College Station Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyers

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Many of us own dogs and love them like family.  Being faced with a dog bite or animal attack is something many of us do not think about.  The Humane Society of the United States estimates that about 40% of households own at least one dog and that there are about 77.5 million dogs that belong to families all over the U.S.

However, dogs can be dangerous and sometimes bite.  According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), Texas is the second leading state in dog bite attacks.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an animal attack or dog bite, call the College Station animal attack and dog bite lawyers of Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.

What Should You Do After a Dog Bite?

In the United States, about 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these dog bites, close to 800,000 will require medical assistance.  In the event that you are attacked by an animal or bitten by a dog, consider the following steps to help prevent further harm and preserve a claim for damages:

  • Seek medical treatment first if you have been severely injured. Call 911 or go to the hospital where medical personnel can document your injures and treat you.
  • Identify the animal that attacked you. Get their name from the owner, if possible, and take a picture of the dog.
  • Collect contact information from the pet owner or the person handling the animal at the time the attack occurred.
  • Collect witness information if anyone else was at the scene.
  • Document your injuries by taking pictures.
  • Report the incident to the authorities and allow police or animal control to take a statement and document the scene.
  • Consult with our experienced dog bite lawyers at Zinda Law Group.

Retaining a dog bite lawyer may help you determine what course of action is best and what type of claims should be pursued.  Our experienced animal attack lawyers are familiar with state and local laws regarding dog bites and may help you seek the maximum compensation possible.

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Who is Liable for an Animal Attack?

According to the National Canine Research Council, family dogs were rarely involved in the majority of dog attacks.  Seventy percent of animal attacks involved dogs that were not the family pet.  This means that someone else is likely liable for your injuries.

Some liable parties could include:

  • The owner of the animal
  • The trainer, dog walker, handler, or pet sitter of the animal at the time of the attack
  • Employers who keep animals, such as a pet shop owner or an animal shelter owner
  • Property landlords if the attack happened on their property, even if they do not own the dog

In Texas, victims of dog bites may hold dog owners responsible for any pain, suffering, and medical expenses that follow a dog bite incident.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

According to the ASPCA, approximately 334,000 people visit the emergency room every year for dog bites.  Only 2% of those people seeking emergency room treatment are actually hospitalized, according to the CDC.

Animal attacks and dog bites can cause both physical injuries as well as psychological injuries.  Our lawyers may help you seek compensation for all of your injuries.

Physical Injuries

  • Bites can cause punctures, fractured bones, and tissue loss
  • Animal attacks can cause abrasions, lacerations, and sprain or strain injuries resulting from trying to flee from the animal
  • Infections, scars, permanent disfiguration

Psychological Injuries

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the attack
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbances from remembering the attack
  • Nervousness or uneasiness being outside where there are dogs
  • A fear of dogs

Animal attacks can cause a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally.  It is important to assess your injuries both at the time of the attack and the potential effects on your mental state in the future.

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What COMPENSATION MAY I SEEK After an Animal Attack?

The most common types of damages that a victim may recover are economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages may include:

  • Medical costs for treatment
  • Future medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Cost of psychological counseling

Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement

In a wrongful death claim, certain types of damages may be paid to surviving family members of the victim, such as lost earning capacity, lost companionship, or lost inheritance. 

For especially egregious behavior, victims may also be awarded punitive damages.  These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for engaging in extremely reckless or intentional behavior.  Punitive damages are very rare.

Experiencing a dog attack is a frightening experience and the harm done may affect a person for a long time.  Allowing our dog attack lawyers to help assess all your possible damages may help you get your life back on track.

Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case

Can an Animal Owner Mitigate Liability?

A dog owner may reduce their liability in several situations.  According to the Texas Health and Safety Code, if the injured person provoked the attack or assumed the risk of an attack, then the owner will have reduced liability.

If the owner did not know or had no reason to know that the animal was dangerous, then the owner will not be considered as owning a dangerous dog.  If the owner carries an insurance policy then some of the financial liability will be reduced.

Should You Report a Dog Bite?

If you or someone you know has been injured by an animal attack, you should file a dog bite report with your local animal control officials.  If the dog belongs to someone you know, you should still report the animal because it helps protect others from being attacked by the same animal.

The owner will take more precautions in the future to prevent dog bites and others in the neighborhood will know to be cautious as well.  Filing a report also establishes documentation should you choose to file an insurance claim or lawsuit later.

Reporting animals helps assist state and local authorities by allowing them to enforce dog bite laws.  A report will sometimes trigger an investigation and the dog may be classified as a dangerous animal, which would require the owner to take additional steps in securing the animal and protecting the public.

Filing a report may help the animal as well if the animal is aggressive due to abuse by the owner or other factors.  Filing a report would help keep the community safer overall.

Read More: College Station Animal Control

Texas Health and Safety Code Regarding Animals

Texas is a negligence state that does not impose strict liability for dog bites unless the owner already knew the dog was dangerous.  Some call this the “one bite rule,” which means that a dog is not considered dangerous unless the owner already knew of the dog’s dangerous propensity.

A “dangerous” dog is one that is registered with the local animal control authority where the dog lives and is classified as dangerous after the owner learns of the dog’s violent nature.  A dangerous dog must always be kept restrained on a leash and must be secured.

The court may order a dog to be euthanized if the dog was found to have caused serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling.  The owner may be charged with criminal negligence if the dog was not secured and made an unprovoked attack on another while on the owner’s property.  An owner may also suffer a civil penalty for each animal for each violation.

How to Prevent a Dog Attack

According to the CDC, a dog bites one in every 73 people.  Dogs bite for various reasons.  The dog may bite in response to a stressful situation, they may feel threatened or scared, or they may be protecting their puppies or owners.

Knowing why dogs bite can help avoid situations where a dog is likely to bite.  Some dog breeds bite more often than others.  The top three breeds likely to bite are Pit bulls, mixed breeds, and German Shepherds.

Although not every dog attack can be prevented, some precautions to take will help lower the chances that an attack will occur:

  • Do not approach an animal you do not know or that does not know you
  • If a dog approaches you, allow the dog to sniff you before attempting to pet it
  • If the dog is with an owner, ask the owner if the dog is friendly and if you can pet it before attempting to pet it
  • Do not approach a dog while they are eating, sleeping, or tending to puppies, as these dogs might be more defensive
  • If a dog approaches you, do not run, do not make direct eye contact, and remain calm

If you are the owner of a dog, you can take steps to prevent your dog from harming others:

  • Do not encourage aggressive play by your dog
  • Invest in proper obedience training
  • Always leash your dog when in public and make sure the leash is secure
  • Spay or neuter your animal as dogs that are not “fixed” may be more aggressive

Get Help from Our College Station Animal Attack & Dog Bite Lawyers

At Zinda Law Group, our experienced College Station lawyers have helped many clients seek compensation after they were injured due to someone else’s negligence.  We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the best possible outcome for your case.

Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our College Station animal attack and dog bite lawyers.  You will pay nothing unless we win your case.  That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.