Dog bites are serious incidents that can leave a mark both literally and figuratively. Physical injuries are made worse by the lifelong trauma left behind. Victims who are toddlers and adults alike can feel fear and insecurity after a dog bite. Such bites can also leave physical injuries like contusions, fractures, head and face injuries, even amputations.
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Our Brownsville dog bite lawyer can go over the details of your experience with you to determine whether you have a case for seeking compensation.
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If a dog bites you, you should seek medical care immediately. Just like being injured in an accident, it is incumbent upon you to get medical attention quickly and follow through with any prescribed treatment so that your injuries are not allowed to worsen.
You should follow these steps to clean the injury quickly and prevent infection:
1. If the bleeding is minor, let the wound bleed for a few minutes so that bacteria transmitted by the dog bite can be removed.
2. Use antibacterial soap and wash the wound, allowing water to flow over it for 5 minutes. This timeline is essential, as it helps to combat infection.
3. Cover the injury with sterile bandages, or a disposable paper towel if no bandages are accessible.
4. If you received a puncture wound, use an antibiotic ointment.
5. If you received a severe laceration, clean the wound and cover it with a sterile bandage, so you compress the bleeding and expedite clotting.
Assuming the wounds are minor, schedule an appointment with your regular physician as soon as you can. If the injury is severe, visit Valley Regional Medical Center, Solara Hospital Brownsville, or Valley Baptist Medical Center for emergency treatment. Then contact our Brownsville dog bite lawyer to make sure you get deserved compensation.
The state of Texas does not have a dog bite specific statute. However, the state does have a ruling from the 1974 Texas Supreme Court case Marshall v. Ranne, which established the “one bite rule” and “negligence” requirements for said cases.
The negligence requirements in such cases could, for example, be situations where a dog owner, knowing their dog was aggressive, failed to put the dog on a leash when going for a walk or taking out the trash. Another situation could be the owner failing to put a fence around the yard, thereby allowing the dog to run freely into neighboring yards and continue demonstrating aggressive behavior.
Texas also has what is called “strict liability” rules for dog bite cases where it is known ahead of time that the dog is dangerous. Dogs with histories of biting people can be classified as such, even if the previous bites caused no harm.
Legally this means that as the injured party, you can recover damages just by demonstrating that the owner knew the dog was dangerous without having to prove the owner failed to use reasonable care.
There are some situations where the bite results in severe injury, and the owner faces criminal charges in addition to civil liability. According to the Texas Health and Safety Code, owners may face felony charges if the owner was criminally negligent.
This could mean to things: the owner failed to secure the dog and the dog attacked someone, without being provoked, far away from its home; or it could mean the owner was aware that the dog was dangerous and the dog attacked someone without being provoked, outside of its home. In either case, the attack resulted in serious bodily injuries or death.
If the dog bite results in death, the owner could face a civil lawsuit in the form of a wrongful death claim, filed by their family on behalf of the deceased.
If a dog bites you, your first step is to treat the wound and get medical treatment for any other injuries. After that, you can contact the Brownsville Police Department and file a report directly or go through the animal control department.
There are times when the dog owner is your friend, you are afraid of the owner, or even cases where you don’t want something terrible to happen to the dog. However, it is still recommended that you file a report with animal control at the least because:
Animal control needs help protecting dogs that are being abused or neglected, which can often prompt aggressive behavior, and such reports may very well help the dog.
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Once you decide to take legal action, your Brownsville attorney can help you to file the claim and subsequently follow any legal steps you may need after that. How long the case or claim takes to file is based on how severe your injuries are, what level of cooperation you get from everyone else, and how complicated the case is. If, for example, the other party admits fault it can be settled sooner than cases where everything is fought along the way. Regardless, when you are ready to review the details of your case to find out what steps you can take, our attorneys are here.
Call Begum Law Group at 956.982.1800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.