Working with an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in El Paso
Dog bites can be painful, traumatizing, and even deadly. While dogs are generally considered man’s best friend, dog bites and attacks, unfortunately, aren’t uncommon. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, a dog bite lawyer from the Huerta Law Firm can help you. Since 2005, our law firm has represented numerous victims of dog bite attacks. We understand that our ability to successfully win your case is crucial to your wellbeing. Most importantly, if your injury or that of your child was serious, the medical bills are extremely costly and you should not have to pay! Learn how our law firm can help.
The One Bite Rule
Unlike other states, Texas does not have a specific statute that covers damages for an animal biting someone else. In 1974, in Marshall v. Ranne, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state would follow the ‘One Bite Rule’ for purposes of personal injury cases. The One Bite Rule indicates the following:
- The name of the rule comes from the belief that an animal gets one free bite, and after that, the owner is aware of and responsible for the animal’s vicious tendencies.
- The owner is liable for the injury if he or she knew or should have known that the animal might act in a harmful way toward others.
Texas law permits dog bite victims to seek compensation if negligence was the cause of the bite. Negligence is the absence of reasonable knowledge or understanding from the owner, that is to say, the owner wasn’t aware his or her dog was dangerous. Other examples of negligence could include allowing your dog to roam into an area where it could cause harm or failing to keep your dog on a leash in a public area.
In the United States, Dog Bites Occur Every 75 Seconds!
According to the CDC, nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by a dog every year. Of these dog bites, one in five becomes infected. Dog bites can happen for a number of reasons like if the dog is being protective, feels threatened, or is not feeling well. Even just playing with your dog in a rough way can lead them to bite you.
- Dog bites happen more frequently in rural communities than in urban communities.
- Men are more likely to be bitten than women.
- Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more likely to be bitten than anyone else.
- Dogs attacked nearly 7,000 postal service workers in 2016.
- Dogs who are not spayed or neutered are more likely to bite than dogs who are.
- You have a 5.7 percent chance of being bitten by a dog in the United States.
Building a Personal Injury Case for a Dog Bite
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and would like to build a case to be compensated for your injuries, there are a few things you must do.
1. If you can, get the name, number, and insurance information of the dog’s owner. If you’re bitten by a stray, it may be hard to make a case. If there is no owner present or the dog is not on residential property, landlords and other representatives may be held responsible.
2. You must prove that the dog bite happened due to the negligence of the owner, such as the owner not having full control of the animal while outside the home or the owner neglecting to care for the animal, causing it to become enraged. You should also learn if the state you live in has “strict liability” for the owner of animals in animal bite cases. In Texas, there are no statutes of strict liability.
3. If you trespass onto property, touch the dog against its owner’s wishes, or disobey warnings given by the owner that the dog is dangerous, the owner won’t be held liable. Before making a case, be sure to analyze your actions to see if you were at fault.
4. You should work with an experienced attorney. An attorney will be able to help you through the claim process and navigate legal jargon and documents that you will have to fill out. They will also build your case and gather evidence.
Why Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bite cases are never easy. You may have never wanted to seek compensation in the first place. However, medical bills and emotional trauma along with the fear of the dog biting someone else are all valid reasons for taking legal action. Working with a dog bite lawyer not only protects your rights or that of your child who was bitten, but it also provides a clear path to justice.
Here are reasons you should consider working with a dog bite lawyer:
- A lawyer will help you understand the law. Since Texas doesn’t have a statute that covers animal biting, it can be difficult to determine if liability exists.
- A lawyer is there to carry out the investigation. Establishing a clear case is not as simple as filing a claim. Most investigations require research and substantial support for damages and compensation.
- A lawyer helps uncover key evidence. The role of a good dog bite lawyer is to uncover evidence that validates your claims. This may involve speaking with witnesses or gathering other necessary facts to prove negligence.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and need legal assistance, our dog bite lawyer at the Huerta Law Firm can help. Don’t attempt to handle this situation on your own! Call us today for more information and to begin working with a dedicated law firm in El Paso.