Round Rock Dog Bite Lawyers
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Dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend” for good reason. They’re playful, energetic, and can be great companions. However, dog bite accidents can and do occur. This article will provide information about dog bite accidents, including common causes of dog bites, what you should do after a dog bite attack, and what forms of compensation may be available to a dog bite victim.
If you have been injured by a dog bite and would like to learn more about your rights, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Round Rock lawyers.
TEXAS DOG BITE LAWS
Texas does not have a civil statute exclusively dedicated to dog bite accidents. Instead, Texas courts have assumed the responsibility of setting forth dog bite laws in the Lone Star State.
Texas courts adhere to the “one-bite rule” when it comes to dog bite accidents. The rule imposes a negligence standard. This means that to recover damages for a dog bite, a dog bite victim must establish that the dog’s owner was either:
- Aware that the dog had bitten someone before, or
- Had acted aggressively in the past, or
- Was negligent in controlling the dog or preventing the accident from occurring.
A consultation with an experienced Zinda dog bite lawyer may provide additional insight into Texas dog bite laws.
COMMON CAUSES OF DOG BITE ACCIDENTS
Most dog bite accidents occur because the animal was provoked in some way. For example, a dog may attack after being yelled at or taunted. Other examples of actions which may provoke a dog include:
- Hitting a dog
- Taking its food or toy away
- Chasing a dog
Dog bites may also occur because a dog feels the need to protect its territory, food, or owner. For example, a dog may attack if someone tries to grab a dog’s litter. In such cases, the animal may instinctively try to protect itself by biting or chasing the person.
Wild or Rabid Dog
A dog that is untrained, wild, neglected, or abused may spontaneously attack an unwitting person. Thus, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to dogs who are loose or exhibiting signs of aggressiveness.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A DOG BITE ATTACK
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step to take after being bitten by a dog is to seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries will obviously require immediate medical attention. However, even small bites may pose a risk for future health concerns. Thus, you should consider having a trained medical professional examine the wound even when the injury does not appear to be severe.
2. File a Report and Document the Accident
The next step you should take after being bitten by a dog is to file a report with local 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 record of all documents relating to the accident. For instance, your file should include photographs of the injury, a copy of the report, and any witness statements.
3. Contact an Attorney
Finally, you should consider contacting a dog bite attorney. An attorney may wish to speak with you in person or over the phone to gather the facts of your case. After doing so, the attorney may search for and collect evidence to strengthen your claim. If necessary, the attorney may begin legal proceedings by ensuring that a lawsuit is timely filed.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
WHO CAN I SUE?
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 besides or in addition to the dog owner. For instance, a person charged with supervising the dog, such as a dog-sitter or hired dog-walker, may be held legally responsible if their negligence allowed the dog bite to occur.
Deciding whether you should pursue legal action, and who to file a claim against, ultimately requires a careful analysis of many important factors such as when the attack occurred, the severity of the injuries, and your relationship to the dog owner. A personal injury attorney may provide helpful legal advice about your rights and legal options after a dog bite attack.
The owner of a dog may be liable to a victim for damages incurred as a result of a dog bite attack. If the dog owner carries insurance, the insurance company may be responsible for paying out the value of the claim. The types of damages that may be available to a dog bite victim fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to losses that can be quantified on paper. The primary economic damages at issue in a dog bite lawsuit may include:
- Medical and pharmacy bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost income and wages
- Future lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
In contrast, non-economic damages are intangible losses that cannot be easily quantified. Instead, 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
The third type of damages, referred to as “punitive damages,” may also be awarded in a dog bite case. This class of damages, when awarded, is not intended to reimburse the victim for losses incurred, but rather to punish the at-fault party for intentional or unjustifiably egregious conduct.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
A dog bite victim wishing to file a claim must do so in a timely manner. The victim must initiate legal action within the applicable “statute of limitations.” A statute of limitations is a legal time limit by which a person must initiate a lawsuit. Failure to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations effectively bars a dog bite victim from litigating the claim in court.
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. A dog bite accident is considered a type of personal injury claim. This means that a dog bite victim must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. For example, if you were injured in a dog bite accident on October 1, 2020, you must file a claim by October 1, 2022.
Certain situations may extend, or “toll,” a statute of limitations. However, tolling is an exception and should not be relied upon. Consider discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. Doing so may help ensure that your claim is filed in a proper and timely manner.
LET ZINDA LAW GROUP’S ATTORNEYS FIGHT FOR YOU
At Zinda Law Group, our Round Rock attorneys take pride in providing quality representation to our clients. In addition to years of experience representing dog bite victims, our firm may help protect your rights following a dog bite attack. With a Zinda attorney in your corner, you may receive:
Dog bite laws aren’t always clear. Navigating a dog bite claim requires a keen understanding of the law and experience in working with insurance companies. A Round Rock dog bite lawyer may help you understand your rights and act on your behalf by negotiating with insurance companies.
At Zinda Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality service to 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.
A dog bite claim may only be as strong as the resources used to support it. Thankfully Zinda Law Group has access to many valuable resources that may be used to 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.
No Win, No Fee Guarantee
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should not 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 Round Rock dog bite lawyer, or to learn more about your rights following an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.