Texas Dog Bite Law
Most states have a specific dog bite and animal attack statute. Texas does not. However, that does not mean you cannot recover compensation after being injured by a dog. There are numerous ways to hold a Texas dog owner responsible for their pet’s actions. The Texas Supreme Court created the state’s dog bite laws in Marshall v. Ranne.
In Texas, dog bite lawsuits may be based on negligence, knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities, a violation of a local leash ordinance, or intentional harm.
For you to recover compensation after a dog bite claim, you may have to prove that the dog’s owner or handler was negligent in controlling the dog. You must have evidence that the owner did not use ordinary care in keeping their dog from harming others.
If you were bitten by a dog that should have been on a leash, this could be evidence of the owner’s liability. A violation of a leash law can be used to hold the owner responsible and get you an appropriate settlement.
Texas also adheres to the “one bite rule.” You may claim the dog owner is strictly liable for your injuries if the dog previously attacked someone or acted as if they wanted to. It is on you to show that the dog owner knew the animal could be aggressive. This can be very difficult to prove, which is why it is important to work with an experienced dog attack attorney.
Additionally, it is sad but true that owners can train their dogs to attack others. If someone willfully let or ordered their dog to attack you, call Begum Law Group right away.
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What to Do if a Dog Bites You
If a dog bites you or a loved one, you need to address the injuries right away. Dog bites can result in puncture wounds, tears in the skin and muscle, broken bones, and other serious injuries. You need medical care to heal from these injuries as well as to reduce the risk of infection.
Once you are safely away from the dog, gently press on the wound. You want to allow the wound to bleed to flush out bacteria. This is your bodies natural way of protecting you from infection. However, if you are bleeding profusely despite applying pressure, go to the emergency room right away.
If you do not head to the ER immediately, wash your wound with mild soap and water. Use a clean cloth to apply pressure and slow any bleeding. The best next step is to apply antibiotic cream and cover your injury with a sterile bandage.
After you have cleaned and wrapped the wound, find time to go to see a physician. You may call for an appointment with your family doctor or head to an immediate care clinic. No matter where you choose to go, you should see a doctor within a few hours of the bite to determine if you need stitches, a rabies shot, antibiotics, or more serious medical care.
After you have received medical care, call a dog bite injury lawyer. When another person’s dog bites or attacks you and causes you harm, the dog owner may be liable for your injuries. You may have the right to pursue compensation. However, it can be difficult to determine the likelihood of you receiving compensation or the amount without an experienced legal opinion.
Dog Bite Injuries
If a dog attacks you, whether you are bitten or pushed down, you may suffer:
- Puncture wounds
- Tears in your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Bone fractures
- Nerve damage
- Fall-related injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Psychological trauma
Depending on the circumstances, you may experience injuries to your face, neck, back, torso, arms, hands, legs, and feet. The more serious these injuries, the more likely you are to suffer from scaring, disfigurements, or to be left with physical limitations. Our dog attack lawyers at Begum Law Group have worked on dog bite cases involving all types of injuries. We can work with your physician and medical experts to prove the type and seriousness of your injuries. We can gather evidence to prove how these injuries have negatively impacted your life, physically and emotionally. We will use all of this information to fight for you to receive a dog bite settlement.
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Moving Forward with a Dog Bite Claim
If someone else’s dog bit you, call a dog bite lawyer to discuss your options. In many situations, you can pursue an insurance claim and settlement. If an individual or couple owned a dog, they might have homeowners or renter’s insurance that covers bodily injuries. If a business owned the dog, it is likely that the business has an insurance policy that covers harm to patrons. We will work with the relevant insurance company to prove the dog owner’s liability and negotiate a fair settlement.
However, if your insurance claim is denied, the insurer refuses to participate in good faith negotiations, or there is no insurance coverage, then you are going to need to work with a dog bite injury attorney to pursue compensation in court.
Dog bite lawsuits can be brought on one or more legal bases. You may argue that the owner knew their dog was aggressive, dangerous, or vicious, and therefore, the owner is strictly liable for your injuries. If you can prove the owner knew of their dog’s dangerous propensities, then you can recover compensation whether or not the owner was negligent at the time of the attack.
If you cannot prove the dog was known to be vicious, then you may argue that the dog owner was negligent in maintaining control of the dog. To prove negligence, you must show that the owner failed to use reasonable care in restraining the dog and preventing it from attacking you. One way you may be able to support a claim of negligence is if the dog owner failed to have the dog on a leash or someone contained in violation of a local leash ordinance.
In either strict liability or negligence cases, you should work with an experienced lawyer. At Begum Law Group, we are well-versed in dog bite law and have a track record of success for our dog attack clients.
Dog Bite Compensation
If you were injured in a dog attack, and you can prove the dog’s owner is liable, then you may receive compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical limitation
- Reduced earning capacity
Our lawyers for dog bites have recovered a wide range of dog bite settlement amounts because many factors can influence the value of your dog bite claim. The type of injury and how serious it is matters. The more serious the injury, the more compensation you may receive. This is typically because more serious injuries cost more to treat, take longer to recover from and cause a greater amount of pain and suffering. You also may receive more compensation if an animal attack leads to a visible disfigurement or a disability.