Dallas Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite injuries in Dallas, Texas are very 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 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.
Dog Bites in Texas
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, which provides that the owner of a dog who causes a person 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 may face up to 20 years in prison.
Under Texas code, prosecutors must be able to 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 owner of the dog negligent, the laws 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 a dog must be harnessed on a leash at all times when outside the house.
Why do I need an attorney for my dog bite?
In the vast majority of cases, victims of dog bites do not pursue legal action. Studies show that this may be because the dog in question is the property of their family, a close friend, or a neighbor, and the victim does not want to cause problems for either the dog or the relative, friend, or neighbor.
However, in many cases, victims simply don’t know that insurance will cover injuries sustained through a dog bite. Though millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, only about 15,000 Americans receive compensation for their bites.
People who do not pursue legal action often get no compensation for their injuries. People fail to secure an attorney receive far less than people who retain legal counsel.
In a dog bite case, your attorney will have to establish not only that your injuries were sustained by a dog bite, but that the owner of the dog was criminally negligent by allowing the situation to occur.
Many cases are not clear-cut. Attorneys have experience handling more complex situations, such as when a dog was leashed on a property, or when a dog scared you into an injury, such as a broken bone from a trip and fall. Dog bite cases are not easy to prove, and cases involving these factors may be difficult to win.
However, each dog bite case deserves the work of a knowledgeable attorney, who will be able to piece together the events surrounding the accident and build a compelling case of blame against a negligent owner and violent dog.
Though so many people opt not to take legal action in dog bite cases every year, we highly recommend securing an experienced attorney to guide you through the personal injury process and evaluate your claim. You deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, loss of time from work, and the trauma associated with these frightening accidents.
Why should I choose The Benton Law Firm?
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 our clients the compensation they need to heal. Our attorneys balance being open and honest with our clients with ensuring they are not overwhelmed while they are recovering from trauma and injuries. Our firm offers compassionate, strong, 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, and our ultimate concern is that we offer the best representation we can to help you recover as painlessly as possible.
Dog Bite FAQs
Who is liable for dog bite injuries?
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 in which 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 the rule in 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.
What damages are recoverable in a dog bit case?
If you or your family member has been injured by a dog bite, 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 costs for surgery, 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 of work. Lastly, you may be compensated for your pain and suffering.
What should I do if I’ve been bitten by a dog?
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. A strong dog bite lawyer will be an invaluable asset in your fight for financial compensation.
Contact a Dallas, Texas Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites are potentially dangerous occurrences that happen far too often through the state of Texas. Dallas is no exception, and it seems like we hear about a deadly dog attack almost every month caused by a negligent owner. If you or a loved one were injured by a dog bite or dog attack, do not hesitate to contact our Dallas personal injury attorneys at (214) 777-7777.
While the Texas Criminal Courts may punish the dog owner for their negligence, this will not serve to make you whole again after an attack. A claim brought in civil court will assist you in further moving on after a brutal attack.