Dog Bite Injuries
It is easy to underestimate the seriousness of dog bites until they happen to you or a loved one. You should get medical treatment right away, since untreated dog bites can result in infection. In some cases, the injuries may be permanent and scarring. Dog bites may even result in death, particularly if a fragile individual, a child, or an elderly person is the dog's victim. Pet owners in Texas often know when their animals are aggressive or problematic. They have a duty to avoid the risk of harm to others. The injury lawyers at Feizy Law Office can help victims of dog bites in Dallas and the surrounding cities bring a lawsuit against a dog's owner.Seeking Compensation for Dog Bites
The medical bills for dog bites may be substantial. In some cases, scarring and disfigurement and lifelong emotional distress are the result of an attack by a vicious dog. You may be able to seek damages from the animal’s owner or another responsible party.
In Texas, you can sue under a theory of strict liability or negligent handling. Strict liability applies if an owner knows of his or her dog's vicious propensities in advance and a dog bite occurs. To recover on a theory of negligent handling, you would need to show that the defendant owned or possessed a dog, the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the animal from injuring others, there was a breach of duty, and there was a direct causal link from the breach to the attack. A dog owner can be liable if he or she sees the dog about to attack a person and does not take reasonable steps to stop the attack.
A dog owner may defend on the grounds that he or she did not know of the dog's vicious propensities or that the victim of the bite was trespassing. For example, if someone is walking a calm dog and the dog suddenly snaps and bites you, the owner will likely argue that the dog had not previously shown signs of being aggressive and it was reasonable to walk the dog in public on a leash. Similarly, if you trespass on someone's property and are bitten by the owner’s guard dog, even if the person knows of the dog's tendency to bite, the property owner may not be liable.
If a person is warned of a dog's aggressive or vicious propensities and nonetheless attempts to interact with the dog, that individual may be found comparatively negligent if a bite happens. This means that his or her total damages award would be reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if the damages are $300,000, the victim can potentially recover up to $150,000 from the dog's owner. It is important to remember that Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, so you may be able to recover some amount of damages as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault.Seek Legal Guidance for an Injury Claim in Dallas
If you have been hurt in the Dallas area due to a dog bite or another preventable event, such as a car accident, you should consult an attorney who understands the rights and options that you may have. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form. We also represent accident victims in Garland, Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington, and Irving, among other Texas cities.