Texas Dog Bite Lawyer
Call 888-988-7063 to Speak to a Texas Dog Bite Lawyer for free.
Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason—they can be extremely loyal, friendly, and a great addition to a family. However, dogs have the capability to inflict serious injury, most often through bites.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, it is important to contact the experienced attorneys at the Zinda Law Group as soon as possible for a FREE consultation on how to seek compensation.
Types of Dog Bite Lawsuits
No two dog bit incidents are the same, but they can generally be grouped into some broad categories. These include:
- Aggressive Incidents: This category includes the attacks that most people probably think of when they think of dog bites. For example, a dog on a leash breaks loose and attacks an innocent bystander
- Non-Aggressive Incidents: This category includes dog bites that aren’t accompanied by aggression from the dog. Sometimes dogs will nip when they get excited, and depending on the size of the dog, these types of bites may end up causing serious damage.
- Dog on Dog Aggression: Dogs who are fighting with another dog may end up biting a human who happens to be standing nearby.
A dog may bite a human as a result of a number of different situations.
- Territorialism: A dog may bite when it believes that it is defending its territory. For example, a friend who your dog does not recognize entering your house may cause a dog to bite.
- Provocation: There are many situations that may provoke a dog to biting. For example, a cyclist pedaling past a home may cause a dog to give chase and bite. Additionally, simply being near a dog may be enough to cause it to bite if it has not been properly socialized.
- Instincts: Certain herding breeds, like Border Collies, may instinctively nip at children as it attempts to “herd” them
Because no two dog bite incidents are the same, the resultant injuries will not be exactly the same. However, some of the more commonly suffered injuries include:
- Lacerations and Puncture Wounds: Dog bites can cause deep wounds in the skin that require extensive medical attention. Even once the immediate danger is taken care of, these wounds can lead to extensive scarring.
- Nerve Damage: Dog bites that go deep enough can cause damage to nerves, which can lead to consequences ranging from a temporary loss of function to permanent damage, including paralysis. There is an even more severe risk of damage when dealing with facial bites, which can result in loss of senses like hearing or sight, not to mention facial disfigurement.
- Infection: The risk of infection from dog bites is extremely high, given the fact that a dog bite can inject dangerous bacteria deep into the skin and tissue of the victim. Rabies is also a concern if the dog has not been properly immunized
- Emotional Damage: Depending on the victim and circumstances of the incident, dog bites can be traumatic events, particularly in children, and may require extensive psychological attention in the form of counseling or therapy just for the victim to be able to live a healthy, normal life.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog
After you are bitten by a dog, it is important to complete a few key steps to keep yourself healthy and make sure that you preserve your legal right to seek compensation:
1. Address Your Medical Needs
First and foremost, assess your immediate situation and determine whether emergency attention is required. Shallow bites may be treated at home with soap and water, but deep bites should be seen by a doctor. Remember that adrenaline can mask the pain from a bite, which can make it difficult to accurately determine the severity of your injury. You will also need proof of your injury by way of a medical report when you make a claim.
2. Document the Event
This includes things like taking pictures of your injuries and the place where the incident took place, getting the contact information from the dog’s owner and any witnesses to the incident, and filing a police report. It is important to be as thorough as possible while the event is still fresh in your mind, as it is difficult to determine what facts may become important later.
3. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
Finally, contacting an experienced dog bite attorney as quickly as possible will help you understand your legal position and also understand your next steps in seeking compensation. The laws of Texas can be a bit tricky and difficult to navigate on your own, but the attorneys at the Zinda Law Group have the experience necessary to guide you through the process.
In any lawsuit, there needs to be a liable party in order to recover anything. In dog bite cases, the liable party is typically the owner of the dog. Texas is a “one bite” state, meaning that in order for an owner to be liable, the other party needs to show that the owner knew that the dog had acted aggressively or bitten someone in the past. In other words, dog owners get “one bite” before they are put on notice that they need to restrain their dog better in the future.
Dog Owner Responsibility
The responsibility for training and properly restraining a dog falls to the owner. Therefore, it is the responsibility of dog owners in Texas to familiarize themselves with the laws of the jurisdiction.
- Leash Laws: Usually, dogs must be on a leash unless they are confined to their owner’s property. This means that it is more likely that the dog owner will be liable if their dog bites someone while in violation of this rule - this can vary from city to city.
- Vaccinations: Dog owners must make sure that their dog has all of the proper immunizations as mandated by local regulations. A violation of these rules may lead to liability for all of the resulting injuries caused by the lack of immunization.
Who Can I Sue?
In a dog bite case, the person who will typically be liable is the owner of the dog. This is because the dog itself obviously can’t pay damages. However, pursuing compensation from dog owners can sometimes be problematic. This is because the owner can’t pay you money that they don’t have. In the case of an insolvent dog owner, compensation can also come from an insurance policy. Insurance companies are not always eager to pay what they owe, however, which means it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to make them treat you fairly.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim
Once you have taken care of your medical needs, there a few key steps to take in filing a lawsuit.
1. Speak with an Attorney
This is the most crucial step in the process. Finding an experienced attorney will ease the stress on you, as they will be able to guide you through a complicated process. The attorneys at the Zinda Law Group will take care of each step of the process, ensuring that you are adequately represented from start to finish.
Once you have brought your case to an attorney, they will begin the process of investigating the case. This includes things like contacting witnesses and the dog owner, interviewing witnesses, and finding out if the dog has a violent history.
Once the suit has been filed and an investigation began, your attorney can begin to negotiate a settlement with the other side. Having an experienced attorney on your side at this stage is critical, as the other parties involved will not want to pay you what you deserve.
Dog Bite Compensation
For any personal injury lawsuit, the victim must have suffered actual damages in order to be able to seek any money. These damages can be grouped generally into one of two categories.
Economic: This category includes things like medical bills, wages lost while unable to work, and any future wages that will be lost due to injury. Typically, these damages can be estimated with a fair degree of certainty.
Non-Economic: This category includes the pain and suffering caused by a dog bite. While it is more difficult to put an exact number on this kind of damage, it can certainly still be compensated for in the case of a severe dog bite.
Statute of Limitations
For any personal injury lawsuit, there is a period of time after the incident in which the suit must be brought. This period of time is known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim is generally two years after the accident. There may be exceptions if the dog bite ends up causing death or the victim is a child, but generally speaking, it is advisable to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after the incident as possible to make sure that you do not run out of time and have your suit thrown out.
OUR TEXAS DOG BITE LAWYERS CAN HELP
At Zinda Law Group, our 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 win 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 (888) 988-7063 for your free consultation with our Texas dog bite attorneys.
Meetings with lawyers are available by appointment only.