In the aftermath of a dog bite incident, victims may face physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering can all add up, leaving individuals and families struggling to cope. In such situations, it’s essential to seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced Burleson dog bite lawyer. The team at Joe I. Zaid & Associates, Houston Personal Injury Attorneys Committed to Your Case, is ready to help you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve.
The Prevalence of Dog Bites in the United States
Dog bites are a surprisingly common occurrence in the United States. Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur annually, with nearly 800,000 of those bites requiring medical attention. Children, particularly those between the ages of 5 and 9, are the most frequent victims of dog bites. These incidents can lead to serious injuries, including lacerations, puncture wounds, infections, and even permanent disfigurement.
In addition to the physical and emotional toll that dog bites can take, they also have a significant financial impact. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that insurance companies paid out over $854 million in dog bite claims in 2020, with the average payout per claim being around $50,000.
Texas Dog Bite Laws
In Texas, dog bite cases fall under the category of personal injury law. The state follows a “one bite” rule, which means that a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused by their dog if they knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. This rule is based on the idea that a dog owner should be responsible for preventing their dog from causing harm once they are aware of the dog’s propensity for aggression.
To establish liability in a Texas dog bite case, the victim must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owned or controlled the dog.
- The dog had a dangerous propensity or had previously bitten someone.
- The defendant knew or should have known about the dog’s dangerous propensity.
- The defendant’s negligence in controlling the dog led to the victim’s injuries.
Additionally, Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the incident, their compensation may be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. However, if the victim is found to be more than 50% at fault, they will be unable to recover any compensation.
The Role of a Burleson Dog Bite Lawyer
A skilled Burleson dog bite lawyer can play a crucial role in helping victims secure the compensation they need and deserve after a dog bite incident. Some of the key responsibilities of a dog bite attorney include:
- Investigating the incident to gather evidence and establish liability
- Identifying and quantifying damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- Negotiating with insurance companies on the victim’s behalf
- Preparing and filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary
- Representing the victim in court and advocating for their best interests
Common Defenses in Dog Bite Cases
Dog owners and their insurance companies may raise several defenses in an attempt to avoid liability in a dog bite case. Some common defenses include:
- Provocation: If the dog owner can prove that the victim provoked the dog by teasing, hitting, or otherwise harming it, they may not be held liable for the victim’s injuries.
- Trespassing: A dog owner may not be held liable if the victim was trespassing on their property at the time of the incident.
- Comparative negligence: As mentioned earlier, if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the incident, their compensation may be reduced or eliminated entirely.
An experienced Burleson dog bite lawyer can help anticipate and counter these defenses, ensuring that the victim’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.
The Importance of Acting Quickly
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it’s essential to act quickly to protect your rights. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including dog bites, is two years from the date of the incident. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may be forever barred from recovering compensation for your injuries.
In addition to meeting the statute of limitations deadline, acting quickly can also help preserve crucial evidence and improve your chances of securing a favorable outcome in your case.
Conclusion: Choosing the Right Burleson Dog Bite Lawyer
When it comes to selecting a Burleson dog bite lawyer, experience and dedication should be top priorities. At Joe I. Zaid & Associates, our Houston personal injury attorneys are committed to helping dog bite victims secure the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. With our expertise and personalized approach, you can trust that your case will be in good hands.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite incident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. Contact us today at 281-990-5200 or visit our office at 4710 Vista Rd. Suite E Pasadena, TX 77505. Let us help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice you deserve.