Georgetown Dog Bite Lawyers
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For many families, dogs are an important source of companionship, even becoming somewhat of a family member themselves. In fact, close to currently reside in American homes. However, unfortunately, canines can sometimes become out of control and bite their owners, guests, or even random passers-by on the street. Not only are dog bites painful, but they can leave their victims with expensive medical bills and unable to enjoy life as they once did. In this situation, you should seek the help of a Georgetown dog bite attorney as quickly as possible.
DOG BITE STATISTICS
With such a large number of domesticated dogs in America, it might not come as a shock to learn that many dog bites occur each year.
- In the United States, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites per year, approximately 800,000 of which require medical care of some kind.
- About 80% of dog bites that occur don’t require any medical attention or cause any injuries, however, this means that the remaining 20%, or 1 in 5 dog bites do cause injuries requiring medical attention.
- In 2019, there were seven dog bite fatalities in Texas
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING BITTEN BY A DOG
Many circumstances can lead to dog bites, and a wide range of injuries can result. Though it is impossible to give specific advice as to what you should do in your particular case, there are a few steps that anyone who is bitten by a dog should follow.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Dog bite victims should seek medical care for their injuries as soon as possible after the incident. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, dog bites run a high risk of becoming infected. This means that a bite that results in relatively minor injuries could eventually lead to major medical complications if left untreated. Second, a delay in seeking medical attention for your injuries could be used against you by another party to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you’re claiming.
2. Document the Incident
Documenting the incident is an important step if you eventually go on to seek compensation for your injuries. This step can include filing a report with the police, collecting the contact information of the dog owner and any potential witnesses, and gathering any medical records and documenting lost wages as a result of not being able to work.
3. Contact a Lawyer
Contact an experienced dog bite attorney as soon after your accident as possible. Filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation entails meeting various deadlines and handling certain communications delicately and with precision. An experienced Texas attorney may be able to guide you through the process and develop a strategy to aid you in your pursuit of maximum compensation.
TYPES OF DOG BITE INCIDENTS
Though any sort of dog bite can leave a victim with painful injuries and costly medical bills, determining the exact type of dog bite incident could become important. The general categories for a dog bite attack include:
Aggressive incidents include what most people probably think of when they picture a dog bite. For one reason or another, a dog breaks loose and becomes aggressive toward their victim and bites them. This could happen on a walk when a dog breaks free from their leash, or it could occur within a home when a dog suddenly becomes aggressive towards a visitor.
Dog bites are not always a result of a dog becoming aggressive. Depending on the breed, a dog might nip in an attempt to “herd” a child in the direction that they think that they should go. A dog might also bite in reaction to being startled or intimidated.
Even if a dog is behaving aggressively towards another dog and not towards a human, a human can end up getting hurt. For example, if two dogs begin to fight, an owner who attempts to intervene could end up being bitten.
Dog bite victims can suffer from a wide variety of injuries stemming from the bite. These can range from innocuous cuts and scrapes to, in the worst cases, death.
Lacerations and Puncture Wounds
Depending on the circumstances of the dog bite, such as how deep the teeth penetrated and whether the dog shook his head after biting, a dog bite victim can suffer the consequences of severe lacerations and puncture wounds. Dog bite wounds can be jagged and difficult to address, so seeking the attention of a qualified medical professional as soon as possible is critical.
If a dog bite punctures deep enough, it can reach and damage nerves. Nerve damage can lead to a temporary loss of function or permanent paralysis. This risk is magnified if the bite occurs in the area of the face, which has a higher concentration of nerves and less protection.
FILING A DOG BITE CLAIM
No two dog bite claims will ever look the same given the wide variety of dog bites that can occur. However, the same general steps will typically apply.
1. Contact a Georgetown Dog Bite Attorney
As soon as you have addressed your immediate medical issues, the next step for a dog bite victim should be to contact a qualified Georgetown dog bite lawyer. An experienced attorney might be able to help guide you through the process and answer questions while building a persuasive case to assist you in your attempt to receive maximum compensation.
After you have picked an attorney to work with, they may be able to begin investigating and gathering all the evidence that they will require to support your claim. This can include gathering information about past incidents the dog and owner may have been involved in, analyzing your medical records, and speaking with witnesses to the incident.
Once your attorney has a handle on all of the important details of your case, they may be able to begin to engage in negotiation talks with all of the other parties involved. This step is critical because most cases will settle before they ever reach the trial stage. In negotiations, your attorney might be able to assist you in seeking maximum compensation by arguing to emphasize the strengths of your position while minimizing any areas of potential weakness.
DOG BITE COMPENSATION
Though the exact amount of dog bite settlements can vary greatly, they will generally be comprised of two main types of damages.
Economic damages are intended to put the victim back in the financial position that they were in before being bitten. They are objectively verifiable and include expenses like lost wages from being unable to work, medical bills, and any property damage.
Non-economic damages are not objectively verifiable and include the pain and suffering that a victim experiences as a result of their injuries. These damages are a bit tougher to estimate because they are not tied to an objective factor like economic damages, but generally speaking, the worse the victim’s injuries are, the higher the non-economic damages will be.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
CAUSES OF DOG BITES
There are many reasons that a dog might end up biting a victim, but a few of the more common reasons include:
Dogs can be very territorial creatures. As such, they may bite when they feel that someone is intruding on their turf. For example, if a homeowner invites someone into their home, a territorial dog might become defensive and bite. Dog owners who know that their dog is territorial and fail to take the proper precautions to protect the people in their home could face liability if their dog causes injury to someone.
Depending on how a dog has been socialized and trained, there are many situations that could provoke it. For example, jogging past a house could trigger the chase reflex in a dog and lead to biting. Petting a dog who has not been properly socialized could also lead to biting.
Dogs are instinctual creatures and depending on the situation that the dog is in, those instincts could lead to biting the victim. For example, certain breeds have been bred to herd flocks. In certain situations, a herding dog might nip or bite a child if this instinct kicks in. Dogs that recently gave birth may also be prone to biting to defend their puppies.
CALL THE ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Our firm has helped dog bite victims all over Texas seek compensation for their injuries. We may help you get you or your loved one back on your feet after an attack. You will not owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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