If you’ve ever witnessed or experienced a dog bite or attack, you understand how scary and traumatic it can be. Dog bite injuries can range from minor cuts to serious life-changing injuries, including permanent scarring, disfigurement, muscle damage, nerve damage, infection, and even death.
In many cases, dog bites involve the pets of friends, relatives, or neighbors, creating a complicated and sensitive situation. In other cases, the attacker may be a stranger’s dog or even a vicious animal that escaped from a backyard or enclosure. Whatever the scenario, if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Fort Worth or the surrounding area, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
At Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group, our team of personal injury attorneys has vast experience and a track record of success helping dog bite victims. We understand the challenges these types of cases present and will work diligently to build the strongest personal injury claim possible on your behalf.
In this article, a Fort Worth dog bite lawyer explains the process. We also answer frequently asked questions about these emotionally charged cases, including how we can help you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Most importantly, it will cost you absolutely nothing to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We offer free consultations and never collect a fee unless we recover damages for you. That means you will never pay anything upfront or out of pocket.
How common are dog bites?
Nationwide, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year – and almost 1 in 5 require medical attention, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Children are the most common victims and are more likely to suffer serious injuries.
In 2021, homeowners insurers paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites and dog-related injuries, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Texas came in No. 3 for the number and cost of dog bite claims. In 2021, there were 1,003 dog bite claims in the Lone Star State, with an average cost per claim of $39,884.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is definitely worth exploring your legal options by speaking with a Fort Worth dog bit lawyer at our firm.
How do dog bites occur?
Dog bites can occur in a variety of scenarios. Most of the time, dogs bites are a reaction to something or someone, including but not limited to:
- The dog is aggressive;
- The dog is scared or startled;
- The dog is defending themselves, puppies or territory;
- The dog is not contained on their owner’s property or on a leash;
- The dog is has been trained to attack people.
I keep hearing about “Texas one-bite rule.” What is that?
Like many states, Texas has something called a “one-bite rule.” This is a strict liability statute that basically states that a dog’s owner is not liable for damages caused by their dog in the first instance of a bite. However, if the dog has bitten someone before and the owner knew about it or should have known about it, they can be held liable for damages caused by any subsequent bites.
If you are not claiming injuries under the one-bite rule, be prepared to prove that the dog owner was negligent in some way. This could include showing that they failed to contain the dog or otherwise failed to take steps to protect others from its potential harm. Our Fort Worth dog bite lawyers can review the facts of your case and determine how best to proceed.
What do I need to prove in a dog bite case in Fort Worth or Tarrant County?
As with any personal injury case in Fort Worth, for your best chance at success, you must prove that the dog’s owner was negligent and breached their duty of care. To do this, you must establish that:
(1) the dog’s owner knew or should have known about the dog’s aggressive tendencies;
(2) the dog’s owner failed to take reasonable steps to control the dog and protect other people from being bitten; and
(3) the dog actually caused your injuries.
The best way to successfully prove a case for dog bite injuries is to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Our Fort Worth dog bite lawyers have extensive experience litigating these types of cases and know how to build the strongest possible personal injury claim.
We will review the facts of your unique case and advise you on how to proceed. We will use our experience, resources, and knowledge to aggressively represent your interests and maximize your chances of recovering full and fair compensation for the injuries you suffered.
What should I do after a dog bite?
If you or someone in your care has been bitten by a dog, it’s important to take these five steps:
1) Seek Immediate Medical Attention.
Even minor wounds can become infected and lead to serious complications down the line. Keep in mind that dog saliva contains bacteria, which can enter your bloodstream and cause infection. Keep all medical records and receipts associated with your injuries so you can use them to support your personal injury claim.
2) Report the Dog Bite.
If you live in Fort Worth or Tarrant County, contact Animal Control at 817-392-1234. Sometimes dog bite victims are reluctant to file reports because they are friends with the dog’s owner and don’t want anything to happen to the dog. However, reporting the dog bite is both important for your health and a necessary step in filing a personal injury claim.
3) Document the Incident.
Take pictures and/or videos of any wounds, the scene, as well as the dog and its owner. Documenting what happened — including taking photos or videos — will be very helpful should you decide to pursue legal action later.
4) Get Contact Information.
Get as much information as you can from the dog’s owner, including name, address, phone number, and any insurance information they may have. Be sure and also gather contact from anyone who witnessed the bite or attack.
5) Contact Fort Worth Dog Bite Lawyer.
Once you’ve taken the steps above, contact our experienced Fort Worth dog bite lawyers. We will review your case and guide you through each step of the process. Our goal is to maximize your chance to receive maximum compensation and help put you on the road to recovery.
How can a Fort Worth dog bite lawyer help me?
For starters, our Fort Worth dog bite lawyers have vast experience proving negligence in dog bite cases, which is essential to a successful claim. Our team will investigate the incident to identify all liable parties, including the owner of the animal and any other individuals or entities that may be responsible for the attack.
We will review medical records, witness statements, and other evidence to help prove your case. We will put together a strong presentation and aggressively negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance companies to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. If negotiation with the insurance companies are not successful, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and, if necessary, go to trial.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers have the resources, experience, and knowledge to aggressively represent your interests in court or through settlement negotiations. We will work diligently to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.
What damages can I receive if I was injured by a dog bite?
If you’re injured by a dog bit, you may be able to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages are specific bills, such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages are more subjective and include compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Damages from a dog bit can be difficult to quantify, so it’s important to have an injury lawyer in your corner as soon as possible. Our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers team will help determine the value of your losses and then fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What if I can’t afford a Fort Worth dog bite lawyer?
You are here through no fault of your own. We understand that, and the last thing we want to do is compound your problems. That’s why we work on contingency — meaning you don’t have to pay any fees unless we are successful in getting you compensation for the injuries you suffered.
Speak to a Fort Worth Dog Bite Lawyer Today.
From the moment you reach out to our office, you’ll see how we are different. We will make sure you’re kept informed about your case and will provide the personal attention and respect you deserve. Our team has a deep understanding of personal injury law and are dedicated to building the strongest case possible to help make our clients whole after the attack.
Call 817-207-4878 (HURT) today to speak with an experienced Fort Worth dog bite lawyer. Our team is here to help you through tough times.