A dog attack can leave you feeling fear, frustration, and physical pain over the bite wounds you sustained. If your injuries required surgery, stitches, or other uncomfortable medical procedures, a dog bite lawyer in Beaumont can help you pursue compensation from the dog’s owner for your losses.
The personal injury attorneys D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, have helped many dog bite victims file a claim to pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at 713-850-8600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys. We can help you decide which course of legal action to take based on the circumstances of your dog attack.
How Can I Hold the Dog Owner Liable for My Injuries?
You can file a claim for compensation based on the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. We can help you build a solid case and explain which state laws apply in your case. Texas does not have a law regarding dog bites, but relies on the “one-bite rule.” This rule bases liability on the state’s negligence laws.
Under this rule, dog bite victims must show that the dog attacked another person or exhibited behavior that showed an intention to harm someone. The rule also requires the victims to show the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s propensity for biting people.
We can help you collect evidence to support your personal injury claim. Presenting evidence about your dog attack is an essential part of this process. If the dog’s owner claims their dog has never exhibited aggressive behavior before and you do not have proof to show otherwise, you cannot prevail in your insurance claim or dog bite lawsuit.
What Type of Evidence Will Help My Claim?
We collect evidence related to the dog’s past behavior and the owner’s knowledge of the pet’s behavior. For instance, we gather such documentation as:
- Police reports of previous attacks by the dog that bit you;
- Local court records of the dog owner’s citations in previous dog attacks;
- Previous dog bite reports filed with Beaumont Animal Care; and
- Photographs or video of the dog attack, if available.
Our evidence also includes statements from you and eyewitnesses about your dog attack or previous attacks by the same dog. We use this information to show the dog owner’s negligence and inability to control their pet.
Should I File a Dog Bite Claim If I Know the Dog Owner?
Some dog bite victims prefer not to pursue a claim because they do not want to get their family members, neighbors, or friends in trouble or risk having the dog euthanized. However, filing a report with local police or an animal control agency provides documentation about the dog’s behavior to the owner’s insurance company.
Reporting your dog attack serves notice to the owners of the importance of monitoring their dog’s behavior and activities. Your report may also prevent the dog from attacking children, postal carriers, utility workers, neighbors, and others. For some—especially children and the elderly—a dog attack could cause serious injuries or even lead to death.
How Will You Help Me Prove Negligence?
Since our case must prove negligence and causation, we use the evidence we gathered to show how the dog owner’s behavior caused you harm. To prove negligence under Texas law, we must establish the following elements:
- The owner owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care and keep the dog away from you;
- The owner failed to meet this duty of care;
- The defendant’s negligence in preventing the dog attack caused you harm; and
- You suffered damages because of your dog bite injuries.
Statements from you or eyewitnesses or the evidence we collect can further your negligence claim. If we can show the dog owner habitually allowed the dog to roam at-large and off-leash, we can make a strong claim that they were negligent in their care of the animal.
What Type of Compensation Can I Pursue?
We can file an insurance claim against the owner’s insurance company to help you pay for the costs you incurred because of your injuries. We can submit proof of the following damages along with your claim:
- Medical bills, including costs for a rabies vaccine, other shots, and future medical treatment;
- Hospital costs, if your treatment involved a hospital stay;
- Prescription medications to treat your dog bite wound;
- Lost wages from the time you missed work to recover;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Mental anguish.
Depending on the circumstances of the dog attack, we may also seek compensation for any psychological therapy you have undergone because of the attack.
How Do I File a Claim?
We will file the insurance claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies want to save as much money as possible by offering low payouts—or no payouts at all. An insurance adjuster may accuse you of provoking the dog and causing the bite. By placing blame on you, the insurer will use this to deny your claim or reduce your settlement award.
Should this happen, we would counter the insurer’s assumption by offering the proof we collected in our investigation of your dog attack.
We make every effort to settle these claims out of court. However, if the insurer in your case does not want to offer fair compensation or denies your claim, we can speak with you about filing a personal injury lawsuit and resolving the claim in court.
Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, for a Free Case Evaluation.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, now at 713-850-8600 to discuss your case with our dog bite lawyer in Beaumont. During your complimentary consultation, we will determine whether you have a viable negligence claim and are eligible for compensation.
We accept cases on a contingency basis. You do not pay our legal fees unless we recover money for you from an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
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