West Palm Beach Dog Attack Seriously Injured 11-year-old Girl
Gregg Hollander | July 30, 2012 | Personal Injury
A West Palm Beach dog bite accident left an 11-year-old local girl with very serious facial injured requiring reconstructive surgery. According to ABC NEWS, the little girl was sleeping on a friend’s couch in her friend’s house when she woke up and found the family dog growling in her face.
“I just laid there, and I closed my eyes, hoping the dog would just go away,” said the young victim.
The dog didn’t go away and the Jack Russell terrier-English bulldog snapped at her face, ripping off about three-quarters of her upper lip and part of her nose.
Our Boca Raton dog bite injury attorneys understand that Florida dog bite law says that the owner of any canine that bites someone will be held liable for damages suffered by the bite victim. They will be held liable regardless of the former viciousness of the pup or the owners’ knowledge of such behavior. If a dog that has already been declared dangerous and again attacks a person or a another domestic animal without being provoked, then the owner will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. Afterwards, the dog will be impounded for ten days. During these ten days, the owner may request a hearing.
According to Dog Bite Law, there are special rules when talking about dog bites and children. In the instance when a child is said to have provoked a dog prior to a bite, the recovery of damages may be reduced because the child will be said to have been at partial fault. In the state of Florida, children who are under the age of six are presumably incapable of committing such negligence. When a kid is over the age of six, a jury must determine whether they were capable of appreciating and avoiding the danger.
Doctors of the 11-year-old girl have already tried to reattach the little girl’s lip. The part that came off during the bite was picked up and handed over to paramedics by the dog’s owner. Unfortunately, the bite caused some blood vessel damage, which caused a portion of the skin to die before anything could be done.
Doctors had to take off the dead tissue that was still attached to her face. Doctors say that all that was left was pretty much gums and teeth. They moved ahead with the surgery and decided to take skin from her lower lip and connect it to areas around her upper lip. This procedure is known as a “lip switch.”
Her mouth is completely sewn shut because the blood vessels in the portion of the lower lip are still connected. In two to three weeks, when new blood vessels start to form, she will return for the procedure to have the skin separated.
The family is raising money to help to pay for the procedures. Total medical costs are already $70,000.
The dog was forfeited to a local animal shelter and will most likely be euthanized.