An 11-year-old was viciously attacked by a dog, causing serious injury to her face that will require ongoing medical treatment. According to an article in WPBF News, Jacklyn Tucker is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen treatments after having her upper lip ripped off by a friend’s family dog. Since the attack, Jacklyn has been receiving treatment at the intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Reports do not indicate that the little girl did anything to disturb the dog. According to Jack Tucker, Jacklyn’s father, the dog was on the floor and started growling at her. Our Palm Beach injury attorneys are aware that dogs can viciously attack even when unprovoked. Children are often the victims of these incidents.
Jacklyn was bit in the lip, the nose and the side of her face. The injuries were severe, requirign at least 100 stitches and 11 staples. The little girl’s plastic surgeon indicated that this is the worst dog bite that he has ever treated. Another treating doctor explained that the girl will have to undergo weeks of initial acute recovery followed by potential multiple surgeries. Even after all that treatment, it is unlikely that she will be fully recovered. At this point, there is still uncertainty if the lip reattachment procedure will work. The little girl is currently in the midst of hyberbaric treatments, which increases the oxygen to the blood as well as blood flow to the wound, allowing the wound to heal faster.
The owners of the attacking dog surrendered the animal to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. After its vicious attack, the dog will likely be euthanized. As mentioned in a previous post, under the Florida dog bite statute, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries or harm caused by their pets. However, the dog owners may be relieved of a portion of the liability if the victim of the attack was negligent as well, contributing to the biting incident. In this particular case, it does not appear that the little girl provoked the dog in any way. In addition, rules about “negligence” are different for children, as the youngest children cannot ever be found to have acted negligently. Therefore, unless further investigations reveal information that might indicate that Jacklyn was a contributing factor to the cause of the incident, the owners of the dog will be held strictly liable.
As this case makes clear, dog bite injuries can be quite serious, leading to significant medical expenses and other losses. In many cases the law provides an avenue by which those hurt can receives redress for their losses.
As a result, it is imperative for victims such as Jacklyn who have suffered serious injuries that require extensive medical attention to seek legal advice in order to ensure that proper compensation and accountability are had. In our area, please contact the Palm Beach personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman for a free consultation.