Advocating for Those Seriously Injured in Dallas Dog Attacks
Dogs are often called man’s best friend, but we should never forget that these animals were once wild. They have sharp fangs, strong jaws, and their mouths contain numerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites. A single bite could seriously injure you, but a more violent attack could even cause death. If you were injured by a dog, it is important to discuss all of your legal options, especially whether the dog’s owner acted negligently.
If you or someone you love has been attacked by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Your best option is to sit down with a Dallas dog bite lawyer at The Lenahan Law Firm in a free consultation to talk about what happened to you. We can go through the details of your case, determine if the dog’s owner acted negligently, and advocate for full compensation for your injuries. Call us at (214) 295-1008.
What Are the Dangers of Dog Bites?
Dogs can cause serious injuries, particularly when they attack children and older adults. Dog bite complications may include:
- Infection: Dogs carry many types of bacteria in their mouths. When dog bites cause puncture wounds, germs are forced under the skin, creating a high risk of infection. Common bacteria in a dog’s mouth include staphylococcus, salmonella, and E. coli. Dogs may also be carrying parasites, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. For children and older adults, these infections can have a serious impact, especially if they have compromised immune systems.
- Bone fractures: A large dog can break bones when it bites, particularly in the hands, legs, or feet.
- Nerve and muscle damage: Deep dog bites can damage nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.
- Scarring: Dog bites that tear the skin can cause severe scarring. This can be particularly traumatic for children who are bitten on the face.
- Rabies: When a dog that is not current on the required vaccinations bites, the victim faces the risk of rabies. This serious viral infection attacks the central nervous system. If left untreated, rabies can cause death within a few days.
- Death: Dog bite fatalities are low in the U.S., but they do occur. Most of the children killed in dog attacks are age one or younger.
Texas Dog Bite Laws
Unlike many other states, Texas has no statute specifying dog owners’ civil liability for injuries caused by their animals. However, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1974 (Marshall v. Ranne) that for purposes of personal injury cases arising from dog bites, the state follows the “one-bite rule.” Under this legal concept, if a dog has bitten a person at least once in the past, then after any subsequent bite, the owner is more likely to be found negligent for failing to prevent another attack.
Based on this, in order to recover damages in Texas dog bite claims, injured parties must prove that:
- The owner of the dog knew it had bitten someone or acted aggressively in the past;
- The owner was negligent in failing to use reasonable care to control the dog or prevent it from biting; and
- The injured party was bitten as a result of the owner’s failure to do so.
When Dogs Attack Children
When a child is attacked by a dog, the consequences can include years of physical and emotional trauma. Children are shorter and thus closer to a dog’s level, more likely to suffer trauma to their faces and arms in an attack. They also do not know how to protect themselves, putting them at risk for more serious injuries.
Fearful or aggressive dogs pose a huge risk for children. Children tend to be erratic and unpredictable in their movements and behavior, and they are inclined to make sudden, loud noises. A dog may attack a child because of fear or through possessive, territorial aggression. However, it is the owner’s responsibility to train the dog and keep it away from children if it is aggressive. If your child was injured by a dog, then you may be able to recover compensation for your child’s trauma with a personal injury claim.
Recovering Full Compensation for Your Trauma
Your best chance of recovering full compensation for serious dog bites is to get a Dallas personal injury lawyer on your side. The dog’s owner and homeowner’s insurance company are unlikely to pay you a proper settlement for your injuries and other losses. But, by working with a skilled attorney, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner accountable and recover compensation.
In a dog bite claim, you can ask for compensation to cover:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
At The Lenahan Law Firm, we have a reputation for big results and real TLC for our clients. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and only handle a handful of cases at a time so that we can provide the best legal representation possible. If you or someone you love was injured in a dog attack around Dallas or Fort Worth, we can sit down with you in a free consultation to discuss your case. Call us at (214) 295-1008 to find out how we can help.