With summer fast approaching, more and more Florida residents will be congregating outside on porches and sidewalks as their family and friends come to Florida during their vacations and summer holidays. Unfortunately, for some, the carefree evenings can turn tragic when a dangerous dog attacks them.

We have previously reported on Florida dog bites. According to Ocala.com, an unattended dog has once again bitten a young child.

According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control, dogs bite about 4.7 million Americans each year. Of those, 800,000 people will seek medical attention for the bites. Statistics show that the incidence of dog bite injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years old. Approximately two-thirds of dog bite injuries to children four years and younger are to the head and neck.

DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing and preventing serious dog attacks, reports 31 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2011. Of those fatalities, 71 percent were caused by pit bulls. According to the organization, just 5 percent of the total U.S. dog population is pit bulls.

The organization’s statistics also reveal a violent dog does not discriminate by age. Among the victims were an 11-day-old baby, a 20-month-old baby, a four-year-old, a 47-year-old woman and a 74-year-old man. Sadly, many of these canines belonged to the victim’s neighbor, friend or family.

The National Humane Society (NHS) offers the following tips for avoiding a dog bite or attack:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog, particularly a dog that is tied or confined in a car or behind a fence.
  • Avoid petting a dog without first letting him see and sniff you.
  • Do not turn your back to a dog and run away.
  • Do not disturb a dog while it sleeps, eats, chews on a toy or cares for puppies.
  • Be careful around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog may see you as a threat or an intruder if it doesn’t know you.

The NHS encourages owners to have their dogs spayed or neutered to reduce aggression, socialize their dogs to people and other dogs and to have them properly trained.

Our Treasure Coast dog bite injury attorneys realize that regardless of how gentle a dog may seem, there is a potential that the animal will turn violent and will harm a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or an innocent bystander. We encourage all dog owners to ensure their dog is appropriately trained, confined and leashed. Furthermore, we ask that parents keep an eye on their children and never leave them unattended around a dog.

Contact an Experienced Florida Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Today

If a dog has attacked you or a family member, it’s important to understand whether the dog’s owner should be held responsible for your injury. Talk to a caring Florida dog bite injury lawyer to understand your legal rights. I am attorney Philip DeBerard. I have more than three decades of experience helping Florida individuals and families recover from serious injuries caused by the negligence of others.

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, concentrates on helping dog bite victims in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach and Palm Beach. Call 1-800-299-8878 or fill out our online contact form.