicious in seconds, but it can happen anywhere. Not only are you at risk when venturing into a neighbor or friend’s yard. But you can be walking down the sidewalk when suddenly you’re face to face with a dog that’s ready to bite. The issue with stray dogs is that you can end up with thousands or tens of thousands in medical debt. That’s right; dog bites can result in serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. There’s also a variety of bacteria that can begin deteriorating your skin or health. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, a personal injury attorney in Tampa can help you with filing a personal injury case.

Dog Bites and Personal Injury Cases

Dog bites present many different injuries, including skin disfigurement, broken bones, bacterial infections, and even skin deteriorating diseases. These injuries often go untreated as the people brush off the dog bite as a not-so-serious situation.

When someone is bitten by a dog at someone’s home, it’s possible for people to know who to take action against. But when it comes to stray dogs, there are many questions about who has any dominion over these animals. Strays are a serious issue in Florida, and it’s never clear whether animal control or the city or the dog’s unofficial keeper is responsible.

If you were hurt and had to seek medical treatment after a dog bite, then you need to consult with a Tampa personal injury attorney to learn more about your compensation options. Because dog bites can run up medical bills quickly, it’s likely that you need some form of compensation.

But, you may also need compensation for missed work, trauma from the event, and the inability to perform job duties during your recovery. These aspects are only a few that could be considered as part of your case. A personal injury case is a step for financial recovery after a dog bite injury.

When Should a Violent Dog Face Serious Consequences?

Florida labels dogs as violent or dangerous only after they were previously determined to be dangerous, had bitten attacked or inflicted injury, or chased a person unprovoked. Essentially this could apply to most stray dogs that roam through Tampa. These animals may face the consequences, including euthanasia, as determined by the police department or the court system.

The options for euthanasia aren’t immediate, however, and many times these dogs will spend time in holding or with animal control That means that there is a likely chance that the dog who attacked you will be released again, or maybe go to a family if the dog was not categorized as dangerous.

There is also the opportunity for the dog to vacate the scene after the attack. Strays will frequently take off after an attack leading animal control on a search that will likely have no results. It’s nearly impossible for animal control to locate the specific animal with nothing more than basic breed identification.

For example, if a German Shepherd bit you, they may be on the lookout for a German Shepherd or a mixed breed. That doesn’t mean that the one they catch will be the same dog that bit you.

Who is Responsible for Strays?

Animal control is not inherently responsible for all strays. Their function is to ensure that the public is safe from dangerous animals and that wild or feral animals are in safe places and preferably their natural habitat. Within Florida, that often means relocating snakes, reptiles, and mammals to safe areas for them. However, dogs don’t have a natural habitat out here, and it’s impossible to rehome them if they’re dangerous.

The city of Tampa might be responsible for strays if the dog was unable to be caught, rehomed, or euthanized given the situation. Dogs that have a history of violence, or antagonizing people in public will likely fall to the city’s responsibility.

Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney at Winters & Yonker

At Winters & Yonker, our attorneys have extensive experience handling personal injury cases,  including animal bites and attacks. It’s no secret that there is an overwhelming number of strays roaming through Florida, and violent strays pose a major public health risk. Contact a Tampa personal injury law firm that can help you learn who should have taken care to protect you.

In public places or when visiting homes, there are specific people who should make sure that you are safe. When animal attacks happen, it makes it clear that you’re not safe, and that’s not right. Contact Winters & Yonker to schedule a consultation and learn more about your chances of recovering full compensation.