Dog Bite Lawyers
Serving Plano & Collin County, Texas
Modest Enough to Care. Clever Enough to Win.
Being attacked by an animal is a traumatic experience. In addition to your physical injuries, you may also be dealing with emotional distress and a long-term impact on your mental health. Many victims are unaware of their options after they have been attacked by a dog or other animal, but even if the dog in question is someone’s pet, you may have grounds to seek compensation for your injuries. A dog bite lawyer with experience handling dog bites and animal attacks can help you determine your legal options and what the best course of action may be.
Understanding Dog Bite Claims in Texas
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Also, children between the age of 5 and 9 are bitten the most. To make matters worse, Texas ranks within the top ten states for dog attacks. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a dog bite, there are some basic things you should know if you’re thinking about making a personal injury claim. Also, we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation with our knowledgeable injury lawyers.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite victims can sustain everything from small scratches to life-threatening injuries. Common dog bite injuries include:
- Scarring – Although scarring can be addressed by plastic surgery, some scars may take years to diminish, and some may be permanent.
- Infections – Rabies and tetanus are common infections caused by dog bites. Rabies is a life-threatening virus that causes inflammation of the brain while breaking down the central nervous system. Tetanus is a bacteria that causes the entire body’s muscles to tighten.
Dog Bites and Children
42 percent of dog bites in the U.S. occurred among kids that are younger than 14 years old. Dog bites on young kids could result in emotional trauma and permanent scarring, especially since most bites are focused on a child’s neck, head, or face. Younger kids may also need stitches, rabies shots, and reconstructive surgery in case of disfiguring injuries. Smaller and younger kids likewise tend to be the most seriously injured, and toddlers and infants account for the biggest portion of kids needing dog bite treatment at emergency centers every year.
What to Do to Protect Your Child’s Dog Bite Injury Claim
Get Emergency Treatment
If you can, head to the emergency center immediately. Otherwise, call 911 and inform the dispatcher that a dog has bitten or attacked your child. Follow the dispatcher’s instructions. Even if injuries seem negligible, your child must receive immediate evaluation and treatment. Keep in mind that a tiny scratch could lead to rabies, severe infections, and other diseases.
Find The Dog Owner
Get the owner’s name and contact details. Inform the owner that your child was injured due to the dog attack and that your child’s injuries require emergency medical treatment. If possible, obtain the owner’s homeowner’s insurance information.
Get in Touch with Animal Control
It’s essential that you file a report with the local animal control agency. Filing your report as soon as possible will help animal control take the proper steps to quarantine the dog or safeguard other people from further dog attacks. Your report will likewise help verify the circumstances, time, and date of the attack. This is particularly vital when you pursue a dog bite injury claim against the owner of the dog because you can use the official report as proof of the owner’s negligence.
Collect Evidence of the Dog Attack
Any evidence from the scene of the attack could have a significant impact on your child’s injury claim. Collecting relevant evidence and preserving it after the attack could make a substantial difference in how much compensation your child might be entitled to. Bloodied and tattered clothes are solid pieces of evidence, so don’t wash them. Instead, put them in a container to keep them safe and label the container with the date and time of the dog attack.
Signed statements from witnesses can also play a vital role in your child’s dog attack injury claim. Witnesses don’t have any financial or personal interest in the result of your claim, so insurance carriers and jurors usually consider their statements to be unbiased and genuine. Ensure that the witnesses describe all the details of the dog attack, and if applicable, include in their statements that your child did not, in any way, provoke the dog into attacking. Also, make sure to have the witnesses date and sign their statements.
Also, photos and videos make for more accurate and compelling evidence. Take photos and/or videos of the attack scene, any blood, the dog, and, if applicable, holes in the fence where the dog escaped from confinement before attacking your child. Don’t forget to take videos and photos of your child’s injuries starting from the day of the dog attack all throughout treatment and recovery.
Insurance Companies Aren’t Always Fair
As of 2018, homeowners’ insurers paid $675 million in dog bite and dog injury-related liability claims. That being said, in our experience, insurance companies and their adjusters oftentimes try to low-ball how much they will pay for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and other damages. In other words, many insurance companies are more focused on protecting their own bottom lines by undervaluing your claim instead of paying you what you deserve.
You Need to Act Quickly to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you’ve been harmed in an auto accident, it is very important to speak with an injury lawyer as soon as possible for two main reasons:
Your Time is Limited – First, the time to start a legal action for compensation is limited by Texas law to two years from the date of your injury. If you are in an accident involving a vehicle driven by a state or local government worker, the time to bring a claim for your injuries can be a short as 90 days from the date of the incident.
Evidence Needs to Be Preserved – Second, it is important for your dog bite lawyer to collect as much evidence as you can to support your claim before the evidence disappears and the witnesses forget what happened during the accident.
Your Right to Compensation Includes Many Things
Your legal right to be compensated for your injuries includes many things such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Loss of earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and benefits
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Some Personal Injury Cases Take More Time Than Others
We know that when you are facing medical expenses, you can’t work, and you are feeling financially pressured, you may be tempted to take the first offer that an insurance company makes. Before you accept a quick settlement offer, it is in your best interest to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney. Our dog bite lawyers know the pressures you are under, and we work without delay to fight for the financial security you’ll need now and in the future.
Our Dog Bite Attorneys Work on a Contingent-Fee Basis
We know that most people can’t afford a dog bite attorney who charges them by the hour. That’s why our injury law firm works on a contingent-fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we collect money for you.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dog, please contact our dog bite lawyers online or call us at 972-380-4444 for your free consultation.