San Antonio Dog Bite Lawyer
Skilled Legal Representation for San Antonio Victims of Dog Bites
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A 2018 USPS release ranks San Antonio as sixth in the nation for dog bite attacks. Additionally, every year more than four million American are victims of dog bites. An estimated 20 percent of those victims require medical attention for their injuries. When dog bites occur, a skilled San Antonio dog bite lawyer can protect your rights.
The Carlson Law Firm has the skills to get the recovery you deserve after a dog attack. We have more than 40 personal injury attorneys dedicated to protecting dog bite victims in Texas and across the country. Our San Antonio dog bite lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for victims of San Antonio dog bites. We have the skills and knowledge to measure what is needed to deal with negligent dog owners. The Carlson Law Firm can hold the individual liable for your personal or your child’s injuries after a dog attack. Contact our firm for a free consultation. A San Antonio dog bite lawyer from our firm can answer all of your questions and address your concerns.
Common San Antonio Dog Bite Injuries
San Antonio dog bite injuries should never be taken lightly. Dog attacks were responsible for the deaths of 35 Americans in 2015. A serious dog bite—even by a small dog—can leave serious and permanent muscle damage. A dog bite can also lead to permanent muscle damage and deep tissue scarring. This can require major reconstructive surgery. Children, in particular, may deal with ongoing psychological trauma and emotional distress. They may have lifelong visible scars on the face, hands or lower arms.
Bites may also result in one or more of the following injuries:
- Tissue loss and avulsion
- Crush injuries
- Fractured Bones
- Sprain/strain injuries
- Infections such as rabies
A San Antonio dog bite lawyer can help you recover damages for any injuries that resulted from the attack. Determining legal rights is complicated. It may be unclear who you can bring a claim against, but we can help you figure it out. An expert San Antonio dog bite lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm is the help you need.
Infection Caused By Dog Bites
Because infection occurs in 20 percent of dog bites cases, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists it as the dog bite primary concern. Common causes of diseases and infections stemming from dog bite injuries include:
Rabies: A virus that spreads to the brain and is almost always fatal. It can be transferred from the saliva of an infected dog through a dog bite;
Capnocytophaga spp.: A type of bacteria that lives in a dog’s mouth and can be spread through a bite, especially to those with weakened immune systems;
Pasteurella: The most common type of bacteria found in infected bites, which can cause pain, redness, and swelling at the puncture site;
MRSA: A deadly type of bacteria that is resistant to many strains of antibiotics and will not show symptoms in infected animals; and
Tetanus: A toxin caused by certain bacteria that can cause paralysis in people who are not vaccinated. This is a problem especially if the bite wound is deep.
Psychological Injuries Caused By Dog Bites
Immediately after a dog bite, you may be focused on the physical injuries. However, physical scars heal, but emotional scarring can be lifelong. Once a dog bite wears off, victims of dog bites may notice changes in themselves. They may feel fear or anxiety when around dogs. Additionally, a long-lasting scar can leave damage to a person’s self-esteem.
The emotional distress or anguish from a dog bite can cause:
- Anxiety when a flashback occurs
- A lasting fear of dogs
- Anti-social behavior
- Nervousness about being outside
- Symptom associated with post-traumatic stress disorder
Some people make look at the world in a different way in the aftermath of a dog bite. Victims of San Antonio dog bites can seek compensation for the emotional distress caused by an attack. Schedule a free consultation with a Carlson Law Firm San Antonio dog bite lawyer.
Dog Aggression Toward Children
Children are more likely than adults to suffer a dog bite. The CDC reports that children account for more than half of dog bites in the United States. Toddlers and preschoolers may squeeze a dog too tight of pull on the animal’s tail. This can lead to the animal responding with its teeth in an effort to get the child to stop. While this can happen, there are many cases where children can end up in the clenches of an aggressive animal.
Dogs can sometimes be unpredictable or dangerous to small children. A dog bite puts children at risk for infection, amputation, lifelong anxiety or death. Homeowners have a responsibility to keep their animals secure at all times.
Because of their small size, children at a higher risk for serious dog bite injuries. For example, the American Humane Society estimates that 60 percent of injuries to children from dog bites are in the head and neck regions. This is most likely because of a child’s head proximity to the mouth of a dog. Unfortunately, this proximity makes a child’s head and neck region the easiest target. However, hands, arms, and legs are also common bite areas for both children and adults.
Dog bites can be extreme in children. A dog bite can not only puncture, they can also cause extensive damage by ripping skin, muscles and tendons. Nearly 70 percent of all dog attack fatalities are children under the age of 10. If a dog bit your child, a San Antonio dog bite lawyer can help you figure out your next steps. You may be to seek legal recourse for a dog owner’s negligence.
Why do dogs bite children?
Although there are many theories on why dog attacks on children are so common, some of the most accepted theories include:
Dominance: It is generally accepted that dogs have a pack mentality and view the humans around them as part of a pack. A dog may view a child as a subordinate in the hierarchy, making them vulnerable to bites.
Education: Children are less likely to be educated on dog behavior and be able to read the signs that a dog may be about to attack. A child may approach a dog that is in pain or fearful, while an adult can usually recognize these signs.
High energy: Children tend to move in fast and unpredictable manners, causing anxiety in some dogs. When a dog has anxiety or is afraid, they are more likely to bite.
San Antonio Dog Bite Law
In San Antonio, Animal Care Services Field Operations Divisions (ACS) is responsible for investigating all instances of aggressive dogs, dog bites and other concerns. Texas law mandates that all bites or scratches that break skin must be reported to the local rabies control authority. All suspected rabies exposure must be reported immediately. San Antonio dog laws take their cues directly from state law. ACS officers can immediately begin gathering information about an aggressive the moment and a dog bite report comes in. To complete an investigation, a sworn affidavit must be signed by a victim or witness.
San Antonio Dangerous Dogs v. Aggressive Dogs
In San Antonio, a dangerous dog must meet two requirements:
- The dog attacks a person unprovoked that causes bodily injury. Additionally, the attack must occur in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
- Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
San Antonio also has a city ordinance that defines an aggressive dog. Considering a dog legally aggressive depends on a display of certain behaviors.
Behaviors establishing various levels of aggressive dogs are the following:
Level 1 behavior:
- A dog while in the enclosure in which the animal was being kept acts to cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will engage in an unprovoked attack and cause bodily injury to that person; or
- An unrestrained dog is found to menace, chase, display threatening or unprovoked aggressive behavior or otherwise threaten or endanger the safety of a domestic animal.
Level 2 behavior:
- A dog, while unrestrained, causes physical injury to any domestic animal or livestock.
Level 3 behavior:
- An unrestrained dog kills or causes the death of any domestic animal or livestock, or
- A dog classified as a level 2 aggressive dog that repeats the behavior described in level two after the owner or keeper receives notice of the level two classification.
Dog Bite Treatment
Cleaning an injury caused by a bite in the shortest time possible is essential in order to prevent infection. Consequently, dog bite treatment should occur immediately. To disinfect a dog bite wound, consider doing the following:
- Let the wound bleed for a few minutes if the blood flow is not severe. This is a simple and effective method for the bacteria transmitted by the bite to come out of one’s body.
- Wash the wound with antibacterial soap and let the water flow over it for 5 minutes. This is a vital step to combat wound infection.
- Cover the affected area with a sterile gauze bandage. If you do not have a sterile gauze bandage at hand, then use a disposable paper towel. Avoid using a towel or a handkerchief because they can store other bacteria.
- For puncture wounds, you can use an antibiotic ointment
- For laceration, you can apply hydrogen peroxide and then cover the wound with a sterile bandage to compress the bleeding.
Compensation for San Antonio Dog Attacks
There’s no reason to let the insurance companies intimidate you when you have an experienced dog bite attorney 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 San Antonio dog bite lawyer from our firm knows the process, and we won’t stop working until you’ve got the compensation you deserve. This may even include compensation for surgical or psychological treatment for whatever impact the attack may have had on you. It may also include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Emotional trauma and anguish
- Lost wages
How A San Antonio Dog Bite Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You
Many of these attacks involve small children. If your child was a victim, we advise that you 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 other people’s safety from their dog. A San Antonio dog bite lawyer can help.
At the Carlson Law Firm, a San Antonio dog bite lawyer 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:
- Determing the location of the dog.
- Where was the dog owner?
- Finding out where the attack occured.
- Were there any extenuating circumstances that caused the dog to bite?
Secondly, San Antonio is one of many municipalities in Texas with its own local laws on dog bites. We will apply the local and state laws to your case.
Finally, 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
Every dog-bite case is unique and The Carlson Law Firm is 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.
Contact our team for a free consultation. Let a San Antonio dog bite lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm guide you through the process of recovery.