Dog Bite Lawyer in Texas
Dogs are man’s best friend! And for that reason, contacting a dog bite lawyer is a reality that many Texans don’t realize they’ll have to face one day. However, according to research Texas has historically lead the nation for dog-bite related fatalities from dog mauling. In fact, in 2019, Texas was only second to California as the state with the most reported dog attack on U.S. postal workers. In the United States, a little more than 36% of households own at least one dog. About 4.7 million Americans are victims of dog bites every year. Of those, an estimated 20% of victims require medical attention for their injuries. Victims can speak to a skilled Texas injury lawyer to learn how The Carlson Law Firm advocates for personal injury victims.
If you need legal assistance for an animal attack, the injury lawyers at our firm know which measures to take when dealing with negligent dog owners. We are ready to put the experience of more than 40 attorneys and over 100 staff members, to help you receive the compensation you deserve. You can be confident knowing that a dog bite attorney can help you effectively accomplish your case. As the premier Texas dog bite law firm, we can help you hold the individual accountable for yours or your child’s injuries after a dog attack. Our job is not to give up pursuing a favorable result, no matter how difficult the situation becomes.
Why choose Carlson after a dog bite?
For more than 40 years, The Carlson Law Firm has represented Texas’ most injured victims. Our team of dog bite lawyers have secured verdicts in the millions in pursuit of justice for families of animal attack victims and settled cases where our clients take home six figures. We are the dog bite law firm you want on your side.
What to do if you suffer a dog Bite
Being bit by a dog is a fairly common experience for many people in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.7 million dog bites occur in the US each year. Of those dog bites, approximately 799,700 require medical assistance. Over half of dog bites occur in the home with dogs who are familiar to us. Naturally, as the number of dogs in the home increases, dog bites become more probable. Unfortunately, children are more likely to be on the receiving end of a dog bite. But among adults, men are more likely to suffer a bite.
With a dog bite taking place every 75 seconds in the United States, knowing what to do in the moments immediately following an attack can make the aftermath of a very scary situation a little less stressful.
Should I Report a dog bite?
If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, your first step should be to seek medical treatment for your injuries and then file a dog bite report with your local animal control officials. Depending on where you live, your jurisdiction may require to report dog bites.
Sometimes a dog bite victim doesn’t want to file a report because he or she is friends with the dog’s owner, afraid of the owner, or doesn’t want anything to happen to the dog itself. However, authorities strongly suggest or require victims of dog bites to report these incidents to the local animal control agency for a number of reasons, including the following:
- It helps protect others from being attacked by the same animal. Someone is more likely to take extra precautions once the authorities are aware of the dog’s dangerous behavior, especially if they are required to do so by law.
- It provides vital legal documentation which helps if you need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the owner. Filing a report will help you obtain records regarding the dog’s owner, the dog’s history, and vaccination information. The investigation may also provide evidence you can present to the insurance company or during a lawsuit.
- It helps local authorities enforce state and local dog bite laws. A dog bite report triggers an investigation into the incident, and if the dog is categorized as dangerous, the owner may be required to carry special insurance or take extra precautions to ensure the public’s safety.
Local animal control agencies also help protect dogs that are being abused or neglected, so filing a dog bite report may be in the animal’s best interest as well.
Common dog bite injuries
Each year, dog attacks kill between 30 and 50 people in the United States. Dog bites should never be taken lightly. A serious dog bite — even by a small dog — can result in permanent muscle damage and deep tissue scars that can require major reconstructive surgery. Children, especially, are subject not only to physical injury but also to ongoing psychological trauma and emotional distress, particularly if the visible scars are on the face, hands or lower arms.
Bites may result in one or more of the following injuries:
- Tissue loss and avulsion
- Crush injuries
- Fractured bones
- Sprain/strain injuries
Psychological dog bite injuries
As Texas dog bite lawyers, we know that physical scars can heal. However, the emotional scarring from some dog bite injuries lifelong and come with a difficult recovery process.
The emotional distress or anguish caused by a dog bite can lead to the following:
- Anxiety when a flashback occurs
- A lasting fear of dogs
- Anti-social behavior
- Nervousness about being outside
- Symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder
If you suffered an injury because of a dog bite, contact a qualified injury lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm. Our skilled attorneys will be with you every step of the way.
Texas Dog Bite Law
Texas does not have a statute that word for word spells out a dog owner’s civil liability for dog bite injuries. Instead, Texas is a negligence or one bite rule state for purposes of personal injury cases stemming from dog bites. The law is on a dog bite victim’s side.
For a successful recovery in Texas dog bite lawsuit, an injured person must show one of the following:
A Texas dog bite attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help explain this process in further detail during your free consultation.
Dogs are a great source of joy for many of us. These pets didn’t earn their nickname as man’s best friend for just any reason. Canines become our greatest companions and defend us from danger. However, without laws and responsible pet owners adhering to those laws, dog attacks can lead to serious injuries.
Leash laws in Texas
Leash laws are similar to dangerous dog laws. They are laws created by municipalities to prevent dogs from running at large. Depending on the city, the leash law may be as strict as to impose absolute responsibility on the dog owner if the animal is off a leash anywhere except an enclosed space or as flexible as to only recognize a violation where the owner knowingly allows the dog to run at large. These laws may, in some cases, give an injured person another way to hold an irresponsible pet owner responsible.
A Push for Stricter Local Laws
While state laws apply to all Texans, local municipalities have the authority to tighten dog attack laws. Texas forbids cities from passing breed-specific legislation. However, cities can still pass “vicious dog ordinances” which can define what an aggressive dog is. For example, in Killeen, Texas, the city defines an aggressive dog as one that “exhibits behavior indicating that it represents a potential danger.” Our dog bite lawyers in Killeen often see young children or clients in the Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and Copperas Cove areas who were the victims of dog attacks after the animals escaped. Many homeowners keep pets in unsecured or improperly maintained enclosures.
Compensation for your Dog Bite Injury
There’s no reason to be intimidated by the insurance companies when you have an experienced Texas dog bite lawyer fighting for you. In most cases, it is the homeowner insurance policy of the dog owner that is the source of funds for settling animal bite claims.
A dog bite lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm knows the legal process, and won’t stop working until you’ve got the compensation owed to you. This may even include compensation for surgical or psychological treatment for whatever impact the attack may have had on you. It may also include:
If you have suffered injuries from an animal attack, contact your go-to dog bite law firm. We can provide you with a dog bite attorney to champion your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
Does Homeowner's Insurance cover dog bites?
If the dog owner is in an average or lower economic state, it may be impossible for them to afford all the expenses caused by the dog bite. The good news is, there are situations where homeowners insurance will pay for your injuries.
The purpose of homeowners insurance in this type of situation is to help pay for injuries people receive on someone else’s property. Many injuries turn out to be excessively costly making it difficult for homeowners to pay out of pocket for such injuries unless they are quite wealthy. Homeowner’s insurance gives you an opportunity to still have your medical bills resolved without having to carry the stress and anxiety of having to sue a friend or family member.
Homeowner’s insurance will usually only step in if the dog bite occurred within the boundaries of someone’s property. This could lead to problems if their dog was on your property at the time the dog bite occurred. If you were walking down the street and the dog attacked you on the street, homeowner’s insurance may not cover the costs. Instead, you may need to sue the dog owner in court rather than through the insurance system.
For a dog owner to be able to defend themselves against a dog bite liability claim successfully, they must prove:
- They were not aware their dog was aggressive.
- The plaintiff was unlawfully trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
- The dog was properly restrained, and they were properly controlling the dog.
To learn more about a potential lawsuit, contact our dog bite law firm today
How a Texas dog bite lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You
Many of these attacks involve small children, and if your child was a victim, we advise that you first seek medical attention as soon as possible. A dog bite can lead to severe infection and excessive doctor visits. Depending on the severity of the injury and the amount of treatment needed, dog bites can result in high medical bill costs. It is necessary to take legal action against the negligent dog owner that did not take the steps needed to ensure safe protection from their dog. A dog bite attorney can help.
First, we will pursue civil remedies for individuals who have sustained a bite injury. We will first investigate your potential claim by a determination of the situation surrounding the bite:
- The dog’s location
- Location of the owner
- Location of the dog bite victim
- Were there any extenuating circumstances that caused the dog to bite?
Second, we will investigate the applicable local law. Many cities have municipal ordinances that dictate how dogs must be handled and kept. These ordinances can differ from city to city.
Third, we will research any homeowner’s insurance policy that may cover medical bills incurred for:
- ER visits
- Medical tests as a result of the bite
- Medically necessary surgeries
- Scar revision surgery (plastic surgery)
- Mental health counseling
We understand that every dog-bite case is unique and we are here to help. We have been assisting those bitten by a dog for over 40 years. During, that time, The Carlson Law Firm has never advocated for the destruction of any animal.
What is the average payout for dog bites?
According to Quotewizard, the average payout for a dog bite in Texas is about $40,000. However, because each situation is different your claim may be less or considerably more.
For nearly 45 years, The Carlson Law Firm has helped families recover millions of dollars in the aftermath of a dog bite. Our team has accomplished the following notable awards for our animal attack clients:
- Our North Austin Partner Todd Kelly won a $5 million jury award for a Victoria, Texas family after a pit bull attack that led to the death of their four-year-old son.
- Killeen Associate Timothy Roehrs recovered a six-figure settlement for a child attacked by a neighbor’s dog.
- Midland Associate Russell Shrauner helped an elderly client recover tens of thousands of dollars after a vicious attack on her evening walk.
These are just three examples of the incredible team of lawyers The Carlson Law Firm has handling injury cases. Dog bite lawsuits require a level of skill and experience that our team of dog bite lawyers offer. These cases are extremely difficult and require swift action to find appropriate property owners, insurance policies and even witnesses.
Contact a Texas Dog Bite Lawyer
If you are living with injuries after a dog attack, contact a qualified Dog Bite Lawyer in Texas at 800-359-5690 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation.
There's a Carlson Law Firm near you
With 13 locations throughout Texas, there’s a Carlson Law Firm near you. We have law offices located in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Round Rock, Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, Bryan, Lubbock, Midland and Corpus Christi. Find a dog bite lawyer near me.