If you’ve been harmed by someone else’s dog, you’re undoubtedly going through a tough time. Dog bites can be frightening, dangerous, and even deadly, and no one should ever have to suffer because of someone else’s poorly restrained or mishandled dog.
Unfortunately, not all dogs are affectionate and happy. Dogs may be naturally territorial or trained to be aggressive and protective. All of these instincts can lead dogs to bite people they feel threatened by, even when the victim had no intention of causing the dog harm.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, we encourage you to contact us. Our award-winning Fort Worth dog bite lawyers are dedicated to fighting for dog attack victims like you. Our Fort Worth premises liability lawyers understand how life-changing a dog attack can be, and we use our knowledge, skills, and resources to win our clients the compensation they deserve for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Texas Dog Bite Laws
If a dog in Texas bit you or your child, there are various laws you can use to pursue a financial recovery. You should speak to our dog bite attorneys to determine which legal theory is suitable for your case.
Texas does not have a specific statute that outlines what happens in a dog bite case. Rather, there is a “One Bite Rule” as described in Section 509 of the Restatement of Torts. Under this rule, you may obtain compensation if the dog previously bit another person or acted as if it wanted to, the owner was aware this incident, and later on, the dog bit and injured you. To be clear, this is not a “one bite free” rule. It does not mean the owner is not liable the first time their dog bites someone. It simply means that if the dog acted violently or aggressively in the past and the owner knew about it, then the owner is liable for additional violent conduct by that dog.
If the dog that attacked you or your child had bitten or otherwise attacked someone else before, it may be labeled a dangerous dog, which can support your claim for compensation. Under Texas Health and Safety Code Section 822.041, a dangerous dog is one that:
- Makes an unprovoked attack on a person and causes bodily injuries in a location other than the dog’s enclosure
- Commits unprovoked acts somewhere other than the dog’s enclosure, and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack them and cause them harm
The owner of a dangerous dog is required to register the animal with their local animal control authority, keep it restrained at all times on a leash or in a secure enclosure, obtain liability insurance for at least $100,000 for bodily injuries, and comply with all other local ordinances related to dangerous dogs.
Another way you may be able to hold the dog owner responsible is proving that the owner was negligent in controlling their animal. If you file a dog bite lawsuit based on negligence, you must prove the owner owed others a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect them from the dog. This often entails making sure the dog is kept safely within the owner’s yard by a physical fence or invisible fence technology, and keeping the dog on a leash when in public. If the owner failed to keep their dog secure on their property or in public, and the loose dog caused you harm, then you may be able to obtain compensation from the owner.
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What to Do if a Dog Bites You
Being attacked by a dog is scary. It is hard to know what to do during such a sudden and intense situation. The first step is to restrain the dog, then get yourself away from it as soon as possible. Once you are free, you need to take care of your health. If you are seriously injured, you should go to the hospital right away. If you are unable to do so, then you should clean the bite wounds as soon as possible. Place a clean towel or bandages over the bite marks to help stop the bleeding.
If you were bitten in the hand, arm, or leg, try to keep the injured body part elevated. At this point, unless it appears the bites are minimal, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to ensure the wounds are thoroughly cleaned to avoid infection and obtain stitches if necessary.
If the owner was around during or after the attack, ask whether the dog has its vaccinations. If the owner says no or is unsure, see a doctor as soon as possible. Also, ask for the owner’s name and contact information. If a dog walker or someone else was with the dog, ask for both their and the owner’s name and contact information. You will need this information if you wish to pursue a dog bite claim.
If you are unsure of the dog’s vaccination records, see a physician right away and let them know. You may need to take medical precautions in addition to seeking direct treatment for the bite wounds.
Finally, contact our Fort Worth dog attack attorneys about what happened. Here at Anderson Injury Lawyers, we have over 25 years of experience winning dog bite cases in Texas. We know exactly how to construct your case in order to convince an insurance company or jury to pay you the money you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
If a dog bit you, you might suffer from:
- Puncture Wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Psychological trauma
- Viruses, such as rabies
Large, strong dogs are capable of inflicting serious and debilitating harm on individuals, especially small children. Some dog’s jaws are powerful enough to break bones. Also, if the dog pulls after biting down, they can tear skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, which can lead to long-term side effects and permanent injuries.
If you, your child or a loved one is suffering from serious dog bite injuries or requires mental health care to cope with the traumatic event, call our dog bite injury lawyers to discuss your rights. We will pursue the compensation you need to cover the costs of your injuries, and to hold the dog’s owner responsible.
Dog Bite Compensation
Whatever the legal basis you use to hold the dog owner or handler responsible, you may seek compensation for your:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Physical Pain
- Mental Anguish
- Physical Disability
- Reduced Earning Potential
- Loss of Normal Life
You should talk with our lawyers for dog bites about pursuing a settlement with the animal’s owner or through the owner’s insurance policy. If the dog was previously deemed dangerous, the owner might have a specific insurance policy to cover incidents and injuries like yours. In some circumstances, the pet owner’s homeowners or renter’s insurance policy may cover your bodily injuries. At Anderson Injury Lawyers, we will always look for relevant insurance policies, which may improve your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Let a Dog Bite Attorney Help
Being attacked by a dog or watching a dog bite your child is frightening, and the incident can leave both psychological and physical scars. While you are forced to deal with these physical and emotional injuries, you should not be forced to bear the financial responsibility for the attack. When an unprovoked animal attacks you, that responsibility should rest on the animal owner’s shoulders.
Let the team at Anderson Injury Lawyers help you hold the dog owner responsible for the incident and your injuries. With decades of combined experience and millions recovered for injury victims in Fort Worth, we are ready to help you.
Contact us today at 817-294-1900 to schedule a free consultation.