Dog Bites and Animal Attack Lawyer in Dallas
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Across the Dallas area, dogs as pets are becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately, that cute little puppy, if improperly trained, can grow up to be a vicious biting dog. These untrained animals are a danger to any person in the neighborhood who has the bad luck to confront such an animal. In the case of children, it is particularly dangerous due to the height of their bodies, resulting in many facial bites when attacked.
If you or a loved one has had the misfortune of being bitten by a dog, it is critical that you immediately contact an attorney. At Zinda Law Group, our Dallas dog bite attorneys will immediately address the legal aspects of your case and advise you how to move forward with your claim for compensation for damages against the dog's owners.
Throughout neighborhoods in the Dallas area, many residents have dogs as pets, and unfortunately, many of them are a dangerous hazard to other residents in the area. A dog owner is responsible for the actions of their pet and can be sued for the damages inflicted in a canine attack case.
In any such case, it is important to try and get the name, address, and phone number of any witness to the attack as well as the dog owner's details.edical attention is a primary concern, as without treatment it is possible that serious infections could set in.
Types of Dog Bite Lawsuits
Aggressive Dog Breeds
Some dog breeds such as Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, and Siberian Huskies are considered inherently dangerous by some homeowners' insurance. These insurance companies may refuse to cover injuries caused by these breeds.
Other dog breeds that are not considered inherently aggressive can still cause harm to others by knocking them down or accidentally tripping them. This is especially true with large dogs that might be over-enthusiastic when interacting with people.
Dogs attacking children
Dogs biting children is its own type of case not only because of the physical harm, but because of the potential trauma it can cause to young children. The owner of the dog may be liable for this emotional and mental injury as well as any physical injuries.
Common Causes of Dog Bites
A dog may bite a person when it feels threatened and is trying to defend itself, its territory, food, or puppies. The dog might feel threatened because a stranger is encroaching on its territory, is trying to take something away from the dog, or because it is in an unfamiliar environment.
Not Feeling Well
If a dog is in a bad mood it might bite a person because that person is bothering them and won’t leave them alone. Similarly, if a dog is sick it might be more easily aggravated.
When a dog is playing it might bite a person thinking that it is fun, but it can still cause injury to the person. The dog might also be wound up after more aggressive play like tug-of-war or wrestling and is more likely to bite.
The most common type of injury from dog bites are puncture wounds. This is when the dog’s teeth break the skin. This can cause bleeding, bruising, pain, and stiffness.
Larger bites can cause deeper wounds that might require a trip to the emergency rooms. These deeper bites might affect muscles, ligaments, and may even break bones. Deep injuries will need to be cleaned by a healthcare professional and need to be stitched.
Dog bites that are not properly treated can lead to bacteria growing in the bite are and causing many kinds of infections. Some example of the infections that can make humans sick includes rabies, tetanus, MRSA, and Pasteurella, which can cause a painful red infection on the bite mark and can lead to more serious infections.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog
1. Seek Medical Attention
After any dog bite it is important to seek medical attention. Even small ones can lead to infections, being examined by a medical professional will help ensure that the wound is cleaned properly and will treat any infection that is present.
2. Document the Incident
Be sure to get the contact information of the dog’s owner and anyone who witnessed the attack. This information should also include the dog’s vaccination history. Take picture of any wounds before and after they are treated. Filing a report with animal control may be important as well.
3. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
You should find an attorney with extensive knowledge and experience dealing with insurance claims and lawsuits related to animal attacks. Laws can differ from state to state and even within a state. A dog bite attorney will know the laws of the local area and may be able to help you get compensated.
For dog attacks, Texas has what is called a One-Bite Rule. For a person to be liable for an attack, the victim must prove that the dog owner knew that their dog was a danger to others and was capable of inflicting damage.
A person may also be liable for a dog bite or attack if they acted negligently. This applies when the person was negligent or careless by failing to maintain reasonable control of their dog. For example, if a state or local law requires dogs to be leashed, and an owner’s dog is not leashed and bites someone, the owner may be negligent.
Dog Owner Responsibility
Dog owners have certain duties and responsibilities when they are in public with their dog. These legal duties vary by state and even city, so it is important to consult your lawyer. General duties of dog owners include taking reasonable care to restrain the dog from attacking. If an owner fails to do so, they may be liable. An owner’s legal duties may also include keeping their dog up to date on vaccinations. If the dog has rabies and attacks someone because of it, the owner may be liable.
Who Can I Sue?
There are several potential parties who may be liable. Determining the at-fault party can be done by your lawyer and will depend on the circumstances surrounding the dog bite. Potentially liable parties include the following:
The Dog’s Owner
More than likely, it is the dog’s owner who is liable. If the owner acted negligently, they may be found at-fault. This may be true even if the dog owner was not present at the time of the accident.
The Dog’s Caretaker at the Time of the Incident
The caretaker or walker of the dog has a duty to stop the dog from biting or attacking people. If they were negligent, they may be liable.
Owners and operators of the location where the dog bite occurred
Owners and operators of premises have a duty to maintain a safe environment. If they breached that duty and the dog bit or attacked someone as a result, the land owner or operator may be liable.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim
1. Speak with an Attorney
Finding an experienced dog bite lawyer can make the process must less stressful and costly. If you have been injured by a dog, you should contact a lawyer before proceeding.
The attorneys, any involved insurance companies and claims adjusters will investigate your claim to evaluate the damage. They may consider how the event occurred, where it occurred, whether it was preventable, and the costs that the dog bite have and will incur.
Most claims are settled before reaching trial. Before a case can be settled, it is important to know what your case is worth. It can take a long time to get a fair settlement. You lawyer can help you decide if and when to settle your case.
In the unlikely event that your case goes to trial, the judge will conduct the fact-finding by listening to testimony by witnesses and reviewing relevant documents and exhibits.
There are 3 main kinds of damages that a plaintiff may seek from a dog bite claim:
Economic damages are losses that can be calculated in terms or dollars and cents with reasonable precision.
Medical expenses are recoverable economic damages. This may include emergency room visits, ambulance or helicopter transportation, prescription drug costs, surgery expenses, rehabilitation of therapy expenses, and any other medical expenses incurred as a result of the dog bite.
If you had to take off work due to injuries from the bite, you may recover for lost wages as well.
Non-Economic (Intangible) Damages
Non-economic or intangible damages are usually given to compensate for any psychological harm. You may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are designed to punish the defendant in cases of serious wrongdoing. For example, if the dog owner was inciting the dog, punitive damages may be awarded.
Statute of Limitations
After an accident occurs, the plaintiff has a limited time to file a lawsuit. This time limit is called the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations is generally 2 years from the date of the attack.
Why Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced dog bite lawyers have helped many people with bite-related injuries. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you seek the full compensation you deserve.
Our firm believes that everyone should have access to high-quality legal representation, which is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you will owe nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement for your dog bite claim.
Can I get compensation for a dog bite?
You may be entitled to compensation if the dog’s owner was negligent or knew that there was a possibility that their dog may bite someone.
How long after a dog bite can you sue?
You can sue for 2 years after the date of the bite.
How long does it take to reach a settlement?
How long it takes to settle depends on the severity of your injuries. If you are still being treated, it will probably take longer to reach a settlement. The more extensive your injuries are, the longer it may take to settle.
Get Help from Experienced Dallas Dog Bite Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our dog bite attorneys take our client's cases personally, and we carefully prepare the claim based on the damages suffered by the individual. In a case in which an adult or child has suffered disfiguring injuries, the claim will reflect the seriousness of the case. Some dog bites are extremely dangerous, and even fatalities have occurred when a dog attacks and will not let go of an innocent person.
It is very important that you contact our firm at once if anyone in your family has been bitten by a dangerous dog. Call today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Dallas dog bite lawyer.