There are millions of dog lovers all around the world. In the United States, almost 50% of all households report having one or more dogs. It’s very common to know at least one friend who has a dog or to visit a house that has a dog as a pet. From the smallest Chihuahua to the biggest Great Dane, we always hear the same “Oh don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.” Most of the time it’s true, but not always, especially when reckless or unscrupulous dog owners are involved. In fact, one million dog bites happen every year, which includes 800,000 people who received medical treatment and over 300,000 who needed emergency treatment. While these injuries are not always fatal, they can cause severe pain and disfigurement, scarring a person for life. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks, and then must live with the repercussions for the rest of their lives. Can you imagine if it was you or your child that was maimed or killed by a dangerous dog? Those who allow such dangerous dogs to run loose and forever alter another’s life must be held accountable. On average, only 2% of those injured receive compensation for these gruesome and terrifying injuries. Samples Ames strives to help those maimed by dangerous dogs and would be honored to represent you or your family member in obtaining the best justice available in our society for such careless conduct.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, during 2014, there were 621 claims filed against Texas homeowners because their dogs bit another person. Texas ranked 7th in the top 10 states for homeowners claims as a result of dog bites. According to the ASPCA more than one-half of all victims who need medical attention for dog bites, are children. Children who are victims of dog bites often develop a life-long fear of all dogs and may need counseling to overcome their fears.
Dog Bites and Attacks
At Samples Ames PLLC our Dallas-Fort Worth attorneys have successfully handled claims on behalf of dog bite victims, both through negotiations with the owner’s insurance company and through litigation. We are well-versed in Texas-specific laws that protect the rights of our dog bite victims, and we understand that acting quickly following a dog bite is vital in protecting these rights. An immediate investigation can help establish liability for the event and determine whether insurance coverage applies.
If you or a loved one has been bit by a dog in Texas, it’s important to contact an attorney immediately to learn more about your legal options. Fill out our free, no obligation case review form to contact our Dallas-Fort Worth dog bite attorneys today.
Fighting For Dog Bite Victims throughout Texas
A serious dog bite can cause in permanent damage and scars that can require major reconstructive surgery. Children can suffer not only physical injury but also psychological trauma and emotional distress, particularly if the visible scars are to the face, hands or lower arms. Parents who see the attack on their children can, in certain circumstances, make their own claims and recover monetary compensation for their own personal emotional distress.
Dog bite injury claims in Texas are complex. When seeking damages against an owner, it is important to thoroughly investigate the case to determine whether the dog has bitten anyone in the past or if the owner was negligent in handling the dog. If a dog is deemed by a Court to be dangerous to the public, there can be severe consequences for both the owner and the dog.
Children are often bitten by a dog with which they are familiar. It is often difficult to determine whether the dog bit the child as a result of rough play or whether the dog was provoked. Many dog owners will lie to protect themselves at the expense of a dog bite victim. Therefore, professional investigation into a dog bite case must start immediately.
Understanding the “One Bite” Rule in Texas
When you or your child is injured by a dog that has bitten or attacked, you should report the incident immediately. Under Texas laws, owners may be given the benefit of the doubt unless the dog has bitten or attacked someone previously. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t file an insurance claim; in nearly all cases homeowner’s insurance policies will cover medical bills as a result of a dog bite. In many cases, it is better to have your personal injury attorney working with the insurance company to ensure you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
Often, dog bite victims don’t want to hire a lawyer because they know the dog owner. In most cases, however, there is little financial impact on the dog owner because you will seek compensation only from the owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Your lawyers will work with your doctors and other experts to determine the total financial harm the victim will face over a lifetime.
A parent owes it to his or her child to make sure the child’s legal rights are protected and pursued. In many cases, we can help the child obtain a substantial amount of money that can be used for future expenses as an adult, including medical costs and educational needs. Under the right circumstances, an educational trust or annuity may be appropriate for the child.
When you or your child has suffered injuries that could lead to permanent scarring because a neighbors dog was not properly restrained, you have legal options. You should be reimbursed for any and all medical bills as well as follow-up surgery that may be necessary to minimize scarring. Call Samples Ames PLLC today at (817) 605-1505 or (214) 308-6505 and fill out our contact form and let us evaluate your case. We can help you determine the best way to proceed and we can protect your rights under Texas laws.