Texas Dog Bite Injury Guide

Texas Dog Bite Injury GuideThe Texas Dog Bite Injury Guide was created by Willumsen & McRoberts Law to help residents who have suffered from a dog bite obtain maximum compensation.

Were you seriously injured by a dog bite? These types of injuries are not only painful, but also traumatic. Dogs are familiar companions in American society, and most people who have dogs in their homes consider them to be members of the family. This can make pursuing a dog bite case not only complicated, but uncomfortable, especially in a case where the owners of the dog are relatives or friends. Knowing you will encounter resistance and defensiveness, it’s understandable to be reluctant to file a dog bite claim. Our Texas dog bite attorneys understand this, and also know that you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. We want to help you build a successful dog bite case. Call us today for a free consultation.

Do I Have a Dog bite Case?

Dog bites are the most common type of animal attack reported in the United States. While many of these incidents don’t cause serious harm, hundreds of them do, and some are even fatal.

Serious dog bite injuries not only cause physical harm, but can also cause financial harm, if the person injured misses work due to their injuries. Dog bites are traumatic events that typically lead to fear and anxiety that may linger, making counseling or medication necessary. These issues are serious, and make determining whether or not you have a dog bite claim important.

The State of Texas holds dog owners responsible for the harm caused by their dogs depending on what the dog owner knew about the dog at the time of the attack or what the dog owner did or did not do at the time of the attack. A common misconception regarding dog bite attacks is that dogs in Texas get one free bite before the dog owner is responsible for the harm caused, also referred as the “one-bite” rule.

In fact, a dog owner who is aware that his/her dog has bitten someone before, will be held strictly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the dog. Strict liability imposes a higher standard of care on the dog owner when handling a dog that is known to bite. The “one-bite” rule simply requires the dog owner of a dangerous dog to be more careful given that the dog is prone to attack and harm others.

In some situations, the dog may not have bitten before, but because the dog owner created the conditions that triggered an otherwise normally gentle dog to harm others, the owner can be held responsible. The dog owner has a duty of reasonable care to prevent his/her dog from injuring others.

One of the defenses a dog owner will probably put forth is that they had no idea their dog would bite someone or had no idea the dog would behave a certain way. Proving a dog owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s tendency to bite can be challenging. Additionally, proving the dog owner acted in a careless manner can also be challenging. Our Texas dog bite attorneys have the experience and resources to carry out the necessary investigation involved in establishing your claim. Call us today for your free consultation.

How Do Shared Fault Rules Affect My Case?

Another tactic that dog owners might try in order to escape liability is blaming the person who was bitten. They may claim you were trespassing. If true, this could have an impact on your case, but don’t assume you have no claim to compensation.

Texas has a shared fault rule that means you can be found liable to some degree for your injuries. How much you can recover in damages if you are found partially liable depends on the percentage of liability you bear. If you’re found to be between 1% and 49% liable, you can recover some damages. If you are found to be 50% liable or more, you will not be able to get compensation.

The shared fault rule doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file a claim, but it is another reason to have a capable attorney on your side. Our Texas dog bite attorneys know what evidence you need to present a strong case, and we have the resources to get it. Having an attorney can result in recovering much more in damages than you would by going about your case alone. Call your Texas dog bite attorneys today for your free consultation.

What Kind of Damages Can Be Awarded?

In a civil personal injury case, the term “damages” refers to financial compensation for the ways in which you were harmed by your injuries. There are two types of damages considered in a dog bite case: economic and non-economic.

Compensation in the form of economic damages is for the objective, quantifiable losses you have suffered. This can include lost income from not being able to return to work while healing, medical expenses incurred because of the injury, and bills for ongoing things like medication, counseling, and physical therapy. Your future economic losses can also be estimated, based on the already established cost of various therapies or potential future surgeries.

Compensation for non-economic damages is for losses that are just as important, but more subjective and therefore harder to put a price tag on. These can include anxiety, pain and suffering, depression, and emotionally and mentally coming to terms with a lessened quality of life due to your injuries.

Call our experienced Texas dog bite attorneys to discuss the details of your case. We have the skill to ensure that all of your damages, whether economic or non-economic, are accounted for in your claim.

How Much Time Do I have to File a Claim?

The statute of limitation on filing a dog bite claim is two years from the date of the injury. Even though this may seem like a long time, it’s vital to make sure you adhere to this deadline. Twenty-four months can go by very quickly, especially if you are healing from a serious injury and possibly going through counseling or other therapies as a result of the dog bite.

Given all you are already dealing with, we urge you to call our Texas dog bite attorneys to handle your case. Bringing a personal injury case to a successful conclusion is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got enough to deal with right now. Call our experienced attorneys right away to give them the time they need to build you the strongest case possible, and give yourself the space to focus on recovery.

How to Build a Strong Case

To build a case that can withstand the insurance company’s scrutiny, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes. One of them is not getting medical attention right away for a dog bite. When you’re bitten by a dog, there are a lot of things that may cause you to delay or avoid going to the doctor. You may be embarrassed because you blame yourself on some level for the dog biting you. If the dog reacted reflexively out of fear, you may be telling yourself you shouldn’t have tried to pet it, pick it up, or get close to it. After all, it was scared…

Second-guessing yourself is natural after something as traumatic as a dog bite, but it is important to separate facts from doubts. No matter what precipitated the injury, the fact is you are now injured and you need to get treatment. Our Texas dog bite attorneys will take the time to carefully review the facts of your case and give you guidance. Even if you are found partially liable, it is very likely that the owner of the dog is, too. This is probably not the first time the dog has lashed out.

Another reason people hesitate to take action after a dog bite is fear of recrimination for the dog, or causing a problem with the owners, especially if they are relatives or friends. This is understandable, but it does not take away the need for you to take care of your physical well-being. Once you get checked by a doctor, call our Texas dog bite attorneys for a free consultation. We’ve handled many dog bite cases, and understand the emotional complexities that can be involved. Let us help ease your mind by giving you as much information about your options as possible. Call us today for your free consultation.

Getting medical treatment for a dog bite will also help to establish a timeline and evidence of how severely you were injured. If you don’t do this, making a claim for your injuries can become very difficult. This is because, like it or not, the liable party’s insurance company can use any delay in getting medical care against you. They can say you were not injured as badly as you said you were and try to devalue your claim.

A common mistake you can protect yourself from is giving a recorded statement to the insurance company. Any information you provide can and probably will be used against you. Your best course of action is to call our Texas dog bite attorneys as quickly as possible and let us handle the communications with the insurance company.

Another mistake people make that is possibly the most damaging is failing to hire an experienced attorney. Sometimes people assume that they can handle the case themselves. While this may be true under other circumstances, taking on the intricacies of what is probably an emotionally charged, dog bite claim while you are recovering from your injuries is risky. Even if you are normally a master negotiator, the pain and emotional stress of healing is going to make standing up to the insurance company’s legal team more daunting than ever. Let us level the playing field and fight for you.

As you consider hiring an attorney, it’s a mistake to think that hiring any attorney for your dog bite case will do. There are myriad types of civil law, and each comes with rules and restrictions specific to its category and its state. It’s also important to know that not all attorneys are skilled at going to trial.

Our Texas dog bite attorneys have the specific knowledge and training to give you the best chance for full and fair compensation. We can handle the tactics of the insurance company and negotiate with them effectively. Our attorneys also have the experience to win in court if your case goes to trial.

Call Our Texas Dog Bite Attorneys Today

Dog bite injuries are not only painful, but often traumatic. It’s very possible that you not only have physical healing to do from your injury, but emotional healing caused by lingering anxiety. Filing a claim for a dog bite injury can be fraught with emotions as well, like guilt and anger. With everything you are dealing with in this difficult time, taking on your legal case yourself is probably not going to benefit your health or your case. Our attorneys are extremely capable in all facets of personal injury, from investigation all the way to settlement or trial. Call our Texas dog bite attorneys today and let us step in to protect your right to compensation.

Frequently Asked Dog Bite Questions

How do I choose an attorney for a dog bite in Texas?

How do I choose an attorney for a dog bite in TexasMost people have one common question when it comes to dog bite or dog injury cases, “How do I choose the best dog bite lawyer for my case?” By way of example, if you need a will, you should hire a lawyer that writes wills for a living. If you’ve been harmed by a dog, whether through a bite or some other way, you should hire a Texas personal injury trial lawyer to help you with your particular situation. What we would suggest is that you interview at least two personal injury trial lawyers and ask the following:

1. “Are you board-certified in personal injury trial law?”
2. “What actual experience do you have in trying cases to a jury?”
3. “Will you give me your personal cell phone number so that we can stay in close communication throughout your case?”

If you choose to contact us for a free consultation, we’ll be happy to answer those and any other questions that you may have.

How long is a dog bite case going to take in Texas?

We were speaking with you young lady the other day who was bitten by a dog, and she had a pretty bad bite on her lip and had to go to the ER, had to get stitched up, and then she started having nightmares and anxiety. She called and was really worried. She wanted to know, “How long is this going to take to resolve?” She just wanted to put it all behind her and get some closure. She didn’t want to deal with it anymore. That’s something we hear a lot when we talk to people. They just want this to be behind them; they just want closure. They just want to wrap it up as quick as possible and be done with it.

What we tell everybody is that everybody’s case is different. Everybody’s case is unique unto them. It really depends on your particular damages, including your medical bills and how much medical treatment it takes to get you back to whole or reach maximum medical improvement. How much time have you lost from work? What do your lost wages look like? We also need to give some time to allow any kind of scarring to settle, so we understand if we need to have any kind of scar revision treatment.

There are a couple different things we look at that can impact how long a case takes to resolve. When you hire a personal injury trial attorney, our focus is on helping you get back to whole by taking care of the details. We collect the evidence, talk to witnesses and make sure that from day one we’re putting the pieces together so that we can put your case in the best position possible to have a quicker resolution in your favor.

In the event the insurance company doesn’t want to do the right thing, we are personal injury trial attorneys, so we’re not afraid to go to trial. We will go into the courtroom, in front of the judge and jury, and force the insurance company to compensate you for what’s fair and reasonable for your injuries.

As always here at the firm, legal consultations are free. Feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you and help you out if we can.

How much is my dog bite case worth?

We were talking with a mother the other day. Her son was bit by a dog, and her son ended up having to go to the hospital. He was in the hospital for a couple days, and the medical bills were really piling up. She was worried. She doesn’t have a lot of extra money to pay for these unexpected medical bills, and her biggest concern was, “How are we going to pay for all this? How much is this worth? What can we expect out of this?” It’s something we hear a lot from a lot of dog bite clients: “What’s my case worth?”

It’s unique for everybody. It’s different based on your own particular situation. First thing we want to look at is your injuries. How bad was the attack? How bad are your injuries? How much medical treatment is it going to take to help you reach maximum medical improvement? We also want to look at what your other damages are. Do you have any lost wages? Do you have any scars as a result of the attack? Are you having any nightmares? Are you having any kind of ongoing pain and suffering, disfigurement? How has this impacted your daily life?

There’s a variety of damages that we’re going to want to look at. When you hire a personal injury trial attorney from the get-go, we’re going to be able to make sure that we collect the evidence necessary to maximize the value of your case. That’s our job, and that’s our goal, so that you can focus on getting better and being with your family. Let us handle the details. We can do that for you to make sure that we maximize what goes into your pocket at the end of the day.

As always, legal consultations here at the firm are free, so we would invite you to give us a call. We can talk more about how we can help you and what the value of your particular case is worth.

How much does an attorney cost for a dog bite claim?

We were speaking with a potential new client the other day. She was a really nice elderly lady from the Dallas area in Texas. She was over at her daughter’s house and her daughter’s dog was excited, jumped up and knocked grandma down. As a result, grandma broke her hip. She ended up having to go to the hospital and have surgery. She got out of the hospital and the medical bills were piling up. She’s on a fixed income so she was worried, “How am I going to pay rent? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to eat? How am I going to survive?”

It’s a question that we get a lot. Nobody is expecting thousands of dollars in medical bills after an incident. Nobody is expecting to all of a sudden come up with a bunch of money that they probably don’t have. We explained to her that we are contingency fee lawyers. We told her that we get paid on a contingency fee, which means it’s a percentage of the overall settlement. When the insurance company sends the firm a check, once they’ve made a fair and reasonable settlement offer that is, they’ll send the check to the law firm and the law firm will get a percentage of that, a contingency fee. That way, you’ll never have to pay out of your pocket for our services.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to get representation for your dog bite attack without having to pay for it, we definitely invite you to give us a call. Legal consultations here at the firm are always free.

Can someone other than the dog owner be responsible?

Can someone other than the dog owner be responsible

We spoke with a father the other day whose little girl was bitten at a friend’s house while she was over there playing. The father was a little concerned because he found out the dog owner was a renter in the house and didn’t have any insurance. He didn’t really know what to do because the medical bills were starting to pile up. He was a little nervous, asking, “How am I going to pay for all this?” He wanted to know who was responsible and what he should do.

We told him here in Texas we can hold the property owner responsible in certain situations. We told him that the property owner can be made to compensate the victim for medical bills, lost wages and disfigurement in certain circumstances. We told him it’s important to get with a personal injury trial attorney who has experience in this matter and who can find the evidence to hold the property owner responsible.

We invite you to give us a call today. Find out if the property owner in your dog bite case is responsible. We’d be happy to help you out. As always, legal consultations are free, so feel free to give us a call.

How does a beware of dog sign affect my claim?

We recently spoke with a young man who had been bitten by a dog. After he was bitten by the dog, the dog owner said, “Hey, wait a minute. I have a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on my gate, so it’s not my responsibility. I told you to beware of this dog.” Naturally, our client called and said, “Hey, I don’t know what to do. I’m worried that I’m not going to be able to pay my medical bills. I’m not going to be able to cover my lost wages because the dog owner is saying that it’s my fault because he had a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on his gate. Now he’s telling me that he’s not going to pay for my injuries. What do I do?”

It’s a question that we hear a lot. A lot of people have ‘Beware of Dog’ signs on their fences, on their gates, on their property. One thing we shared with him was, “You know, by having that sign, the dog owner is admitting that he knows his dog has dangerous propensities.” He knows that his dog is likely to injury someone, bite someone, attack someone.

It’s important that you get with a personal injury trial lawyer who’s handled these types of cases before. The insurance company is not going to listen to you. They’re not going to accept your argument on this. That’s why it’s important that you get with a personal injury dog bite attorney— someone who knows the law, who’s tried these cases before, and knows how to get around this ‘Beware of Dog’ sign as a bar to recovery.

We invite you to give us a call today and learn more about how we can help you out. As always, legal consultations are free of charge, so give us a call today.

Will my dog bite case go to trial?

A couple months ago, we were speaking with this potential new client who had been attacked by a dog in Austin, Texas. After the attack, she had talked to her friends and family members about what happened. Everybody had advice for her about what was going to happen to her case. One of the major questions that she had for us was, “Do I have to go to trial? Is this going to go to trial? Do I really have to go to the courthouse?” We told her it depends. It depends on whether or not the insurance company does the right thing.

If the insurance company does the right thing by fairly and reasonably compensating you for your injuries and damages, then, more likely than not, we won’t have to go to trial. Insurance companies don’t always do the right thing, however. We told her that’s why it’s important to make sure that you hire a personal injury trial lawyer. There are a lot of lawyers out there, and we all do different things. What’s important for your particular case right now is that you hire a personal injury trial lawyer with experience in dog bite cases. This way, the lawyer can make sure the right evidence and right witnesses are locked in from the beginning to give you the strongest case possible and ultimately maximize what goes in your pocket at the end of this.

It is possible to avoid trial, but it’s important that you make sure that you hire the right lawyer. You want to hire the lawyer who has trial experience and who focuses on personal injury dog bite cases; that’s going to be the most important thing. As always, legal consultations here at the firm are free, so if you have questions about whether or not your dog bite case is going to go to trial, feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to chat with you.

What are potential damages I can receive for a dog bite case?

We were speaking with a mother the other day whose son was attacked by a dog, and her son ended up having to go to the hospital. He’s been in the hospital, and the medical bills were piling up. The poor guy had to get stitches, and now he’s going to have scars on his body and possibly even some other surgeries to heal all the wounds. Mom was really concerned about what kind of compensation she could get for his different injuries. Not only does he have medical bills, but now he has scars on his body from the attack ane scars on his body from surgery. He’s having terrible nightmares. “What can we do?” she asked.

We explained to her that it’s a question we hear often – what are the different damages that I’m entitled to after my dog attack? The first thing is your medical bills. Whatever medical bills you’ve incurred as a result of this attack, we’re going to want to get those paid back. If you have a job, if you’ve lost time from work, lost wages are something else that you’re entitled to as one of your damages. Then we have some categories of damages called non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are your pain and suffering. It’s going to be your emotional and mental pain— the anxiety, the fear, the PTSD that might have been a result of the dog bite attack. Some other damages include scarring or disfigurement and physical impairment. How has this attack affected your daily life? What does it prevent you from doing now? Maybe you don’t like going outside anymore because you’re afraid of being attacked again.

There’s a variety of damages that you’re entitled to after a dog bite attack. It’s really important that you get with a personal injury attorney who focuses on dog bites and understands the different damages available, as well as the different evidence required to prove up those damages. That way we can maximize the recovery and compensation that ultimately goes in your pocket when this is resolved.

As always here at the firm, legal consultations are free. If you have any questions on what your case is worth or the value or damages you’re entitled to, we would invite you to give us a call today. We’d be happy to discuss your case with you.

What are some common mistakes people make that can ruin their dog bite claim?

What are some common mistakes people make that can ruin their dog bite claimWe were talking with a dad the other day whose daughter was bitten by a dog. He had never been through this before. He had heard a lot of things from some friends, family, and co-workers, and he reached out to find out about what’s true and what’s not. As we were talking, he wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing for his daughter. He asked, “What are some of the common mistakes, after someone’s been bitten by a dog, that can ruin their case?” We told him the first thing is not going to the doctor to get your injuries checked out. That’s the first most important mistake people mak. A lot of times people think they can just clean and treat an injury at home, but the risk of infection goes up. It’s important to get to a doctor so they can properly clean and treat it and prevent any kind of infection.

Another common mistake that we see is people don’t call Animal Control right away to make a report. A lot of times people are worried if they call Animal Control, they’ll come pick up the dog and euthanize the dog. That’s something we hear quite often. Nobody wants the dog to die. Why it’s important to contact Animal Control is so Animal Control can quarantine the dog to make sure the dog doesn’t suffer from rabies, which is pretty serious. Also, Animal Control is going to make a report of what happened. They’re going to investigate how the bite happened. It’s really important to have that report later on down the road so we can always refer to what happened. That’s the second biggest mistake that we see in dog bite cases.

Another mistake is that sometimes people don’t take pictures of the injuries right away. These injuries can heal rather quickly, and it’s important to take a picture of those injuries right when it happens so we can get a good look at what happened and how bad it is.

Another common mistake that we see is victims of dog bites pick the wrong lawyer. There are a lot of lawyers out there that you can choose from, but if you have a dog bite case, you want to make sure that you hire a personal injury trial lawyer who focuses on dog bite cases.

If you have questions about what kind of lawyer you need and some other common mistakes that are made after a dog bite, legal consultations here at the firm are always free. We invite you to give us a call. We can talk about how we can help you out and whether or not we’re the right lawyers for you.

Call Our Texas Dog Bite Attorneys Today

Dog bite injuries are not only painful, but often traumatic. It’s very possible that you not only have physical healing to do from your injury, but emotional healing caused by lingering anxiety. Filing a claim for a dog bite injury can be fraught with emotions as well, like guilt and anger. With everything you are dealing with in this difficult time, taking on your legal case yourself is probably not going to benefit your health or your case. Our attorneys are extremely capable in all facets of personal injury, from investigation all the way to settlement or trial. Call our Texas dog bite attorneys today and let us step in to protect your right to compensation.

Like us on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *