Dog Bite Lawyer Arlington, TX
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks – The Basics
A dog bite lawyer in Arlington, TX at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC has been successfully helping victims of dog bite incidents for many years. We are dedicated to supporting clients so they get the money they need to recover. If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, we highly recommend meeting with a member of our legal team to see if you are eligible to receive compensation. If you are interested in pursuing restitution from the owner of the dog, we can talk to you about the steps on how to get there.
Animals and Their Instincts
For better and for worse, no matter how tame and docile pets may appear, they never completely lose their primal animal instincts. Moreover, some people negligently house wild animals without regard to local laws. When ordinarily tame pets or illegally housed wild animals attack, innocent children and adults can sustain severe injuries. No amount of compensation can make up for the trauma and pain that animal attacks cause. However, pursuing legal action in the wake of an animal attack can make related medical bills manageable. A member of our legal team can help victims of domestic animal attacks explore their legal options.
The Trauma of Dog Bites
Victims of dog bites can suffer from physical and emotional wounds due to the attack. It can be terrifying to watch a dog race towards you with malice. Even a dog that bites unexpectedly can be shocking in itself too. We understand the severity of the trauma you likely faced because of the dog bite.
When a dog attacks a person regardless of build or age, the incident can leave behind a long-term mark. While physical damage to the skin is painful enough, there can also be wounds that go beyond what you can see externally. There is a heavy psychological toll that a dog bite can create, which may also result in lasting anxiety.
Injuries commonly associated with dog bites include:
- Bone fractures
- Deep contusions
- Facial wounds
- Emotional scars
- Scarring and disfigurement
It isn’t unheard of for victims of dog bites to have to attend therapy so their lives can go back to a sense of normalcy. The majority of victims can develop a serious fear of dogs. To cope with the trauma of being attacked by another living being, victims may have to see a therapist for several years to come. The medical care costs for the physical and emotional scars can be expensive, making it difficult for the victim to pay for on his or her own. That is where an Arlington, TX dog bite lawyer at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can step in, as we can walk you through how to pursue damages from the dog owner.
Holding Owners Responsible
It isn’t fair that victims of dog bites must pay such a hefty financial price, because an owner was irresponsible. Sometimes you get a dog owner who understands the weight of what happened and is apologetic, while offers to pay for medical expenses. Unfortunately, other owners may even deny the claims entirely to try and elude responsibility for their dog attacking someone else. We can help victims seek financial repayment for damages such as:
- Medical bills (hospitalization, medications, surgery, diagnostics, etc)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress (anxiety, depression, PTSD)
- Permanent injuries and scarring
Compensation For Dog Bite Victims
If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog, it is imperative that you seek the appropriate medical treatment and seek legal representation right away. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, each member of our team has extensive legal experience fighting for justice for dog bite victims and can help your family get the financial compensation you deserve.
Dog Bite Statistics
Dogs bite nearly 4.5 million Americans per year, a large percentage of those attacks are on children. There were 32 reported dog bite related fatalities in 2013, 56% of those fatalities were children under 7 years old. Dog bites, more frequently, cause serious injuries and permanent disfigurement. Permanent disfigurement in children most often occurs to their faces. Children are, in many cases, scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. Adults who are disfigured frequently have a claim for lost income and loss of future earning capacity. A victim who is disfigured may have a substantial claim for past and future medical treatment, including plastic surgery and psychological treatment, as well as claims for pain and suffering.
The Aftermath of an Animal Attack
Injurious animal attacks can leave victims with life-long ailments, astronomical medical bills, and lost wages and earning potential from being unable to work. Animal or dog attacks are often entirely preventable, and the result of a human being’s negligence. An owner or caretaker who fails to act reasonably to prevent their animal from attacking another person may be liable for any injuries that person suffers.
A Texas dog bite lawyer in Arlington can represent clients who have been attacked and injured by animals, domesticated or otherwise. The legal team at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC understands that an attack can be a traumatic and painful event. Working with us can help you to protect your legal rights as a victim. We can also strive to ensure that you receive the fair and just monetary compensation you deserve for your damages.
After a Serious Dog Bite
When a person suffers a serious bite from someone else’s dog, it’s important to take several additional steps. Dog bites often require immediate and costly medical treatment. More than a thousand Americans visit hospital emergency rooms due to dog bites every year. Sadly, dog bites are also responsible for occasional fatalities among victims.
Without legal representation from an experienced lawyer, victims may miss out on receiving compensation due to them from the liable dog owner. If you or your child suffered a terrible injury from a dog, contact our team to discover your legal options. We do not charge for that initial visit, and the information you share will be kept confidential.
The Range of Dog Bite Injuries
A dog attack injury can range from mild to fatal. The most important thing is to seek medical care that is appropriate for the situation. If it’s a serious injury, or you have suspicion that it might be serious, either call 911 or make an immediate trip to the emergency room. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to visit the family physician. After seeking medical care for the dog bite, taking the additional steps may be beneficial:
- Document the exact location where the dog bite occurred and note if it was on public or private property. If it happened on private property, note the owner’s name and contact information.
- Document addresses, names, and phone numbers of any witnesses, the dog’s owner, and who was responsible for controlling the dog when it bit you. If you are unable to identify the dog’s owner, you may have to undergo rabies treatment as a precautionary measure. This is a painful process so it is best to avoid it when possible.
- Document the dog bite with a camera, cell phone camera, cell phone video camera, or all of the above. Email, download, or otherwise save copies of the images in a backup location or locations for safekeeping.
- Save copies of your medical provider’s treatment notes.
- File a complaint with the local animal control agency to document the event. Provide them any and all information that they request, and do so without delay. Save copies of the report and document any investigation conclusions that they come to.
- Contact an Arlington dog bite lawyer in TX at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC and request a free consultation. Bring all of the above documentation with you for review.
Responsibilities of Animal Owners
Animal caretakers and owners generally have a legal duty to control and restrain the animals in their care. Particularly if an animal has a history of biting, attacking people, or is predisposed to violent behavior, animal owners and caretakers may ordinarily be held strictly liable for injuries caused during an attack.
Strict liability means that the caretaker is held legally responsible for the injury and harm caused by the animal, regardless of his fault. If an owner knows or believes that their animal presents a risk of violent or dangerous behavior, the owner is required to act reasonably to prevent any future attacks. Failure to take responsible action by properly restraining the animal or taking reasonable measures to secure the animal can lead to an owner being liable for injuries resulting from the animal’s bite or attack.
Damages Incurred By Victims
A TX dog bite lawyer in Arlington understands that being the victim of an animal attack can be an emotionally and financially challenging experience. If you or a loved one were injured during an animal attack, you would be well-advised to seek the counsel of our team to learn about your legal rights. A lawyer can help you and your family obtain the financial compensation necessary to pay for the treatment and medical bills associated with your injuries. Animal attack victims might receive compensation for the following:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of past and future wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Financial expenses related to medical restoration (such as cosmetic surgery for disfigurement)
Reimbursement From Dog Owner
The recovery process for your dog bite damages is directly affected by the seriousness of your injury. Compensatory damages are the norm, and our dog bite lawyer can help you seek compensation for your medical treatment, the paychecks you miss if you can’t work until you recover, and cosmetic surgery if necessary. Our team can identify any and all applicable damages that can be included. In addition, if the dog’s owner ordered their animal to bite you in an unprovoked attack, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages if you suffered a serious injury as a result.
Do Not Trust Insurance Companies
Dog owners have a duty to the public and ensure their dogs are leashed or fenced. It is important to identify the owner of the dog right away because most dog bites are covered under the homeowner’s insurance policy. The laws in Texas are not clear cut on dog bites, but The Brandy Austin Law Firm is here to help you pursue financial compensation for damages caused to you or your loved one.
When a Family Member or Friend Owns Dog
When you know the owner of the dog personally, it can make matters very uncomfortable all parties involved. At a time like this, it is so much easier to let your attorneys handle this stressful situation for you. It is important to remember the compensation being sought for your damages is from the dog owner’s insurance company, not the dog owner directly.
If you or someone you care about was recently bitten or attacked by a dog, then now is the time to seek the compensation deserved to recover. We encourage victims to act swiftly, as you may only have a certain period of time to file a case. Please contact us today to book your consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Arlington, Texas from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.
Preventing Dog Bites: Education, Awareness, And Responsible Ownership
Dog bites can result in serious injuries and emotional trauma for both victims and pet owners as a dog bite lawyer Arlington, TX understands. However, the good news is that most dog bites are preventable through education, awareness, and responsible pet ownership. In this article, we will explore various strategies and tips for preventing dog bites and fostering a safer environment for people and pets.
I. Understanding Dog Behavior
- Socialization: Proper socialization of dogs from an early age can reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior. Exposure to different people, animals, and environments helps dogs become well-adjusted and less prone to fear or aggression.
- Canine Body Language: Understanding a dog’s body language is crucial. Signs of stress or discomfort, such as growling, snarling, stiffening, or avoidance, should be heeded as warnings.
II. Responsible Ownership
- Breed Selection: Researching and selecting a breed that matches your lifestyle and experience level is essential. Some breeds are more prone to aggressive behavior, and it’s important to be aware of breed tendencies.
- Training and Socialization: Consistent training and socialization are key components of responsible ownership. Enroll your dog in obedience classes and expose them to various situations and people.
- Spaying and Neutering: Spaying or neutering your dog can reduce aggression and territorial behavior, making them less likely to engage in aggressive incidents.
- Supervision: Always supervise interactions between your dog and children or unfamiliar individuals, especially if your dog is not used to such situations.
III. Educating The Public
- Community Education Programs: Implementing community education programs on dog bite prevention can help people, particularly children, understand how to interact safely with dogs.
- School Programs: Incorporating dog safety lessons into school curricula can teach children the basics of approaching and interacting with dogs.
IV. Safety Tips for Interacting with Dogs
- Approach Calmly: Teach children and adults to approach dogs calmly and avoid sudden movements or loud noises.
- Ask for Permission: Always ask a dog owner for permission before petting their dog. Not all dogs are comfortable with strangers.
- Avoid Disturbing Dogs: Dogs eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies may be more protective or sensitive. Avoid disturbing them during these times.
- Avoid Eye Contact: Staring into a dog’s eyes can be perceived as a threat. Encourage gentle, non-threatening eye contact instead.
- Do Not Approach Unattended Dogs: Dogs left alone, especially tethered or behind fences, may be more territorial and prone to defensive behavior. Avoid approaching them.
- Respect Warning Signs: If a dog exhibits signs of discomfort or aggression, such as growling or showing teeth, back away slowly without making direct eye contact.
V. Reporting Aggressive Dogs
- Reporting Aggressive Behavior: If you encounter a dog displaying aggressive or dangerous behavior in your neighborhood, report it to local animal control authorities.
- Properly Restraining Dogs: Ensure that your own dog is properly restrained and contained, following local leash laws and regulations.
Preventing dog bites requires a combination of responsible ownership, education, and public awareness. By understanding dog behavior, practicing responsible pet ownership, and teaching individuals, particularly children, how to safely interact with dogs, we can significantly reduce the risk of dog bites. Every effort to prevent dog bites contributes to a safer environment for both humans and their beloved canine companions. Remember, a well-informed and responsible approach to dog ownership benefits everyone in the community. For assistance with any dog bite legal issues reach out to a dog bite lawyer Arlington, TX from Brandy Austin Law Firm today.
“I was VERY satisfied with my experience with Larry, from Brandy Austin Law firm, he worked with me to settle the matter quickly and efficiently. He was professional but also sensitive to the situation. Thank you so much!”