Florida - Legal Rights Rights of a Child - Dog Bite Injuries
Over the past 30 years, David Wolf has represented a number of children who were injured as a result of a dog bite incident. Some injuries were minor in nature and only required relatively minimal medical care while other incidents involved quite serious injuries that required surgery and resulted in significant scarring. The State of Florida has laws in place that protect children and provide children a legal cause of action to pursue compensation for dog bite related injuries. Florida is a strict liability regarding dog bite injuries. In other words, a dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries to a child caused by a dog regardless of the dog's lack of any history of violence and regardless of any negligence on the part of the dog owner. There are some exceptions to this general rule of law. If the dog owner is strictly liable, then what are the challenges to pursuing a dog bite injury case? Unfortunately, in investigating a number of child injury cases related to a dog bite, there tends to be a lack of homeowner's insurance or liability insurance to cover such personal injuries. In the State of Florida, many insurance carriers specifically exclude dog bite related injuries and incidents in the policy language. For those policies that cover dog bite related injuries, the amount of insurance may be limited as compared to the extent of the injuries.
For some reason, dogs tend to become aggressive with children. It may be because of their size, scent, fear, movement, or other reasons. When a dog attacks a child, the injuries can and often are quite serious. Due to the size of a child, a dog often bites the child in the facial area which can have a lifetime effect on the child in the form of permanent scarring. Certainly, the child will be emotional scarred from such an event and some children end up have a fear or phobia of dogs for a lifetime.
It should be noted that personal injury cases involving a child are handled differently than a personal injury case for an adult. There are certain rules, regulations, and procedures. In the State of Florida, if the gross amount of the settlement in $15,000 or more, a petition must be filed with the circuit court requesting that the judge approve the settlement. The judge will evaluate the terms of the settlement and the facts to determine if the settlement is in the best interest of the child. There is an added requirement or procedure if the settlement is $50,000 or more. Under these circumstances, a judge will appoint a guardian ad litem which is typically another personal injury attorney with knowledge of personal injury cases who will then review the settlement, interview the parents, and then render a report as to the terms of the settlement. If the net of the settlement is $15,000 or more, then the funds must be protected in some manner on behalf of the minor child until the child reaches the age of 18. The funds for a net settlement of $15,000 or more must be put into a restricted bank account, court approved annuity, or some other form that does not involve any risks to the funds and that is approved by the judge.
David Wolf has been representing injured children and adults due dog bite injuries for over 30 years. He is the author of 12 books and over 4,000 articles that focus on personal injury and child injury matters. He is the author of the book titled When A Dog Is Not Man's Best Friend - The Legal Rights Of The Dog Bite Victim. The book has chapters on General Legal Issues, Insurance Issues, Liability - Comparative Fault - Proof Issues, Legal Rights of the Child Injured by a Dog Bite, Wrongful Death, Settlement Compensation and Damages. You can get his book for free at Dog Bite Personal Injury Book.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, attorney David Wolf represents dog bite injury victims across the State of Florida. He has successfully handled dog bite cases on behalf of children and helped parents get through the approval process through the court system. Contact David Wolf today for a Free Consultation at (904) 500-WOLF or (904) 500-9653. You can also e-mail David Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.