Dog bites can be quite significant, resulting in lacerations, bruises, broken bones, and lifelong emotional trauma. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation to cover any medical bills as a result of your injuries. A San Antonio lawyer can review the details of your dog bite and help determine whether you have a case for compensation.
Call The Law Giant Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers at 210.921.2200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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In the state of Texas, the case Marshall v. Ranne established that to make a claim for a dog bite case you have to prove one of two things:
1. The dog owner knew the dog was aggressive in its behavior, had acted aggressively in the past or had bitten someone in the past
2. The owner negligently failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog bite or control the dog, which resulted in the injury/bite
A bite is not the only injury covered by this ruling. If, for example, your new neighbor has a large dog jumps up on you, knocks you to the ground, and causes head or back injuries, you could pursue a potential claim against the dog owner using the same two stipulations aforementioned. In this case, the owner knew the dog was aggressive and jumped, or the owner did not exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog from jumping.
Immediately after a dog bite, you should seek medical attention. If the wound is minor, you can clean it and schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. If it is more severe, you should visit Southwest General Hospital, San Antonio State Hospital, Northeast Baptist Hospital, Methodist Texan Hospital, or St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital for immediate care.
Once the injuries have been treated or cleaned, you should report the incident to the San Antonio Police Department. If there were any witnesses, you should gather statements from them and their contact information.
Document the injuries and any other details with photographs if possible. This can include pictures of your injuries, the dog, where it happened, the lack of leash/fencing for the yard, etc.
Then contact our San Antonio dog bite lawyer to see what other steps you need to take.
After sustaining a dog bite, you have a few legal options contingent upon the details of your case. First, you can file a police report with the San Antonio Police Department. This does not mean you are suing the dog owner or pursuing charges, but rather that you are submitting a formal report of the event. You can also submit this report through animal control. Submitting a report is beneficial for many reasons:
Once a report is filed, you can speak with an attorney about whether it is recommended that you pursue compensation. This is common in situations where the injuries were severe enough that they required medical treatment and incurred unexpected costs. The amount you can be awarded is based upon the financial obligations you faced as a result of the bite and any emotional distress you can prove. The more severe your injuries, the higher the settlement will be in many cases, simply because the medical bills to treat the dog bite injuries are higher.
Bites, even from small dogs, can cause severe damage physically and emotionally. Bites can result in abrasions or lacerations, punctures, tissue loss, fractured bones, sprains, scars, or infections. In some instances, a single dog bite, even from a small dog, can result in a combination of these injuries as well as emotional distress.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that infection is the main complication associated with dog bites, accounting for one in five cases. The most common bacteria associated with dog bites is Pasteurella, which results in swelling, pain, and redness.
Said infections can result in rabies, which is a virus transferred via the dog saliva, which infects the brain and can result in death. Those with weakened immune systems are at risk for the bacteria infection capnocytophaga, also transferred through dog saliva. More seriously, MRSA can be transmitted as can tetanus, which can cause paralysis in people without vaccinations.
Psychologically, even after antibiotics or stitches, dog bites can leave long term emotional distress in the form of permanent fear of dogs, insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, irritability, anti-social behavior, and nervousness when outside.
If you have sustained a dog bite, contact our firm to discuss the details of your case. Every case is different, and with the advice of counsel, you can learn what steps to take next.
Call Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers at 210.921.2200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.