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Although often referred to as “man’s best friend,” dogs can attack humans or other animals. These serious events can result in gruesome injuries that may require extensive medical care. A victim may be able to seek compensation for injuries caused by a dog bite attack by filing a claim against the dog’s owner or another responsible party.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite and are interested in taking legal action, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Killeen dog bite attorneys.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Killeen, call 800-863-5312
COMMON CAUSES OF DOG BITE ACCIDENTS
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A vast majority of dog bite accidents occur because the animal was provoked. For instance, a dog may attack after being hit, yelled at, or chased. Because a provoked dog may feel intimidated or threatened, the dog may react by attacking.
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Wild dogs, rabid dogs, and dogs that have been subject to abuse are all notorious for attacking humans. These animals may spontaneously attack even if unprovoked. When dealing with these animals, be extra cautious of aggressive behavior.
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Because dogs are territorial creatures, they often feel the need to attack those who they believe may pose a risk to their home, food, or owners. If someone tries to grab a dog’s toy, approaches a dog’s litter, or enters a dog’s territory, the animal may instinctively try to protect itself by biting or chasing the person.
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Cuts, Scars, and Lacerations
One of the most common injuries associated with dog bite accidents is damage to the outer layer of skin. These injuries result from the dog’s teeth scratching or sinking into the victim. In some cases, the wound may be superficial. In other cases, the wound may lead to immediate bleeding and bruising. Regardless of the severity of the injury, it is always a wise decision to seek prompt medical attention after a dog bite attack.
Bites inflicted by larger, stronger dogs may result in something more than just a flesh wound. Such bites often result in damage to the victim’s muscles or nerves. Damage to the muscles and nerves may require stitches or rehabilitative treatment.
Rabies is caused by a virus that enters a person’s nervous system and causes inflammation to a person’s brain. A dog who has rabies may transfer the virus to a human by biting or scratching. Rabies symptoms are flu-like and may include fever and muscle weakness. Although rabies is treatable, time is of the essence after a dog attack.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING BITTEN BY A DOG
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first step you should take after being bitten by a dog is to seek immediate medical attention by a trained medical professional. Even if the wound is small or minor, seek medical attention to prevent any infections or future complications.
2. File a Report and Document the Accident
The next step to take after being bitten by a dog is to file a report with law enforcement or a local animal control agency. Filing a report will create an official record of the accident and may help prevent future attacks. It is also important that you document the accident by creating and maintaining a thorough file that contains all files and paperwork relating to the accident. For instance, you should consider keeping copies of the police report, witness statements, and any medical records.
3. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, you should contact a Killeen dog bite lawyer. A lawyer may wish to speak with you to gather important facts about your case, such as when and where the accident occurred. A lawyer may also want to search for and collect important evidence, such as witness statements and vet records. Finally, an attorney may file any paperwork to ensure that a lawsuit is timely filed.
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WHO CAN I SUE?
Victims of dog bites may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries by filing a claim against the owner of the dog. Generally, dog owners owe a duty to other people to use reasonable and ordinary care in handling their pets. If a dog owner breaches this duty by failing to properly care for or supervise their dog, and the dog causes injury to another person or another person’s property, the dog owner may be subject to civil liability.
In some cases, a dog bite victim may be able to sue a person who was supervising the dog, such as a dog-sitter or hired dog-walker. Although these cases are less common, this class of people may also be subject to liability if they were negligent in handling or supervising another person’s animal.
Deciding whether you should pursue legal action requires careful consideration of many important factors, such as when the attack occurred, the severity of your injuries, and your relationship to the dog owner. Consulting with a personal injury attorney may provide an opportunity for you to receive helpful legal advice regarding your rights and legal options.
DOG BITE COMPENSATION
In a dog bite lawsuit, the dog owner or his insurance company may have to compensate the victim for harm suffered as a result of the dog attack. This harm is referred to as “damages.” The types of damages that may be available to a dog bite victim fall into two separate categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to losses that can be calculated or quantified. The primary economic damages which may be awarded in a dog bite case include:
- Medical and pharmacy bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost income and wages
- Future lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that cannot be easily quantified. Non-economic damages are subjectively evaluated by the jury in a dog bite lawsuit. Types of non-economic damages in a dog bite lawsuit may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
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STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
A “statute of limitations” is a legal time limit by which a person must file a lawsuit. If a person fails to bring a claim within the applicable statute of limitations, that person may be effectively barred from litigating the claim in court.
Statutes of limitations for personal injury claims, such as those filed after a dog bite, vary from state to state. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations. For example, if a person was injured in a dog attack on January 1, 2020, that person must file a lawsuit by January 1, 2022. Certain circumstances may also extend or “toll” the applicable statute of limitations.
Because filing a timely lawsuit is critical to the outcome of your case, discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.
WHY HIRE A ZINDA DOG BITE ATTORNEY
Zinda Law Group’s team of personal injury lawyers is ready to fight on your behalf. In addition to years of experience representing dog bite accident victims, our firm can provide zealous and dedicated representation to help protect your rights following a dog bite attack. With a Zinda attorney in your corner, you may receive:
Dog bite laws can be complex. A Killeen dog bite lawyer may listen to the facts of your case and help navigate your claim to make it as strong as possible.
Zinda Law Group’s team of attorneys take pride in providing high-quality service to each of our clients. Throughout the entire representation, from the initial consultation up to the disposition of the case, our attorneys may guide you through the claim filing process.
Zinda Law Group has access to cutting-edge resources, which may be used to build and strengthen a claim. Our offices have handled large and complex cases, conducted thorough interviews with the necessary parties, hired expert witnesses, and utilized state of the art technology.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Killeen lawyer, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.
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
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