Plano Dog Bite Lawyers
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If you find yourself scrambling to recover after suffering a dog bite accident that led to injury, it may be in your best interest to consider speaking with an experienced attorney. The lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
DOG BITE STATISTICS
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. While most of these dog bite attacks don’t result in serious injury, in some extreme cases severe injuries or even death have resulted from a mere dog bite. According to data from dogbite.org, canines have killed about 521 Americans in the period between 2005-2019. In Texas, two people have died as the result of a dog bite accident. The CDC also estimates that about 81% of dog bites result in either no injury or minor injury. However, the point is that accidents happen and they can vary in their severity.
Types of Dog Bite Lawsuits
Just like dog breeds themselves, dog bite lawsuits come in many forms. The following are some common types of dog bite cases that may lead to a future lawsuit:
Non-aggressive Dog Accidents
Dog bites can occur from non-aggressive dogs that unintentionally attack humans. Sometimes dogs can become excited and may jump on or bite a person even though it is not their intention to hurt you. Other times, the injured party may provoke a non-aggressive dog.
Aggressive Dog Accidents
It is important to keep in mind that there is no certainty that any one dog breed is more inherently dangerous than another. Smithsonian Magazine has researched the subject and reports that training and overall upbringing actually a stronger predictor of whether or not a dog will be more aggressive. Regardless, the fact is that some dogs are just more aggressive in nature than others. This aggression may make them more prone to bite another person to protect themselves, protect their territory, or protect their owner. In this case, an owner may be liable for not taking the proper precautions to safeguard other people from their dog who they know or should know is potentially more dangerous.
Dog Attacks on Young Children
Dog bites on children can be particularly dangerous because children are so vulnerable. Children who have been attacked and bitten by a dog not only experience physical injuries, but they often experience emotional trauma resulting from the incident.
Here are three common reasons why dogs bite:
Most often, a dog decides to bite a human because they were provoked. Animals have an inherent instinct to protect themselves. If they misinterpret your actions as dangerous, they may be provoked to bite.
Abuse and Neglect
While it is true that some dogs may be inherently more dangerous than others, it is also true that nurture can play a lot larger role than nature. If a dog owner mistreats their dog with physical abuse, their dog may be more likely to view the world as a cruel place. Thus, this dog is more likely to harm those who come into contact with it.
The Dog is Sickly
Dogs don’t have the same luxury we do of expressing our feelings and what hurts us. If a dog is sick, it may try to tell you by lashing out aggressively, or rather, they may simply want to be left alone and bite you to keep you away from them.
Dog bite injuries can be mild or severe. The following is a list of the types of injuries that may occur:
- Facial injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries, such as corneal scratches
- Nerve damage
- Emotional trauma
What to do after been bitten by a dog
1. Seek Medical Attention
Going to seek medical assistance after a dog bite is the first and most important thing to do after the accident happens. Even minor injuries require medical attention. Often, the shock of the situation keeps people from feeling the pain of their injuries or realizing how bad their injuries may truly be. It can be easy to brush off a dog bite as something trivial. However, seeking treatment from a medical professional is not only good for your health, but may also play an important role by creating evidence of your claim.
2. Document the Incident
Do the best you can to document the scene of the incident. Take pictures of where the dog bit you and anything else that may be relevant. If there was a “beware of dog” sign, document it. If there was a cage and chain on the property for the dog, document it. Document anything that could be relevant to your claim. It is most important that you document your injuries as soon as possible. Wounds can heal quickly or may change within mere hours of the bite. You will want evidence that accurately shows what happened to you at the time of the accident itself.
Read More: Dog Bites on Private Property
3. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
Personal injury claims can be complex, and the process can be burdensome for recovering victims. Having an attorney can help make this process easier and ensure your interests are being looked after. Contact our attorneys at Zinda Law Group today to see if we may be able to help you with your case.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
Proving liability in a dog bite claim may vary state-to-state, but dog bite liability can often be established by either showing the dog owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous.
Traditional negligence means a plaintiff must prove that the dog’s owner owed the injured party a duty of care, and breached this duty. A plaintiff must show that this breach of duty led to their injuries. The duty can arise from failure to properly secure a dog or take proper precautions to keep a dog away from others if they are known to be dangerous. Some states, like Texas, abide by the “one-bite” rule as a shortcut. This means that if the owner knew their dog had a previous bite history, then they knew or should have known their animal was a threat and may be liable for a subsequent dog bite accident. Texas follows this rule.
Some states use strict liability to determine fault. Strict liability means that a defendant is liable if a certain condition is met, regardless of what the defendant did or didn’t do. For example, if strict liability applies, a defendant is automatically liable if their dog bit another person while that person was somewhere they were legally allowed to be and if the injured party did not provoke the dog.
Dog Bite Compensation
You may be able to get compensation for a dog bite, but this is heavily dependent on the circumstances. If a dog bit you due to another person’s negligence, then you may be able to seek compensation. The compensation you may be entitled to may include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are easily calculated because they compensate you for bills and other expenses that are easily quantifiable. Economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Other incidentals
Non-economic damages are typically calculated by multiplying your medical bills by a number anywhere between 1 and 5. The multiplier used depends on the severity of your dog bite. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case
Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations, or legal time limit, on when victims may file personal injury claims. Dog bite cases are personal injury claims. Texas law mandates that claims for personal injury be filed no later than two years after the accident.
If two years have passed since a dog bit you, you likely will be barred from taking legal action against the person who is responsible. In some rare instances, the statute of limitations may be extended. It must be emphasized that this is very rare and is usually reserved for situations where a child is attacked and must wait until they reach the age of majority to file a claim on their own behalf.
Hire a Plano Dog Bite Lawyer
Having an attorney is not a requirement to file a dog bite claim. However, it may be in your best interest to do so. Having a Plano attorney on your side can help you properly investigate your claim, determine an appropriate amount to seek in damages, negotiate on your behalf with the parties involved, and advise you on important decisions such as accepting or declining a settlement offer.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Plano dog bite accident lawyer. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we don’t recover you money, you don’t owe us anything.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.