Dog bites can be incredibly traumatic. Many people who are attacked by dogs often face lifelong trauma and emotional distress after the attack. On top of that, the injuries can be incredibly serious, often requiring surgery and follow-up care. In many dog attack cases, the victim could also be pushed to the ground or seriously mauled, potentially suffering back and head injuries alongside vicious wounds.
If you were bitten by a dog on someone else’s property in the Arlington area, you should speak with a lawyer about your potential case. Dog bite injuries can often require substantial compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages related to the attack. For help with your case, call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. to set up a free legal consultation. Our phone number is (817) 476-1797.
Suing for Dog Bites in Arlington, TX
Texas has what is considered a “one bite” rule. Under this rule, established in Marshall v. Ranne (1974), the owner of an animal that is known to be “vicious” is liable for any attack or bite on another person. Under “two bite” rules used in some other states, the first bite establishes that the dog was dangerous and the owner should keep it away from people, then the owner can be held liable for any additional bites. In Texas, if the owner knows the animal to be “vicious,” then you can sue them even after just one bite or attack.
When you sue a dog owner, you must prove that they knew the dog was “vicious” before the bite happened. In the case that established this rule, the owner was repeatedly warned that the animal seemed dangerous and did not do anything to prevent the attack. In that case, it was a boar, but the same rule applies to dogs: if the owner should know that the dog is dangerous, you can sue them for a bite.
In proving your case, you will use evidence of past experiences and interactions with the dog to help show that the owner should have known the dog was “vicious. If the dog was not “vicious,” there might be other ways to hold the at-fault owner responsible, but our attorneys will have to analyze each situation on a case-by-case basis to help determine how to bring your case and what case strategies to use.
When you bring your case to court, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the bite.
What Dogs Are Considered “Vicious” for Arlington Dog Bite Injury Cases?
As mentioned, you typically must prove that the dog that injured you was “vicious” before you can get compensation for the attack. Many people feel that certain dogs, such as pit bulls or rottweilers, are inherently more dangerous than other dogs. Legally speaking, that assumption does not always hold, and you will usually need to provide more evidence that that specific dog was actually vicious, not that its breed is often considered dangerous.
In the end, dogs will be considered vicious if they have a history of chasing people, intimidating people, or biting other people or animals, not because they match a certain breed. This also means that dog bites by “lapdogs” or small dogs should also be taken just as seriously if they caused serious injuries.
As mentioned, the case that established this rule involved a boar, not a dog – so the same rule might also apply to other animals that are dangerous or vicious.
Damages for Dog Bite Injuries in Arlington, TX
When you sue the owner of a dog for damages, the court can award you compensation for any harms stemming from the dog bite. Many dog bite injuries require medical attention. Victims could need stitches and other care to treat wounds, but more serious injuries sustained in an attack could also include bruising, internal injuries, broken bones from a fall, back and head injuries from a fall, and infection from the bite. No matter what medical care is needed to treat the injuries, a court of law may be able to hold the owner responsible for the entirety of the medical bills.
If your injuries cause you to miss work or keep you from being able to return to work or work at your old capacity, you could be entitled to damages. Wages missed during your recovery can be paid to make up for the lost income you need to support yourself and your family. If the injuries would keep you from receiving income in the future, that lost earning capacity can also be claimed as damages.
Pain and suffering damages are often some of the biggest areas of compensation in a dog bite case. The owner could be responsible for the mental and emotional trauma of the situation, compensating you with money for these harms. Victims of dog bites often can’t look at a dog the same way again, and they may suffer intense PTSD effects after a vicious attack. This can all be compensated in a lawsuit.
Ultimately, the dog owner’s homeowners insurance often pays for the effects of a bite. Some laws in Texas might require owners of dangerous dogs to carry insurance that can cover the victim of an attack, meaning that there are often plenty of funds to claim your damages against. Talk to a lawyer about how to get these damages paid in full.
Call Our Arlington Lawyer for Dog Bite Victims for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was bit by a dog in the Arlington area, The Queenan Law Firm might be able to help with your potential case. Our Arlington dog bite injury lawyers work to help victims and their families hold the dog’s owner accountable and get the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. For your free case consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797. We can explain more about the potential process and how your case will proceed.