Category: Dog Bite Injuries

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Dog Bite Liability and Children

Dog Bite Liability and Children

Learn about dog bite liability and children. The Fifth District Court ruled that in Florida, a child is held liable in the same manner as an adult when he or she contributes to a dog attack by mischievously provoking the dog. In the case of Porter v. Allstate, the court ruled that four-year-old Michael Porter contributed to his dog attack injury by allegedly pulling on the dog's ears before the dog attack injury occurred. The Fifth District Court of Appeal of Florida ruled on an important issue concerning dog bite liability and children. In the case of Porter v. Allstate Insurance Company, the Porter family filed a lawsuit on behalf of their four-year-old son who was injured during a dog attack. The victim, Michael Porter, was accused of pulling on the dog’s ears immediately before the attack. In court, this conduct can be classified as provoking a dog, a known statutory defense in a dog bite case. Legal Accountability of Children Under common law, a child under six years of age is legally incapable of being negligent. The lawsuit discussed whether a child can be considered to be comparatively negligent for provoking a dog in a careless or mischievous manner. Comparative negligence refers to the victim’s actions or behaviors which may have contributed to the injury in question. The court ultimately held that, despite common law, dog bite liability based on statute generally applies to children in the same manner that it applies to adults. Contrary to Harris v. Moriconi, a First District Court of Appeal opinion on a similar issue, the Porter court found that a child could be...
Dog Bites and Children

Dog Bites and Children

Statistics show that roughly half of reported U.S. dog bites each year involve children. In order to prevent dog bites in children, it's important for families to understand why dogs bite children. Additionally, families teach their children to practice safe habits and behaviors around dogs, especially those that are unfamiliar. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated half of the 4.5 million dog bites each year involve children. Specifically, children between ages five and nine are significantly more likely to receive medical attention from dog bites. Parents and dog owners remain alert and aware in order to prevent dog bites in children. Parents can also prevent dog bites in children by educating themselves and their children best practices for meeting, playing with, and handling dogs. Dog Bites and Children Statistics The American Humane Association reports that: Roughly half of dog bites each year occur in children under age 12 82 percent of emergency room dog bite cases involved children under age 15 70 percent of deaths from dog bite attacks occur in children under age 10 Boys under 15 years old experience more dog bites than girls of equal age 65 percent of dog bites in children occur in the child’s neck or head Unsupervised newborns are 370 times more likely to die of a dog bite attack than adults Why Do Dogs Bite Children? There are several theories to explain why dogs bite children. Many experts believe the smaller stature and generally more erratic behavior of children are contributing factors. As a result, children may be more likely to trigger the prey drive of...
Dog Bite Liability

Dog Bite Liability

When dog bites cause injury, dog bite liability can become an important issue. In many cases, the dog's owner is legally responsible and holds dog bite liability. However, different states have different dog bite laws that pertain to each specific dog bite occurrence. Read more to learn about state dog bite liability laws. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million dog bites occur each year. Out of these 4.7 million dog bites, an estimated 800,000 result in injury that requires medical attention. Dog bite liability becomes an important issue when dog bites lead to injuries. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that more than 16,000 dog bite claims were filed in 2012. Dog bites are estimated to account for roughly one-third of homeowners’ insurance liability claims in the United States. Determining Dog Bite Liability Generally speaking, the dog’s owner is liable for dog bite injuries when the owner was aware of the dog’s tendency to cause an injury. Dog owners may also hold dog bite liability in cases where their negligent or careless behavior contributed to the dog bite injury. Certain state statutes may also impose strict liability on the dog’s owner whether or not the owner was aware of or directly responsible for the dog bite. State Dog Bite Liability Laws All states have laws dictating certain circumstances where owners are legally responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. These dog bite laws vary from state to state. Therefore, determining dog bite liability is often dependent on the state in which the dog bite injury occurs. It should be noted that...
Kids and Dogs at Friends’ Houses

Kids and Dogs at Friends’ Houses

It can be unnerving when your child visits a family friend with a dog. Teaching children to respect dogs from a young age can help to emphasize certain behaviors that a child should practice around unfamiliar dogs. By establishing respect between kids and dogs, your child can help to avoid confrontation with dogs that may not appreciate a child's playful affection. When your children visit friends who have a family dog, the situation may be difficult. The main reason for this is that you most likely have little to no control over the dog or its behavior. The dog may have aggressive tendencies, poor training and behavior, or a distaste for children. As a parent, it is important to teach your children from an early age how to behave around dogs. This is especially important for behaving around unfamiliar dogs. By instilling dog safety in your kids, you can play an indirect role in situations that you may not be able to control in the future. Kids and Dogs First and foremost, kids should learn to respect all dogs and their boundaries. It’s no secret that most children enjoy playing, which tends to include roughhousing. A common issue with kids and dogs occurs when a child becomes too unintentionally aggressive or rowdy with a dog. Some dogs are simply not receptive to this behavior. Lesson 1: Dogs Are Not Toys One of the most important lessons a child can learn is that dogs are not toys. Therefore, they cannot be treated like toys. Kids should learn as soon as possible that tail pulling, hitting, and smothering are not acceptable...
Preventing Dog Fights

Preventing Dog Fights

If you own a dog, it is important to know how to prevent a dog fight. Once dog fights begin, they can quickly escalate into life-threatening situations for any animals and humans involved. Avoiding a dog fight entirely is the safest bet; however, if a dog fight has already started, the ASPCA recommends a list of safe ways to stop the dog fight before it grows out of control. Dog fights have serious consequences. Unfortunately, they are common occurrences. The problem of dog on dog attacks needs to be considered by owners of dogs that bite. In addition, owners of seemingly docile dogs need to be aware of the warning signs before a dog fight, so they may avoid getting caught up in a bad situation. How to Prevent Dog Fights To prevent dog fights, it is important that owners are able to respond to a dog-fighting-dog situation. By reading the mood of a dog, identifying common triggers of aggression, and handling dog fights appropriately, it is possible to safely and quickly stop dog on dog attacks. Warning Signs of Dog Fights Step one of preventing dog on dog attacks is to identify the warning signs of aggressive dog behavior. Pet owners are responsible for spotting agitated behavior in their own dogs. With dogs that bite, fights will occur more frequently. Stiffness, raised hackles, and lip curls are all signs that a dog is not okay and preparing to act on its feelings. Spotting these signs early helps prevent dog fights. Many pet owners already know what might upset their dog. The absence of a favorite toy, sharing a...

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