Lewisville Dog Bite Lawyers
Injured in a Dog Attack?
People in the United States are dog lovers. According to a national pet survey taken from 2007 to 2008 by American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), there are at least 75 million dogs in American homes. Most of these dogs are probably well behaved and beloved pets; however, some are vicious animals that have caused severe injuries and even death. In fact, of the 33 people killed in "canine homicides" in 2007, the state of Texas led the death toll. The Centers for Disease Control tell us that seven people lost their lives due to being attacked, bitten, and mauled by dogs in Texas in 2007, and the numbers are climbing. It has been stated that there is a "Dog Bite Epidemic" going on in the United States. Every year, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs and at least 368,000 people sustain injuries serious enough to warrant a trip to the Emergency Room. Each state has specific laws regarding dog bites. The law in Texas is particularly complex and there have been recent changes to the law. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and suffered severe injuries, you will want the most experienced and up-to-date legal team representing you. Compassionate and dedicated lawyer Ms. Steele of Steele Law understands the trauma associated with these types of injuries. Not only is there the physical injury, but the emotional anguish as well. You should know that in the state of Texas, we also recognize the rights of close family members who witness these dog bite attacks. If you are a parent of a child who has been attacked by a vicious dog, you may also be entitled to damages.
Texas Dog Bite Law
Texas is still a "one bite state", meaning that the dog owner is somewhat protected from liability if the bite is the first injury caused by the dog. A skilled Lewisville personal injury attorney knows how to work around this technicality. However, if it can be shown that the dog's owner was negligent in the keeping or training of the dog, the owner will be held liable for all damages. We will work tirelessly to uncover negligence:
- Did the owner know of the dog's propensity to be dangerous or vicious?
- Did the dog bite anyone previously and the owner knew about it?
- Was the owner negligent in handling the dog?
- Did the owner violate any leash laws?
- Did the owner intentionally allow the dog to attack?
What is Owner Negligence?
Negligence under the law includes both unreasonable actions and unreasonable omissions in taking a particular or giving a particular warning. An unreasonable action would be a dog owner who let go of the dog's leash and the dog then bit someone. An unreasonable omission would be failure to take precautions to keep a dog away from invited guests. If a guest is bitten by a dog and the dog was known to "be aggressive" or "wasn't accustomed to children", the owner would be negligent. Additionally, there is a type of negligence called "negligence per se". This means that if a dog owner violates an animal control law in the municipal or county code, the owner will be held liable for any injuries that the dog causes.
In September of 2007, there were some significant changes made to Texas dog bite law. "Lillian's Law" was introduced by Rep. Dan Gattis. This law increases jail time for dog owners who do not make sure that their dogs are reasonably secure and the dog injures or kills someone. The shortcoming of the law is that it does not address the needs of the victim. That is why you will need the legal services of an experienced dog bite attorney to assist you with your personal injury claim. The bright side is that the law contains the harshest possible criminal penalties in the nation for irresponsible dog owners. No matter what changes are made to the law, the only remedy is responsible dog owners.
According to a study done by Merritt Clifton (editor of Animal People), from 1982 to the present, certain breeds of dogs are more likely to attack than others. Clifton's data indicates that Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Presa Canarios - Mastiffs are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the mauling incidents, and 65% of the deaths. In over two-thirds of the attacks in the study, the incident was the first known dangerous behavior by the dog.
Compensation for Your Injuries
In all fairness, any dog can attack and if you or a loved one is seriously injured, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Dog bite lawyer, Dina K. Steele, has helped clients obtain compensation packages that include damages for:
- Medical treatment and expenses
- Ongoing medical care
- Psychological treatment to overcome the trauma associated with this type of injury
- Family counseling
- Loss of income
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Call Steele Law at (214) 333-9393 for a free case evaluation so that we can explain your legal rights. Once you understand your rights under Texas law, you can decide if you want an experienced dog bite attorney to begin an investigation into your accident. Then you can begin your road to recovery knowing you are being cared for by a lawyer that will treat you like family.
- Dog Bite Blogs
- National Dog Bite Prevention Week Is Just Around the Corner
- Dog Bite Prevention - AVMA