According to a research by the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 4.7 million individuals are bitten by dogs per year in the U.S. At least 800,000 of them require medical treatment while about 30-50 people are killed. If you were injured in a dog attack anywhere in Texas, you may be wondering what to do to find justice. The question of whether you should sue or not should be answered by a qualified personal injury attorney. With their experience, you can determine whether you are eligible for compensation or not.
Our compassionate Texas City dog bite lawyers understand the trauma that usually follows a dog attack. Unfortunately, children are the most affected, followed closely by the elderly. If your child, loved one, or even yourself were a victim of a vicious dog attack, it’s time to speak to us. We are here to help you through treatment and recovery. For a free and confidential consultation, please call our offices today.
Unlike many other states, Texas lacks a specific civil statute that defines liability in a dog bite claim. However, the Supreme Court of Texas made a ruling in 1974 regarding personal injury claims resulting from dog attacks. In Marshall vs Ranne, the court pronounced itself and ruled that such cases should be determined based on the “One Bite Rule.” Simply put, this law states that the first bite is usually free, in that the dog owner may not be held liable for the damage or harm their animal causes to a third party. But after the first bite, then the owner becomes aware of their dog’s tendency to bite or cause injuries.
Put another way, any person whose dog has attacked and injured someone in the past is deemed negligent if another person is attacked. In other words, Texas dog bite cases are also based on negligence. But to recover compensation, your Texas City dog bite attorney must prove that the owner was aware of their animal’s tendency to bite, but failed to observe the duty of care. For example, all dogs must be leashed when in public. Failure to do so amounts to negligence, and the owner may be held responsible if someone is injured or killed. One of the most critical reasons why many dog bite claims fail is the inability by injured persons to prove this element. But with a seasoned Texas dog bite lawyer, you can rest assured that any party that was negligent in maintaining their duty of care will be identified and sued.
What you do after a dog attack can expose you to further harm or keep you safe. Additionally, you should be mindful of your legal rights and what is expected to protect your interests. Our Texas City dog bit attorneys urge victims to:
While staying calm may sound easier said than done, doing so will help you remain safe. The last thing you want is to make the matter worse. Showing any form of agitation may trigger another attack thus causing you more harm. Behaving viciously toward the dog or its owner is the last thing you should do for both your safety and rights. If you can, take out your phone or camera and record the injuries sustained. Also, capture the dog if you can. Doing so will form the basis of the evidence you need to support your injury claim.
Your health and well-being are important. Because dog bites may result in further complications such as blood infection or rabies, immediate treatment should be your priority. Your physician will assess the extent of your injuries and recommend treatment. Following up with the doctor’s plan will help in proving causation and damages such as medical expenses.
Again, if you can, don’t leave the scene too soon without collecting important information relevant to the dog bite attack. Talk to eyewitnesses and record their statements. Ask them for contact information in case they are needed to testify about the incident. Also, retain details about the dog owner if they are around such as their name, address, and insurance information. The details you collect are part of the critical documentation that you will bring when meeting a Texas City dog bite lawyer for the first time.
Although many people do not report dog attacks to relevant authorities, doing so is the right thing to do. You want to notify the police and relevant animal control agencies about the attack so your injuries can be a public record. Besides, you don’t want someone else facing the same trauma and injuries as you did. These parties, especially animal control, will decide what to do about the dog that attacked you to prevent a similar occurrence. In some cases, the animal in question is euthanized.
Whether you think your injuries are severe or not, you should talk to an experienced Texas City dog bite lawyer to know what he or she thinks. What may pass as a minor injury can be worth thousands of dollars in compensation. Hiring an attorney allows you to get justice for physical pain and suffering, lost wages if you cannot work anymore, emotional trauma, rehabilitation costs, therapy expenses, and more.
Maximizing your claim also helps secure your future especially when you are disabled and cannot fend for yourself anymore. Our Texas City dog bite lawyers are happy to help you get the justice you are entitled to. Call Lone Star Injury Attorneys today to get started.