dog bites

Dog Bites are frightening and traumatic for any victim, child or adult. The Law Offices of Rue & Ziffra have been compassionately helping victims and their families of dog bite injuries in Florida for over 40 years in Orlando, Volusia County, Daytona Beach and Flagler County. Below you'll find information on tips to keep your family safe, statistics and more.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, then call our office now at 386-788-7700. We can help you answer questions, guide you through this time and give you aggressive representation to see justice is done for you and your family.

Avoid 7 Dog Bite Mistakes

During the emotional aftermath of a dog bite injury that either you or a loved one has recently experienced, it can be difficult to recall the what to do and what not to do's to protect you and your family.

There are 7 very important common mistakes to avoid regarding dog bite injuries such as failing to seek immediate medical care or giving a recorded statement or signing insurance company forms.

Find out more about the mistakes to avoid when dealing with a dog bite injury!

 What is a Dangerous Dog?

A “dangerous dog,” as defined in §767.11, Florida Statutes, is one that has aggressively bitten, attacked, or endangered or has inflicted severe injury on a human being on public or private property; has more than once severely injured or killed a domestic animal while off the owner’s property; or has been used primarily or in part for the purposes of dog fighting. Further, even an instance of your dog chasing or approaching a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack without provocation can be enough for your dog to be deemed “dangerous.”

What Happens if My Dog is Deemed “Dangerous”?

5 things you must do to if your dog is deemed "dangerous" to protect yourself, others and your dog.

Notify any friends or family you leave the dog with.  Make sure they understand the measures needed to keep the dog secure instead of risk yourself, their liability and another victim.

Learn more about the 4 other things you must do if your dog is deemed dangerous in Florida.

How Common are Dog Bite Injuries?

Dogs have long been a part of the American family, providing love and companionship to their owners. Issues of over-breeding, however, have resulted in an increase in untrained dogs, which in turn can threaten the security of you and your family. Throughout the country, numbers of dog bite injuries are staggering.

According to the CDC, "Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, half of these are children. One in five dog bites results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention." It continues on to say that those who required medical attention, 27,000 of them needed reconstructive surgery. 

While a number of dog bites are caused by a person’s own carelessness or even mistreatment of a dog, aggressive dogs are out there and can do serious damage, even with no provocation. For this reason, Florida statutes hold dog owners strictly liable for injuries or damages caused by their dog, regardless of any history of viciousness or previous biting incidents.

Dog bite injuries are no laughing joke, and the CDC says that while any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to bite, "they are largely preventable".  Victims of dog attacks and dog bites may be entitled to receive help and compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s dog.

Bodily Injuries Resulting from Dog Bites and Attacks

There are many different types of dog bites, from small scratches to those that break the skin. However, even smaller bites can produce bodily injuries with severe long-term effects such as scarring and infection.
Dog bites may result in one or more of the following common injuries:


One in four dog bites become infected and require treatment for the possibility of rabies.

An infection from a dog bite develops when an animal’s teeth break a human’s skin and introduce saliva containing disease organisms. Some common infections resulting from a viral dog bite include:

Rabies- A deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. Common symptoms include fever, headache, trouble swallowing, hallucinations and partial paralysis.

Cellulitis- A spreading infection of the deep layers of the skin that usually begins as a small area where the skin has been broken open. This area begins to spread, however, causing symptoms such as fever, chills and sweats and swollen lymph nodes (“swollen glands”) near the area of infected skin.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

(PTSD) is a common classification of symptoms where victims feel depressed, nervous or fearful after a horrific event occurs. A dog bite victim may not only experience PTSD after the attack occurs, but can suffer from its symptoms for months after.

Another painful effect of a dog bite occurs when the victim establishes a strong fear of dogs and the outdoors. Many victims may avoid certain aspects of their daily routine, such as taking walks and visiting with friends, if dogs are present in those areas. Even individuals who claimed to be a “dog lover” often find it uncomfortable to position themselves around dogs after an attack occurs.

Social Discrimination

Not only can dog bites cause bodily injury in the form of disfiguring scars and infection, they can also leave the victim with impending social consequences.

In our society today, disfigured victims can be subject to social discrimination from having embarrassing scars and wounds that may not heal entirely. As a result, they may feel too humiliated to go out into public whether for meeting with friends or going on dates.

Learn more about other types of injuries associated with dog bites.

What can I Recover from a Dog Bite Claim?

The recovery available to a victim of a dog bite or dog attack depends largely on whether or not the dog owner has in effect a policy of homeowners insurance at the time of the incident.  Obviously, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation you may be entitled to.  Before getting that far though, insurance coverage must be verified because, without it, it is not likely that the dog’s owner will have assets adequate enough to properly compensate you for your injuries.

Learn more about what you can recover from a Dog Bite Claim.

Orlando, Volusia County and Flagler Dog Bite Attorneys for over 40 Years

We know the Florida dog bite laws, so if you have or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite, we will aggressively represent you against the dog owner. Often homeowner’s insurance policies will pay damages related to dog bites, but there are always exceptions and exclusions. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney. We help you receive the maximum amount in your settlement and help you with all paperwork and issues relating to your claim.

Looking for an experienced dog bite lawyer? For over 40 Years, the attorneys at the law offices of Rue & Ziffra have provided legal advice and results for those who have been affected by a Dog Bite Injury in Bunnell, Daytona Beach, DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Edgewater, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Port Orange and Sanford.