If you have questions about dog bite compensation or how much is my dog bite case worth this article will help. A dog bite is classified as a bite from a dog on another animal or a human. Dog bites can happen during any number of scenarios. If the dog successfully lands more than one bite, it is called an attack. These bites or attacks can lead to serious injuries, disability or even death. If you or your pet was a victim of such an event, it is important to understand the rights you hold and what can be expected moving forward. The information below will help you understand the laws in Texas, how to find a great lawyer and what compensation you can expect.
How Well Can You Be Compensated In A Dog Attack
In each case, an injured person is entitled to receive compensation for their personal injury and any legal damages that may be entitled caused by the big injuries. This is also dependent on whether the dog’s owner has insurance and, if there is insurance, the dogs owner’s insurance policy coverage. Insurance doesn’t just cover dog attacks but animal attacks as well. The insurance company will pay economic (medical bills, lost wages) and non-economic (pain and suffering, disfigurement) damages for the injuries caused by the dog bite or attack.
Economic damage relates to money and what the victim paid to receive treatment for themselves or a pet that was attacked. If you took the legal advice given to you by your personal injury attorney you have started to document all your expenses. Transportation like ambulance rides are the first part of the category. Next is medical bills. Current costs that were racked up in hospital, expected future bills from doctor visits, surgeries and other treatments are covered in compensation. There is also the personal financial aspect if the victim is unable to work after the attack and looses wages. There are a long list of items that are covered under economic damages and it is best to speak with a lawyer who can help figure out which items apply.
Non-economic damages are more mental in nature. Treatment of scars, mental damage, ongoing pain from injuries or grief from loosing a pet all fall under this category. Permanent disability also means a loss of quality of life and is a large part of compensation.
How To Find A Dog bite Lawyer
Do you want top compensation for your dog bite case? Get a good personal injury lawyer! We have successfully settled many six figure dog bite and dog attack cases and have obtained a 1.9 million dollar jury verdict in Harris County, Texas on a pit bull attack case. When searching for a dog bite lawyer it is a good idea to look at a number of things.
- Personal referrals from family and friends
- Experience and results in dog bite cases
- Knowledge of Texas law specifically dog bite laws
- History of negotiating settlements
- Online reviews
By checking out case history, experience and reviews, it ensures that the lawyer knows what they are doing. Don’t settle for a lawyer if they don’t meet every need. They will be fighting to earn a fair settlement after an attack and picking someone who is willing to battle hard is better. Conducting a phone call or in person meeting to talk to them about the case is also a great idea. Often they will charge only a small fee, or none at all for a short talk.
Dog Bite Laws In Texas
In Texas, there is a law know as the “one bite rule.” That means that the owner cannot be held accountable if the dog had never bit anyone before. The injured party has to prove that the dog was dangerous before the injury happened. If a bite has happened before, then the owner is liable.
If the owner did not know that the dog was dangerous, they could be held accountable for a percentage of the fault. However, if the victim was found to be more at fault, there is no liability on the part of the owner. But, if the owner had a prior reason to believe the dog was dangerous to others, they are automatically accountable for all of the resulting damages. Texas Civ. 33.001.
During cases where the owner knew or had knowledge that their dog might be dangerous, they can be sentenced to a prison term of 2 to 10 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Accompanying this sentence is often a felony charge in the third degree. Texas H&S 822.05.
After the attack, if a dog is determined to be dangerous and the owner did not know, they will most likely receive a misdemeanor class C and a fine of up to $500. Texas H&S 822.044.
How Long Until Compensation Arrives
Unfortunately, it can be a long time before compensation actually gets into a victims hands. The accused has an opportunity to defend the case in a dog bite lawsuit and even a chance to appeal through the courts. Sometimes the dog owner doesn’t have the correct insurance coverage. Usually the time frame is between three months after the end of your medical treatment to a year if the injuries are very serious. Your personal injury law firm will keep on top of the situation and provide updates throughout the waiting period.
The personal injury law firm of Jerome O. Fjeld, PLLC has served injury victims in Texas for nearly two decades. Our firm’s primary office is in Houston, TX with offices in Austin and Victoria. Our firm’s focus is personal injury and we help victims when someone is injured by the negligence or carelessness of another in the following types of cases: