Getting bit or attacked by a dog can be extremely traumatizing and may lead to serious injury. If you were the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. Therefore, it is essential to contact an Austin dog bite lawyer immediately for help.
We can guide you through the legal process and fight for you to get you the maximum compensation available in your Austin dog bite lawsuit. If a dog bite has injured you, contact an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible.
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How do You Get Compensation for an Austin Dog Bite?
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 Austin dog bite attorney is important to help guide you through the legal process.
An attorney may help you seek the compensation you deserve by negotiating on your behalf with the responsible party or their insurance company. In many cases, we can settle your claim to bring you compensation.
In some cases, your lawyer may instead file a lawsuit on your behalf to bring you compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Austin, call 800-863-5312
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Austin?
You can sometimes file a lawsuit after an Austin dog bite. You may also file an insurance claim. Both options give you a chance to seek damages. You can discuss the best choice for your claim with an Austin dog bite lawyer.
The compensation you may receive from your dog bite injury is typically calculated by accounting for your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages for an Austin Dog Bite
Economic damages are those that you can easily monetize. These damages may include medical bills, lost wages, or property damages. For example, if you have a severe dog bite, you may need to be hospitalized for an infection or surgery.
Your hospital stay can become very expensive. Therefore, it is essential that you consult an attorney who can help you seek the maximum compensation for your hospital stay, property damage, or any other cost associated with your injuries.
Non-Economic Damages for an Austin Dog Bite
You may also seek non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic losses and may include pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Your dog bite lawyer in Austin, TX, can help you calculate these losses.
Punitive Damages for an Austin Dog Bite
Lastly, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to the victim to punish the wrongdoer. For example, 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.
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What Should You Know About Austin Dog Bites?
Approximately 14,025 United States citizens are hospitalized yearly 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. For example, 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 hospitalization costs, you must contact an Austin dog bite lawyer with knowledge of dog bite injuries who can help negotiate with the at-fault party or insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
Are Dog Bites a Problem in Austin, Texas?
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
- Six of the dogs were chained to something at the time of the attack
- Twenty-three 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 a dog bite in Texas has injured you and you believe you deserve compensation for your injuries, contact a dog bite attorney in Austin, TX, now to talk about your claim.
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Why Do Dogs Bite in Austin, TX?
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:
Fear and Aggression
Dogs may be fearful of unfamiliar or threatening situations. For example, a dog raised in a quiet household of adults may be afraid of noisy, fast-moving children. Lack of early socialization may also cause a dog to fear 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, it may bite, even if you are trying to help the animal. 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 to protect what they consider valuable than others.
Guardian breeds include dogs such as the Akita, German Shepherd, and Bullmastiff. Regardless of the breed that bit you, an Austin dog bite lawyer may step in to assist with your case.
What Injuries Come from Austin Dog Bites?
The injuries someone may sustain from a dog bite often depend 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 on 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.
After seeking care for your injuries, you can discuss compensation for your medical expenses with an Austin dog bite attorney.
What Are the Laws in Texas for Dog Bites?
Dog bite laws vary from state to state. Therefore, if you own a dog, it is essential to know the dog bite laws in your state. Further, if a dog bit you, you should contact an experienced Austin dog bite lawyer to help guide you through the legal process specific to your state.
Texas Criminal Laws for Dog Bites
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.
State prosecutors generally handle criminal charges in Austin.
Texas Civil Laws for Dog Bites
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 a dog has bitten you, and you believe the dog’s owner was aware, or should have been aware, of the dog’s dangerous propensities, the dog’s owner may be liable for your injuries.
It is essential to document your injuries and the circumstances of the bite, as this information may help determine fault in your Austin dog bite settlement. Then, you can allow your Austin dog bite lawyer to investigate your situation.
What’s the Deadline for a Dog Bite Claim in Austin?
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 in Austin is the peace of mind of knowing that your case will be filed in time.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Austin, TX, Today
Although dogs are typically our best friends, there are, unfortunately, times when dogs bite. Dog bites can range from relatively minor nips to severe or life-threatening attacks.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite incident, contact an experienced Austin dog bite lawyer who may fight on your behalf to get you compensation for your injuries.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO