Trusted Dallas Dog Bite Attorneys Ready To Help You
Assisting Dog Bite Victims in Carrollton, Denton, Grapevine, Lewisville, McKinney, and Southlake
It is sad, but some people in our society do not treat their dogs the way that dogs deserve to be treated. This neglect and mistreatment can lead to dogs becoming a real threat to other members of the public when they escape their enclosure or pass by someone. It is safe to say- that most everyone has experienced slight unease when passing by a dog who they think may be dangerous. If you have been bitten by a dog, what should you do? Speak with the proven Dallas dog bite and premises liability lawyers at Hartley Law Firm now.
Texas Dog Bite Law
In Texas, the legal landscape for dog bites is unique compared to some other states. Texas operates under the “one bite rule,” which means that an owner is generally held liable for a dog bite only if they had prior knowledge that the dog had aggressive tendencies. Unlike many states with dedicated dog bite statutes, Texas relies on common law to resolve these cases.
Types of Dog Bite Claims and Legal Recovery
The most common cause of dog bites is plain old fashion negligence on the part of the dog’s owner. Either the owner does not know that the dog is dangerous, or worse they know the dog is dangerous but do not care for one reason or another. Depending on the circumstances of your bite, you have several legal options for recovering compensation in a Texas dog bite claim.
Negligence claims are often the most straightforward route to establishing liability. To be successful, you’ll need to prove that the dog owner failed to exercise reasonable care in controlling their pet or preventing the bite. This is typically seen withi instances where the dog owner allows their dog to wander the neighborhood unsupervised.
One-Bite Rule/Strict Liability
Under this concept you would need to show that the owner was aware or should have been aware of the dog’s propensity to bite. For example, if the dog had previously attacked another person or displayed aggressive behavior, the owner could be held liable for not taking preventive measures.
Violation of Local Ordinances
Local laws like leash laws or “no-trespassing” signs for dangerous dogs can also impact a case. If the owner violated a local ordinance and that violation led to your injuries, this can be used as evidence in your favor. Some jurisdictions even have breed-specific laws subjecting owners of certain types of dogs to stricter regulations.
When a dog owner deliberately uses their dog as a weapon to harm someone else, the owner can be held responsible under intentional tort laws. It is a grave offense that results in civil liabilities and can lead to criminal charges against the owner.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to a variety of physical and psychological injuries. Some of the most common ones include:
- Puncture wounds—these injuries can be deep and prone to infection;
- Lacerations and abrasions—both these injuries can require stitches and leave scars;
- Fractures—severe bites can cause broken or fractured bones and may require surgery to repair; and
- Emotional and psychological injuries—some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a fear of dogs, impacting their quality of life.
It’s essential to seek medical treatment right away to reduce the risk of infection. You might also need a rabies shot, depending on the dog’s health history.
What You Should Do After a Dog Bite
After a dog bite, you may be in shock, but taking immediate action is crucial to your health. Your actions can also significantly impact your dog bite premises liability claim later.
- Seek medical attention. Your health is the primary concern. Obtain medical care as quickly as possible. Immediate treatment minimizes the risk of infection and provides a medical record that can be critical when filing a claim. If you’re seriously injured, call 911 immediately.
- Report the incident. Reporting to local animal control or law enforcement is crucial. The report creates an official record of the event and starts an investigation. There are consequences of reporting a dog bite, such as the potential quarantine of the dog or even removal from its owner.
- Gather information. Information is key. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. Also, if possible, obtain the dog owner’s details and any insurance information. Take photographs of the scene, your injuries, and other relevant evidence like broken fences or unleashed dogs.
- Consult a lawyer. Before you talk to the dog owner’s insurance company, consult with a Dallas dog bite lawyer who understands dog bite premises liability claims. We can help you understand your rights, the steps to report a dog bite properly, and the potential consequences for the dog and its owner.
- Preserve evidence. Maintain a record of all your medical treatments, costs, and any communications with authorities or insurance companies. These records can become essential pieces of evidence in your case.
Understandably, you might be concerned about the consequences of reporting a dog bite, especially if the owner is a friend or neighbor. However, it’s essential to protect your rights and help keep others from becoming victims of a dog bite.
Types of Compensation in a Dog Bite Case
The types of compensation available in a dog bite case are diverse and may include:
- Medical expenses—both immediate costs and future medical expenses related to your injury;
- Lost wages—compensation for the time you’ve missed from work and any future loss in earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering—compensation for physical and psychological pain, including any therapy or psychiatric treatment needed; and
- Punitive damages—damages used in extreme cases to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior.
Your Dallas dog bite lawyer will help you understand what damages apply in your case and how much your case is potentially worth.
Representation When It Counts
Your Dallas dog bite attorney should immediately begin obtaining any records associated with the attack, initiating an insurance claim with the dog owner’s insurance carrier, contacting witnesses, and, if necessary, initiating a suit. If a dog attacked you or a loved one, give our Dallas dog bite lawyers a call today at (469) 289-6063 or submit a contact form to schedule a free in-person consultation.
Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Bike Accidents
- Head and Brain Injury
- Burn Accident Injury
- Bus Crash Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Worksite Accident Injury
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Oil Field Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury