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Every year, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States and more than 800,000 receive medical attention as a result. A dog bite or attack can leave victims with hospital bills, permanent scarring, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
The dog bite attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing victims and helping them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with Waco dog bite attorneys.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Waco, call 800-863-5312
Common Dog Bite Injuries
No matter the size or breed of a dog, all dogs can bite. In an eight-year study, Texas had the highest dog bite-related deaths in the country. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites and more likely to suffer from severe injuries. Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
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Dog bites can transmit a number of diseases through their saliva. This can cause serious complications or death if left untreated, which is why it is important to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite occurs. Some of the most common types of infections include:
- Rabies: Rabies is usually treated with a series of shots. If it goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can result in death.
- Pasteurella: This infection can cause swelling in glands and joints, which can impair movement abilities, as well as cause arthritis and abscesses.
- Tetanus: Tetanus is a bacterial infection that can cause painful muscle spasms. If it is left untreated, it can lead to paralysis or death.
- MRSA: Dog bites often result in staph infections, which can be life-threatening, especially once it spreads to the bloodstream and lungs.
- Capnocytophaga: These bacteria can cause severe illness in humans, including heart attacks, kidney failure, or gangrene. In severe cases of infection, people may die from sepsis or need to have limbs amputated.
A dog bite may result in open wounds that can leave a victim vulnerable to infection. This often leads to extended hospital stays so that the wounds can be monitored. Open wounds may also leave permanent scarring or disfigurement after they have healed.
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Depending on the breed and strength of the attacking dog’s bite, they may be able to break bones. For example, a pit bull’s jaw pressure combined with its tendency to shake its head and hold on for a long period of time makes it capable of crushing and breaking bones, especially in the legs, feet, or hands.
A dog bite can exert incredible force and is capable of damaging internal organs and muscles. Bites that occur in the arms or legs can cause serious and sometimes permanent muscle damage. Even if the wound appears to be small, there can still be underlying damage to nerves and blood vessels.
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What to Do After a Dog Bite Attack
The pain and trauma caused by a dog bite or attack may cause victims to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. However, knowing what to do after a dog bite injury can help increase the chances of ensuring you receive the proper medical care and financial compensation you may deserve. After a dog bite, you should:
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should immediately seek medical attention and wash the wound with soap and water. Dog bites can cause serious infections and even life-threatening injuries if not treated quickly and properly. A dog bite may also transmit rabies to the victim if the dog has not been vaccinated. Your doctor will be able to provide the necessary treatment and document your injury, which your lawyer may later use to prove the extent of your injuries.
2. Contact Animal Control
After a dog bite, you should contact Animal Control and report the bite. This provides official documentation of the bite and the details surrounding the attack. Texas requires that all dogs be vaccinated for rabies, and owners will need to prove that their dog received the required vaccines. The city of Waco also requires that dogs be microchipped, so if a dog bites you and you are unable to locate the owner, Animal Control may be able to use the microchip to locate them.
3. Document Injuries and Details
It is important to document your injuries after a dog attack. Be sure to take photos of the bite and affected area as soon as possible after the bite occurs and throughout the healing process. You should also gather as much evidence as possible regarding details of events surrounding the incident, including the photos of the location where it occurred.
If there were any witnesses who were present when the dog attacked you, be sure to take down their contact information. If you know who the dog owner is, it also important that you take down their contact and insurance information.
4. Consult an Attorney
Consult an experienced Waco dog bite attorney to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries. An attorney may help prove that the dog owner is liable for your injuries. You should only discuss the details of the incident with your attorney. Do not discuss these details with the dog owner or their insurance company without consulting your attorney first, as this could damage your case.
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Proving Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
Texas follows a “one-bite rule,” which holds the dog owner liable if they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous. This means that the dog responsible for your bite must have either bitten someone before or behaved in a way that indicated a possible future biting was likely and the owner knew about this behavior. If a dog previously exhibited this type of behavior, it may help strengthen your case if it can be demonstrated that the dog had aggressive tendencies and its owner failed to take proper preventative steps.
While the one-bite rule will usually apply, a victim may still be able to recover if the dog’s owner was negligent. The city of Waco requires that dogs be restrained at all times, whether this is with a leash, tether, enclosed pen, or fenced-in yard. This means that if a dog was roaming unleashed, you may be able to recover based on the owner’s negligence.
The specific details of your case are instrumental in proving whether or not a dog owner breached their duty of care, which is why it is important to document as much evidence as possible concerning the circumstances of your dog bite, including eye-witnesses, photos, and video if it is available.
What May a Waco Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Do for Me?
Our Waco dog bite injury lawyers are here to help walk you through every step of the process. Most damages from a dog bite will be taken care of by the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner. Insurance adjusters will often attempt to persuade you that an attorney is not necessary, because their job to save money and pay you the lowest amount. Hiring an attorney helps to ensure that you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
An attorney may also investigate the incident, and seek to prove liability and/or negligence by the dog owner. In most cases, the insurer will want to reach a negotiated settlement to avoid a costly trial, and a Waco dog bite attorney may help ensure that a settlement offer is fair and an accurate assessment of the damages you’ve suffered from after a dog bite.
What is Lillian’s Law?
In 2007, Lillian’s Law was enacted after a pack of loose dogs viciously attacked and killed an elderly Texas woman while she cared for her lawn. The law charges vicious dog owners with a felony if someone is injured or killed in an unprovoked attack. However, this law only deals with a dog running at large or a dangerous dog that is not confined and will not be applicable in many dog bite cases.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a dog bite accident and want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Texas, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim for your injuries. It is best to contact a dog bite lawyer in Texas as soon as possible to make sure your claim is timely filed and you don’t lose the ability to receive compensation for your damages.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Dog Bite Injury Cases
At Zinda Law Group, our Waco personal injury attorneys recognize how scary and painful a dog bite injury can be. We have experience helping victims receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries, medical bills, and much more.
We believe a 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.
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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