Austin Dog Bite Lawyer
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Getting bit or attacked by a dog can be an extremely traumatizing event and may lead to serious injury. If you were the victim of a dog bite you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to contact an Austin dog bite lawyer right away to help guide you through the legal process and fight for you to get you the maximum compensation available in your Austin dog bite lawsuit.
DOG BITE STATISTICS
Each year, approximately 14,025 United States citizens are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries. Not all injuries require hospitalization, however, as there are approximately 4.5 million dog bite occurrences each year nationwide. Nearly one out of five of these dog bites becomes infected.
In 2019, there were 48 dog bite-related fatalities nationwide:
- Pitbull breeds were responsible for 33 of these deaths
- Mixed-breed dogs were responsible for six of these deaths
- 13 of the deaths were children
- 42% of fatal dog attacks occurred off the dog owner’s property
- 19% of dog bite fatalities involved a family dog killing its owner
Hospital stays for dog bite injuries can get very expensive very quickly. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published a study in 2010 showing that the number of people hospitalized due to dog bite injuries almost doubled over a 15-year period. The study found the following:
- The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200
- The average cost per day for a dog bite-related hospitalization was 2.5 times that of the average injury-related hospital stay
- Dog bite-related hospitalizations were highest in the Northeast
- Dog bite-related hospitalizations were lowest in the West
With these high costs of hospitalization, it is important that you contact an Austin dog bite lawyer with knowledge in dog bite injuries who can help negotiate with the at-fault party or insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
Between 2005 and 2013, 34 Texans died from dog attacks.
- Pitbull breeds were responsible for 26 of these deaths
- Rottweilers were responsible for 5 of these deaths
- 6 of the dogs were chained to something at the time of the attack
- 23 of the victims were children 11-years old or younger.
Although dogs can be man’s best friend, it is a sad fact that some dogs do bite. If you have been injured by a dog bite in Texas and believe you deserve compensation for your injuries, contact a Zinda Law Group Austin dog bite lawyer now to talk about your claim.
WHY DOGS BITE
No matter how well a dog was raised, every dog has the potential to bite someone at some point. Understanding the reasons behind dog bites may help you to avoid putting yourself in a situation that may cause injury. Below are some examples of why a dog may bite:
Dogs may be fearful of unfamiliar, or threatening, situations. For example, a dog raised in a quiet household of adults may be fearful of noisy, fast-moving children. Lack of early socialization may also cause a dog to be fearful of new environments or noises. Signs a dog may be exhibiting fear aggression may include barking or lunging at the new stimulus.
If a dog is in pain, he or she may bite, even if you are trying to help the dog. All dogs have different pain thresholds and may act out if pushed beyond that threshold. If you know a dog is in pain, it is best to call animal control, or a veterinarian, if possible.
Dogs have been known to protect their “valuables” through aggression. This may include their food, territory, or owners. Certain guardian breeds are more likely than other breeds to protect what they consider valuable. Guardian breeds include dogs such as the Akita, German Shepherd, and Bullmastiff.
The injuries someone may sustain from a dog bite often depends on the size and breed of the dog and the size of the victim. For instance, an individual adult would likely suffer more severe injuries from a 100-pound dog bite than that of a five-pound chihuahua. Common injuries from dog bites or attacks include:
- Skin and subcutaneous tissue infection
- Open puncture wounds of the arms or legs
- Open puncture wounds of the head or neck
Always seek medical attention immediately following a dog bite incident. A medical professional will be able to determine whether your bite requires any medical attention, or possible hospitalization.
Dog bite laws vary from state to state. If you own a dog, it is important to know the dog bite laws in your state. Further, if you were bitten by a dog, you should contact an experienced Austin dog bite lawyer to help guide you through the legal process specific to your state.
Texas Criminal Laws
According to Texas Health and Safety Code, animal control may seize a dog if the dog caused death or serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person, so long as there is probable evidence.
Criminally, the owner of the dog may be charged with a felony if:
- The owner, acting with criminal negligence, fails to secure the dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person, so long as this attack occurred outside of the owner’s property; or
- The owner knows the dog is dangerous and the dog attacks someone, unprovoked, outside of its enclosure; and
- Either of these situations results in serious bodily injury or death.
Texas Civil Laws
Civilly, Texas does not have a specific dog-bite law. Instead, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in Marshall v. Ranne that the owner of a domestic animal is subject to liability for harm caused by the animal if the owner knows, or has reason to know, that the animal has dangerous propensities. There is an exception to this rule if the person bit was trespassing on the owner’s land.
If you have been bitten by a dog, and you believe the owner of the dog was aware, or should have been aware, of the dog’s dangerous propensities, the owner of the dog may be liable for your injuries. It is important to document your injuries and the circumstances of the bite, as this information may help determine fault in your Austin dog bite settlement.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
The time limit to file a personal injury claim varies from state to state. The time limit, or the “statute of limitations,” to file a personal injury claim in Texas is two years from the date of the incident. That means you have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a claim, or you may be barred from receiving compensation for your injuries. One of the many benefits of hiring a dog bite attorney is the peace of mind knowing that your case will be filed in time.
The compensation you may receive from your dog bite injury is typically calculated by accounting for your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that you can easily monetize. These damages may include medical bills, lost wages, or property damages. If you have a severe dog bite, you may need to be hospitalized for an infection, or even surgery. Your hospital stay can become very expensive. It is important that you consult an attorney who can help seek the maximum compensation for your hospital stay, property damage, or any other cost associated with your injuries.
You may also seek non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic losses and may include pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Lastly, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to the victim to punish the wrongdoer. If the dog owner behaved willfully, recklessly, or with the intention to harm you, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are rarely awarded, however.
If you have been injured from a dog bite, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. The more severe the bite, the higher your medical bills may be. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer is important to help guide you through the legal process. An Austin attorney may help you seek the compensation you deserve by negotiating on your behalf with the responsible party, or their insurance company.
GET HELP FROM AN AUSTIN DOG BITE LAWYER TODAY
Although dogs are typically our best friends, there are, unfortunately, times when dogs bite. Dog bites can range from relatively minor nips, to serious or life-threatening attacks. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite incident, contact an experienced Austin attorney who may fight on your behalf to get you compensation for your injuries.
Call (800) 863-5312 to chat with a Zinda Law Group lawyer today to get a free consultation and speak with an attorney about your Austin dog bite injury lawsuit. You don’t pay anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.