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What to Do if You Experience a Florida Dog Bite Injury

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on December 27, 2014

According to a recent study by State Farm Insurance, Florida has some of the highest number of dog bite claims in the United States. The company reported 123 dog bite claims were paid out, worth a total of $7.3 million in 2012. That was the eighth highest in the country.

In April of 2014, Melody Kelly was standing outside her house. She was waiting for her husband and had the family Shih Tzu on a leash. The couple had planned to take a walk together. As she waited, a neighbor’s dog charged out of its yard and ran toward Melody and her dog. The woman’s dog was a lot smaller than the charging animal. She picked up her dog, trying to protect it. The other animal began circling and eventually attacked Melody. The animal bit her arm and elbow and ripped out a chunk of skin above her eye. Melody screamed and her son ran out of the house. The attacking animal was distracted, and Melody ran into the house.

When medical personnel arrived they were gravely concerned about Melody’s injuries. They even considered airlifting her. The owner of the animal, Myline Berrios, said her dog, a lab/pitbull mix, was not completely responsible for the attack, but initially said she would take responsibility for Melody’s medical bills.

Myline was fined $300 and charged with improper confinement of a vicious animal, which is defined as “one that kills or unjustifiably causes physical injury to a person or to a domestic animal.” She was also charged with allowing an animal to run loose.

Soon, medical bills worth thousands of dollars arrived at Melody’s. She tried to get Myline to pay the bills, but the neighbor stopped responding to messages. Myline rented the house and did not have renter’s insurance. The property owner’s insurance did not cover dog bites.

Melody had no choice and filed a civil claim. She was awarded $5,000, which the woman claims covered most of her medical bills. Melody had reconstructive surgery on her eye to try to hide the scar that was left after the dog attack.

If you or a loved one has been injured or bitten by a vicious dog, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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Florida Personal Injury Office Locations

Main Office

Orlando Personal Injury Office:
3117 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-425-2000
Toll Free: 877-FL-INJURY
Fax: 407-843-8274

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Lake Mary Office:
1001 Heathrow Park Lane
Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

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Kissimmee Office:
17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County

Daytona Beach Office:
1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

DeBary Office:
465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Deland Office:
Downtown Executive Center
120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County

Inverness Office:
110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County

Lakeland Office:
1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Winter Haven Office:
325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County

Tampa Office:
100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties

The Villages Office:
3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County

Mt. Dora Office:
602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Clermont Office:
900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County

Titusville Office:
506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Cocoa Office:
96 Willard Street
Suite 206,
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373