Texas dog bite cases rely on laws that many believe are outdated. These common laws add some complexities to the process of holding a dog owner accountable for the expense associated with this type of injury.
Many attack victims require much more intensive treatment. If you or your child suffered a dog bite injury and now you have medical bills and other damages, you have options to recoup your expenses and losses. A dog bite lawyer in Port Arthur can explain your rights and help you understand how to recover the compensation you need after an attack.
The dog bite attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, offer free case reviews and handle all dog bite cases based on contingency. Call us today at 713-850-8600 for your complimentary consultation.
Damages Available in a Successful Port Arthur Dog Bite Case
If we can successfully prove the dog owner is liable for your injuries, we can recover compensation for the damages you suffered. The value of these damages can vary widely from case to case, but once we complete our investigation and have a good idea of the losses you experienced, we can tell you how much we might recover.
In general, some of the most common types of damages we can recover for our clients include:
- Emergency treatment;
- Medical care;
- Plastic surgery;
- Prescription drug costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering damages; and
- Wrongful death damages, in cases where a loved one died after a dog attack.
Understanding the One Bite Rule in Texas
Unlike many other states, Texas still follows the “one bite rule.” This common law states that the owner must know a dog has vicious propensities, or we cannot hold them liable if their dog attacks. In effect, every dog gets one free bite before their owner is accountable for their behavior. While this makes it more challenging to hold dog owners responsible, our attorneys have successfully won cases for our clients despite the one bite rule.
To win this type of case, we need to show:
- The dog previously attacked someone or threatened someone with obvious intent to attack;
- The current owner knew about this incident; and
- The dog was not provoked in either situation.
If local law enforcement or animal control documented the previous incident, we may be able to show the dog threatened to attack someone in the past. However, even if we can prove a past incident, it is sometimes your word against theirs when it comes to the provocation of the animal.
If we cannot win compensation under the one bite rule in your case, we have other options. We can pursue a premises liability or negligence claim against the dog owner to recover the compensation you need without meeting the strict “vicious propensities” test associated with the common law.
Pursuing Compensation Outside of the One Bite Rule
For many of our clients, the best option for possibly recovering the money they need to pay medical bills and cover lost wages is to file a claim based on owner negligence. If we can show the owner or person who had control of the dog acted in a careless or negligent manner and this allowed the attack to occur, we can likely hold them liable for your damages.
Often, we can prove the four elements of negligence in these cases. These are:
- The owner or handler had an obligation to control the dog, such as following local leash laws or similar statutes;
- They failed to follow these laws, and the dog ran free or was otherwise able to attack you;
- The owner’s carelessness allowed the attack to occur; and
- You suffered injuries and compensable losses.
We will also need to prove the dog belonged to or was in the care of the party we accuse. This is usually straightforward.
We fully investigate every dog bite case we handle. We need to get to the bottom of how the owner’s actions contributed to or caused the attack and your injuries. During our investigation, we will identify, collect, and analyze all available evidence to learn as much as we can about your case. We will also document the full range of your damages.
After we have the evidence necessary to build a strong case for negligence and liability, we will file a liability insurance claim with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance provider. In our demand letter, we will outline the facts of our case against the policyholder and document your related damages.
If the insurance company denies our claim or refuses a fair settlement, we will file a personal injury lawsuit. We are not afraid to take any case we handle to court. We will represent you and fight for the payout you deserve.
Discuss Your Case With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Port Arthur, Texas.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, our team can help you understand the strengths of your case and pursue the best option available for compensation. Dog bite cases have a high burden of proof, but we know what the insurance companies or courts need to see to award a payout.
Call us today at 713-850-8600 for a free case review.