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Dog bite injuries in Dallas, Texas are serious offenses and can lead to severe injuries, mostly to children caught around a dangerous dog. Dallas dog owners must follow city and state ordinances regarding dangerous dogs and even ordinary dogs. If you suffered a dog bite injury, you might be entitled to compensation from the owner. The Benton Law Firm has years of experience handling cases like this and can help you hold the dog owner accountable for their careless actions.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack or due to dog bites, contact our Dallas dog bite attorneys at The Benton Law Firm by calling (214) 777-7777. You may have a claim against the dog’s owner.
At The Benton Law Firm, our team strives to help members of our community get back on their feet in times of need by securing the compensation they need to heal. Our attorneys balance being open and honest with our clients to ensure they are not overwhelmed while recovering from trauma and injuries. Our firm offers compassionate, dependable, and informed representation with attorneys who have ample experience in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
Dog bite cases can cause acute emotional distress. Few people want to believe that the kind pets we come into contact with every day are capable of intense violence, and even less of us want to bring legal action against our neighbors or acquaintances. Our attorneys understand the precariousness and trauma associated with these cases. Our ultimate concern is that we offer the best representation we can to help you recover as painlessly as possible.
We will fight for maximum compensation
If you get bitten by a dog, whether a stray or owned by someone, you should immediately follow the steps below. It is crucial that you obtain specific information and do what’s necessary to protect your rights to compensation.
Step 1 – Secure the dog so it can’t run away. If it is a stray, call the police or animal control.
Step 2 – Notify the dog owner of what happened and ask for their name and phone number. If you suffered injuries on commercial property, complete an incident report with the manager and ask for their liability insurance details.
Step 3 – Wash your wound to prevent an infection.
Step 4 – If anyone was around when the dog bit you, write down their names and phone numbers. They might be able to provide witness statements to the insurance company to confirm what happened.
Step 5 – Seek immediate treatment at a hospital or other medical facility. Dog bites can lead to serious infections, and if you don’t tend to them promptly, the results can be fatal.
Step 6 – Maintain copies of everything associated with the case, including medical records, bills, and other documents.
Step 7 – Hire a Dallas dog bite attorney to assist you with your case.
The Benton Law Firm will begin investigating as soon as you retain our services. We will need to obtain evidence that proves you sustained injuries, and that someone else was responsible for it. Some of the evidence we might collect includes:
• Eyewitness statements
• Video surveillance footage
• Insurance policy documents
• Photos from the scene of the incident
• The estimated cost of damage to your personal property during the attack
• Your medical records and medical bills
• Evidence of prior documented attacks or bites from the dog
There are various laws in Dallas that dog owners must follow when they bring their dogs out in public. It is illegal to allow the dog to attack someone without provocation. If the owner hasn’t properly secured their pet, they could face civil and criminal penalties.
The amount of compensation you receive could depend on multiple factors, including:
• The type and severity of the bite or other injuries
• The availability of relevant evidence proving fault
• The duration of necessary medical treatment
• The length of the recovery period
• Any emotional or mental trauma experienced after the attack
• The total medical expenses resulting from the injuries
• Any time missed from work due to pain, doctor’s appointments, and other reasons
• The impact of the incident on your quality of life
• The estimated cost of future medical bills
The Benton Law Firm will review the details of your case to determine how much compensation we believe is fair and will adequately cover your damages. “Damages” refer to the total expenses and losses suffered from an injury. You could pursue the damages below in an insurance claim or lawsuit:
• Pain and suffering
• Medical bills
• Loss of consortium
• Physical impairment
• Mental anguish
• Out of pocket expenses
• Property damage
• Lost wages
• Lost earning capacity
You could also potentially seek punitive damages if you file a lawsuit. Punitive damages don’t compensate for your losses like the damages above. Instead, a punitive damage award punishes the responsible party for the careless actions that led to a victim’s injuries. A jury will award punitive damages to you if you can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner or another liable party acted with gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
You might not realize how much damage a dog can do when it bites someone. They have strong jaws and sharp teeth that can tear through a person’s skin, tissue, nerves, and muscle. Some can even crush bones.
The most common injuries dog bites can cause include:
• Puncture wounds
• Nerve damage
• Broken bones
• Finger amputations
• Facial lacerations
• Eye injuries
• Head and neck injuries
• Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Some people end up needing amputation of a limb due to the severe damage or an incurable infection. Others require painful treatment to recover. There are physical scars, functional limitations, and even emotional trauma that can last long after the attack. The Benton Law Firm will fight hard to ensure you receive the compensation you need to cover your damages so you can heal and move forward with your life.
Our Dallas dog bite attorneys take cases on contingency. That means we don’t charge upfront fees or costs when clients hire us. We will attempt to recover the monetary award you deserve and won’t collect any legal fees until that happens. If we’re unable to win your case, you won’t have to pay us for our time and effort.
The Benton Law Firm fights for Dallas dog attack victims
Prior to 2007, Texas law essentially allowed a dog to get “one free bite.” This meant that the owner of a dog who bit a person one time would not face any liability from the bite. However, this law was changed in 2007 after a pack of loose dogs killed 76-year-old Lillian Stiles.
A group called the Texas Families Against Dangerous Dogs worked hard to pass “Lillian’s Law” in 2007. It states that the owner of a dog who causes someone injury or death may be found criminally negligent in failing to prevent the dog from escaping or, to properly restrain the dog if it’s known to be dangerous. The owner of the dog may face jail time.
If the person is injured in the attack but does not require medical attention, the owner may be charged with a misdemeanor. If the dog severely injures someone, the owner may be charged with a third-degree felony and could serve up to a 10-year prison sentence. If a person is killed in a dog attack, the owner may be charged with a second-degree felony and face up to 20 years in prison.
Under Texas code, prosecutors must prove that the injuries caused by the attack are fatal or have caused severe impairment, and they must also prove that the owner was criminally negligent in not properly securing the animal.
While the Texas criminal laws regarding dog bites are now quite extensive to hold the dog owner negligent, they do not provide for compensation to the victim or the victim’s family.
Bringing a claim in civil court can lead to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Additionally, Dallas follows a leash law, meaning that owners must restrain their dog at all times when in public or when the dog is left outside on their property.
If you want to file a lawsuit, you should hire The Benton Law Firm immediately. These lawsuits are complicated to handle, especially if you’ve never sued anyone before. There’s also a strict deadline you must comply with, or you could lose your right to compensation. The statute of limitations in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the date you sustained your injury to file suit.
Your Dallas dog bite lawyer will complete each step of the lengthy process so you can focus on your recovery. The steps involved in a lawsuit are:
• Filing legal documents and serving them to the defendant.
• Once the defendant responds to our initial filing, we will begin the discovery process, which involves obtaining documents and other evidence collected by the defense team.
• Scheduling a mediation in an attempt to settle with the other party. If we can’t reach a settlement agreement, we will prepare for trial.
• Preparing for trial involves gathering additional evidence to present in court, locating eyewitnesses to the attack that can testify, and preparing an argument that proves our claim that you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Insurance claims can take anywhere from a few weeks to well over a year. It all depends on the factors associated with the case, such as whether there’s sufficient evidence proving fault and how severe the injury is.
The steps we follow in an insurance claim are these:
Step 1 – Determine who should be held liable and request a copy of their insurance policy.
Step 2 – File a claim.
Step 3 – Gather crucial evidence and submit it to the insurance company.
Step 4 – Negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a settlement we believe is fair. If they agree, we will ensure they send the check promptly.
Step 5 – If the insurance company won’t provide an adequate settlement offer or denies the claim altogether, we will proceed with a lawsuit.
Dog owners are legally responsible for controlling their dogs. This means that owners must follow the leash laws and any other laws regarding dogs in the state they live or are visiting. In terms of dog bites, Texas is unlike many states in that it does not have a statute that covers a dog owner’s civil liability for damages caused by their pet biting another person.
Instead, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1974 that the state would follow Section 509 in the Restatement of Torts. By adhering to this rule, Texas is considered a “negligence” or “one bite rule” state. In a typical dog bite claim in Texas, the injured party must prove that the dog owner knew that their pet was aggressive or dangerous and that the owner failed to reasonably control the dog or prevent the bite.
If a dog bite has injured you or your family member, there are a few damages that may be recoverable in a lawsuit. The damage that is most likely to be calculated into compensation is any medical expense. This can include surgery costs, hospital stays, ambulance transportation, and any other expense related to your medical care. You may also receive compensation for lost wages if your injuries forced you to take time off work. Lastly, you may be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Once you have had your injuries examined by a medical professional, it is important to seek legal help. As soon as you can, find a knowledgeable lawyer who has experience with dog bite cases. Your lawyer at The Benton Law Firm will be able to evaluate the incident and provide you with all your legal options. An experienced dog bite lawyer will be a valuable asset in your fight for financial compensation.
At The Benton Law Firm, we believe that everyone deserves quality legal representation and the opportunity to hold negligent dog owners accountable for their actions. We will advocate for your rights and fight hard for the compensation you deserve. You should not have to suffer for someone else’s carelessness.
Dog bites can lead to severe injuries and even death. When you are forced to face the aftermath of an attack, it can be overwhelming. You are in pain, attending doctor’s appointments, and watching the expensive medical bills pile up. It causes a great deal of stress, and we want to ensure you don’t have to deal with this alone. We will remain by your side every step of the way and help you get through it.
You can depend on our Texas dog bite lawyers to provide the guidance, support, and advice you need during this devastating time in your life. If you suffered injuries from a dog bite and need help with your legal case, call The Benton Law Firm today at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation.