Dog bites and attacks can cause many severe, possibly life-threatening injuries and medical problems.
If you were injured in a dog attack caused by the dog owner's carelessness or negligence in controlling the animal, you may have legal options. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our Dallas dog bite lawyers to discuss what happened. We might be able to help you pursue compensation for medical bills and other expenses created by your injuries. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process.
The attorneys at our firm have decades of combined experience pursuing compensation for people injured by another's negligence. We are prepared to manage every aspect of your case as we work to protect your rights and help you secure fair compensation.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
When dogs attack people, they can cause serious harm. Some of the most common Dallas personal injuries from dog bites and attacks include:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and lacerations
- Severe bruising
- Internal injuries
- Infections like rabies, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and cellulitis
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Excessive bleeding
- Muscle and tissue damage
These injuries can be very expensive to treat, particularly if your recovery takes a significant amount of time. Our Dallas dog bite lawyers understand how difficult it can be to recover from a dog bite. That is why we are prepared to help you recover compensation for all current and future medical expenses, along with compensation for how your injuries affect other aspects of your life.
Contact Stephens, Anderson & Cummings right now by calling (877) 920-9009.
What Should I Do After a Dog Attack?
Dog attack victims are often unsure about what steps to take right after the attack. They may think about calling a lawyer or they may be focused on treating their injuries.
Our dog bite lawyers in Dallas have compiled a list of steps to take right after a dog attack. Taking these steps could help protect your rights so you can try to pursue all of the compensation you are owed.
Obtain Medical Care
The first priority after any accident is your health and safety. You should always seek treatment from medical professionals after a dog bite because there is the possibility of a serious or life-threatening infection.
However, there are some quick steps you can take immediately after the attack to help stabilize your injuries while you travel to the nearest hospital:
- Put a clean towel over injuries that are bleeding – This can help contain and possibly stop the bleeding.
- Keep the area elevated – If possible, elevate the part of your body that was bitten or scratched by the dog. This can also help slow down or stop the bleeding.
- Wash the area – If possible, and particularly if the bite or scrape is small, carefully wash it with mild soap and water then place a towel over it.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
If possible, pull out your smartphone and take pictures at the scene. This includes taking pictures of the area where the attack occurred, your injuries and the dog if possible.
Make sure to note any property damage that occurred during the attack. For example, if you crashed into a mailbox during the attack, take a picture of the damaged mailbox or fence.
Make sure to save your clothes from the attack, especially if they are bloodied or torn. This can be powerful evidence when a Dallas dog bite lawyer helps you pursue compensation.
File an Insurance Claim
The attack may be covered by the dog owner's insurance. If the dog came onto your property, it might be covered by your homeowner's insurance. There are also a few other types of insurance that might cover the attack.
It is general in your best interest to file an insurance claim right away. There are often deadlines for submitting claims and waiting to file could cause insurer's to be suspicious about whether your claim is valid. This could make the insurance claims process harder than it needs to be.
Contact a Lawyer
Our Dallas dog bite attorneys can guide you through every step of the legal process, including the insurance claims process.
We know how to conduct a thorough investigation to help build a strong case as we fight for all of the compensation you deserve. Our trusted attorneys will be here to answer all of your questions and discuss your concerns about the legal process.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
How to Pursue Compensation
Many dog bite cases are resolved by filing insurance claims. Dog bites should be covered by the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy, if the attack occurred on the owner's property.
If the bite occurred in a car, it might be covered by the owner's car insurance. However, the insurer may argue the bite should be covered by home insurance, while the home insurance company will argue the auto insurance company should cover it.
You may also be able to file a claim with the owner's animal insurance company if the owner has an animal insurance policy. These policies provide compensation to people bitten by the covered dog.
However, one of the major disadvantages of filing an insurance claim is that you can only recover compensation up to the limits of the policy. Another disadvantage is that there are only certain forms of compensation you can recover, such as medical costs and lost wages. You may not be able to obtain compensation for things like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life activities, such as hobbies or recreational activities
- Mental pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
This is one of the reasons you should strongly consider meeting with a dog bite lawyer in Dallas to discuss your legal options. Our goal is to help you pursue all of the compensation you deserve.
Contact our firm today to determine your legal options. Call (877) 920-9009.
Proving Your Case
You will not be able to recover compensation for your dog bite injuries unless you can prove the owner was at fault.
Texas law on liability for dog bites was established in the 1974 Texas Supreme Court case, Marshall v. Ranne. This case set a precedent that victims can establish fault for a dog attack or bite by proving one of two things:
- The owner knew his or her dog was dangerous
- The owner's negligence in controlling his or her dog or preventing it from biting you caused you to get bit
The Texas Supreme Court case notes that a dangerous or vicious dog is one that has attacked someone in the past or has vicious propensities and is likely to cause injury to others.
Section 7-5.1 of the Dallas, Texas Code of Ordinances has a more detailed definition of a dangerous or vicious dog as:
- One that makes an unprovoked attack on someone causing bodily injury, provided the attack occurs in a place other than an enclosure where the dog was being kept and was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own
- One that commits unprovoked actions outside of its enclosure, if those acts cause a person to have a reasonable belief the dog will attack and cause bodily injury
This section of the code ordinance defines a serious bodily injury as one characterized by severe bite wounds or severe ripping or tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonable person to seek treatment from a medical professional, even if the victim does not actually seek medical treatment.
An unprovoked attack is an attack by a dog that is not:
- A response to being tormented, abused or assaulted by a person
- A response to an injury or pain
- To protect itself, offspring, immediate territory, kennel or its food
Texas dog bite laws do not apply to people who were trespassing at the time of the attack. This means that even if you were attacked by a dog the owner knew was vicious or if the dog was not in a proper enclosure, the owner will not be held liable if you were trespassing.
Our Dallas dog bite attorneys will review your situation to determine if you were attacked by a vicious dog and if the owner knew about it. This could involve reviewing police reports or talking to witnesses to try to confirm the dog had attacked others or had vicious tendencies. We can also contact animal control to determine if the owner had been notified of the dog's aggressiveness.
Our lawyers will carefully collect evidence from the scene, along with accounts of the attack, from you and any witnesses. This can help us determine if there was any negligence on the part of the owner in controlling the dog. For example, maybe the dog should have been on a leash or the enclosure for the animal should have been more secure.
Contact our firm today for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases
Dog bites are considered personal injuries, so they are governed by the Texas statute of limitations for personal injury cases. This is a deadline for filing a case, and if you miss it, you lose the right to file a lawsuit.
Texas' statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury. This is why you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your attack to give your Dallas dog bite attorney the maximum amount of time to help you pursue your case.
Some people mistakenly believe two years is a long time. However, we may spend some of that time pursuing insurance compensation, leaving us less time to work on your lawsuit.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Contact Our Dallas Dog Bite Lawyers Right Away
When a dog attack occurs because of the owner's negligence, the victim could be entitled to compensation for his or her medical expenses and other damages.
Contacting an attorney to work with you on your claim has many advantages. The dog bite lawyers in Dallas at our firm know how to thoroughly investigate these cases and gather the evidence you need to have a chance of receiving compensation.
We understand compensation cannot change what happened, but it can help you and your family as you attempt to move forward after the attack.
Contact our dog bite attorneys in Dallas right now by calling (877) 920-9009.