Dog Bite Lawyers in San Antonio
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Texas has some very complicated laws regarding liability of parties during incidents involving an animal attack or bite. Attempting to navigate the muddy waters of the legal system can prove counterproductive for many claimants, and could result in injured or impacted individuals not receiving compensation due to them for their damages.
The best approach for those who have been injured or sustained damages due to negligent or irresponsible pet owners is to seek out the advice and assistance of qualified dog bite attorneys who are experienced in animal bite laws for the state of Texas.
If your or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite or animal attack, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with San Antonio dog bite attorneys.
Dog Bite Laws in Texas
Texas has adopted a "one bite rule" in regard to those harboring or keeping pets that have a history of biting or causing injury to others. In essence, this allows for compensatory damages to those harmed when the pet has exhibited the same behavior previously.
Unlike other states, this no-nonsense approach places liability and fault in the owner's lap and helps claimants recover entitlements when the pet owner has an awareness of the pet's behavior or inclinations.
When pets do not have this documented or noted trait, it can become more challenging to pursue a case and hold owners liable for the damages caused by their pets. Experienced dog bite attorneys can provide insight to help claimants file cases in such instances.
Do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney?
Qualified and competent personal injury attorneys can also advise clients about the best route during issues of personal injury in a wide range of circumstances. With their proven diligence and efficiency, claims can be expediently progressed toward resolution and recovery of compensation.
Issues complicating the outcomes of animal-attack law suits can include home ownership or insurance coverage that may be retained by those harboring the animals causing injury. While each situation is distinctive, it is encouraged that those with concerns seek out legal counsel and support from those with familiar with associated precedents or case law.
Types of Dog Bite Lawsuits
In Texas, there are two main types of dog bite claims: Negligence claims and one bite claims.
A dog owner may be sued for negligence if the owner did not take reasonable measures to control his or her dog. Like any other negligence case, a claimant must show that there was a duty owed, that there was a breach of that duty, that the breach caused the injury, and that there was actual injury.
One Bite Claims
One bite claims are different from negligence claims because one bite claims do not require the claimant to show that a dog owner was negligent. The claimant only needs to show that there was injury and that the dog was known to have been vicious or dangerous.
Failure to Leash
Dog owners sometimes do not put a leash on their dog. An aggressive dog not on a leash may attack individuals without warning.
Failing to Provide Adequate Enclosure
Some owners let their dog live in some enclosure outside their home. However, they may have set up fences that are too low or too weak, allowing the dog to escape and attack individuals.
Some dog breeds are extremely aggressive. These dogs are much more likely to attack strangers on a whim.
Lacerations are simply cuts and or tears in the skin.
Disfigurement – disfigurement is when your physical appearance has been permanently altered. For instance, there have been several cases where a dog bites the victim’s face, permanently distorting the victim’s face.
Nerve damage can cause a person to lose sensation in certain parts of his or her body. For instance, if a dog bites the victim’s finger and damages the nerves of the finger, the victim may no longer be able to feel anything using that finger.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Though we often hear of PTSD in the military context, any kind of traumatic event can cause PTSD. A victim of a dog bite may have recurring nightmares of the dog bite and may become anxious around dogs.
Dogs can carry many diseases if they are not properly vaccinated. For instance, an unvaccinated dog can transmit rabies to its victim.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog
1. Let the Wound Bleed
If your wound is not severe, it is advised that you let the wound bleed for a few minutes so that any bacteria from the dog’s bite comes out of your body.
2. Wash the Wound
Get some antibacterial soap and wipe the affected area. Also, let water flow over it for five minutes. This is to prevent infection of the wound.
3. Cover the Wound
Get some sterile bandages or disposable paper towels to cover the wound.
4. Seek Medical Treatment
Schedule an appointment with a physician in order to get additional treatment.
5. Contact a Lawyer
It is advised that you call a dog bite lawyer so that you can find out your rights and understand the next steps in seeking compensation.
When determining if a dog owner has liability for a negligence claim, you must prove that there was a duty owed. For instance, a dog owner has a duty to have his or her dog on a leash when out in public. You must then show that there was a breach of that duty. If the dog owner did not leash his dog in public, he or she has violated the duty to leash his or her dog. Next, you must show that the breach caused an injury. For example, if the unleashed dog bites you, then you have shown that the breach caused an injury. Finally, you must show that there was injury, which in this case would be the bite.
Dog Owner Responsibility
In San Antonio, dog owners must confine their dog to their property at all times unless they are on a leash. Furthermore, dog owners must vaccinate their dogs against rabies by the time they are sixteen weeks of age.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim
1. Medical Attention
Before you actually think about filing a claim, it is important that after you receive a dog bite to seek medical attention. Though most dog owners now take their dogs to veterinarians for a rabies shot, you can never be sure. Therefore, seek a rabies or tetanus shot right away. Furthermore, getting medical attention will document your injuries. Such documentation will be important if you decide to file a claim.
Having evidence to support your claim is important. So be sure to report the attack. Whether it is to an animal control agency or the police or sheriff department, you should report the attack in order to document the attack. In documenting the attack, you can do the following:
- Take photographs of your wounds as these will provide concrete evidence of the injuries you received.
- Keep the clothes that you wore on the day of the attack,
- Retain medical bills and other receipts for expenses related to the dog bite,
- Keep letters from the dog owner’s insurance company, etc.
3. Do Not Respond to Dog Owner’s Insurance Company
Soon after a dog bite injury, the dog owner’s insurance company will likely contact you. They will ask you for a statement regarding the incident or access to your medical records. Decline these requests as they may affect your ability to seek just compensation. They may also ask you to sign a release or to accept a settlement offer. Decline these requests as well as insurance companies are infamously known to lowball victims.
4. Call an Attorney
Though we may live in a DIY era, an experienced attorney may be an asset to you, in that their in-depth investigations may uncover aspects of eligible compensation that insurance companies might not include. An attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim and help you maneuver through the bureaucratic mess that insurance companies typically dump on accident victims.
Dog Bite Compensation
In general, compensation is calculated by accounting the victim’s economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses can include many factors, some of the common aspects claimed in compensation as:
A severe dog bite is not something that can be treated with an inexpensive home first-aid kid. After a dog bite injury, an ambulance or even an airlift may be required to transport the victim to a hospital. Once the victim is at the hospital, a doctor may have to perform a suture or surgery.
Future Medical Costs
Even after the initial treatment, there may be additional medical costs in order to prevent a post-operation infection. As you can imagine, a hefty bill may result from the totality of these events.
If you are out of work after the dog bite, you may be able to seek compensation for any lost earnings.
There could also be property damages to consider as the dog may have damaged clothing and the like.
In any case, economic damages consider a variety of factors that can be calculated monetarily.
Non-economic losses include factors that are more difficult to calculate than economic losses. For example, they include factors like:
Pain and Suffering
Both physical pain and mental anguish suffered as a result of the dog bite.
This will depend on the conduct of the dog owner.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, a dog bite case is treated like any other personal injury case, and thus Texas’s statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the dog bite to file a lawsuit.
Why Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer
Though dog bite claims are less costly than most other personal injury claims, it is still recommended that you hire a dog bite lawyer because such lawyers know the ins and outs of the legal process. A lawyer will take charge of the investigation and deal with insurance companies in order to help you seek the highest compensation.
Our San Antonio Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help
At Zinda Law Group, our San Antonio personal injury attorneys have helped many injury victims seek the compensation they deserved for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Our firm also operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your dog bite case. That's our No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dog or another animal, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for your free consultation with our San Antonio dog bite attorneys.
Meetings with lawyers are available by appointment only.