How to Avoid a Dog Bite

Unlike states with a “one-bite rule,” Florida law states that dog owners are strictly liable any time their dog bites another person, regardless of whether or not the dog has previously displayed aggressive or vicious behavior. This means that if you are bitten by a dog it is possible to collect damages from the dog’s owner, even if they had no idea the dog would bite. (Statutory exceptions include cases in which the bitten person was trespassing on private property).

dog bite

However, we here at Rudez PL believe that it is always better to avoid injury when possible. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can protect you and your family from dog bites.

  • Avoid leaving children alone with dogs. And, yes, this includes your family pet. According to the Florida Department of Health, more than half of dog bites occur in the home and involve a dog known to the family.
  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog. This especially applies to dogs that are unaccompanied by a person, whether they are strays, or pets that got loose from their owners. But, even if a dog is with its owner, it may bite if it feels scared or threatened. Teach your children to always ask the owner before approaching a dog, and to let the dog smell their hand before petting.
  • If you do find yourself in a situation where you think a dog might attack, Don’t run. Often when a dog feels scared or threatened, their natural instincts will kick in. If you run from them, they may assume you are now prey and chase after you.
  • Do not interfere with a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. These are times when a dog feels most vulnerable, and therefore they are more likely to react if they are startled or scared.

Dogs may be Man’s Best Friend. But, remember that they are still animals and any animal can bite. Respect your dog and other dogs you meet, and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid a dog bite.

If you or a loved one are victim to a dog bite, call Rudez PL at 844-RUDEZLAW for a FREE consultation with Attorney Dan Rudez. Dan speaks Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian (Bosanski, hrvatski, Српски).

Escalator and Elevator Accidents and Injuries

Central Florida has some wonderful shopping malls. There’s Mall at Millenia with its upscale stores and high glass ceilings, kid-friendly Florida Mall and its new Dining Pavilion, the recently opened Disney Springs outdoor shopping district, and the Premium Outlet Malls

Mall at Millenia.

But, with all of these malls, comes the risk for shopping mall accidents.

When you think of shopping mall accidents, you probably think of slip and falls. While these might be the most common type of accidents in a mall, and they can certainly cause substantial damage, there are many other ways you can be injured while shopping.

Escalators and elevators are one of the more common causes of accidents in shopping malls. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), approximately 17,000 people are injured each year in accidents involving escalators or elevators.

Escalator injuries can occur when clothes, shoes or even toes get caught inside the mechanism, or when mismatched steps cause the rider to trip. Even a sudden stop can cause a shopper to fall or otherwise injure themselves on an escalator.

Shoppers can be injured when elevator doors close on them or, in the most extreme case, an elevator cable breaks and causes the car to fall to the ground floor.

In Florida, and all 50 states, shopping mall owners have a legal duty of care to protect shoppers from harm while on their property by regularly inspecting and properly maintaining their facilities, including elevators and escalators. This means that if a shopper is injured by an escalator or elevator, the shopping mall owners may be liable.

For the most part, shopping can be a fun, enjoyable, and safe way to spend a day in Central Florida. But, if you are injured in a shopping mall, you may need the advice of a qualified attorney.

Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians

With few crosswalks, disconnected sidewalks, and many high speed roadways, it’s no surprise that Florida isn’t the safest place in the country for pedestrians. But, did you know that since 2009, Florida has ranked as the number one most dangerous state for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America.

Every year Smart Growth America publishes a list of the most dangerous metropolitan areas, and last year, eight of the top ten cities were in Florida.

Most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians

Across the state, there were 8,936 pedestrian accidents in 2016. Often the victims of pedestrian accidents are from the most vulnerable parts of the population: adults over 65, racial minorities, and those from low-income backgrounds.
While being a pedestrian in a metropolitan area will always put you at risk, there are ways to keep your and your family a little safer:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. This goes beyond just looking both ways before crossing the street. When walking in a high traffic area, put away your phone and take out at least one earbud. Your eyes and ears need to be available to survey the area and check for any possible hazards.
  • Make yourself more visible. When it’s dark or rainy, stay in well-lit areas whenever possible. If your usual route doesn’t have many street lights, try wearing reflective clothing. And whatever you do, don’t wear all black at night.
  • Follow the rules of the road. Even though you’re not driving, walking with the flow of traffic and obeying all traffic signals will keep you safer.

And drivers, you can help keep pedestrians safer by following posted speed limits, turning on your headlights when visibility is low, and using extra caution while driving in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.