Helping Victims of Animal Attacks
If you were bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries as a result, the Katy dog bite lawyers at Adams Law Firm are here to help you. If a dog bit you through no fault of your own, and if the dog’s owner failed to prevent that attack from happening, you could be owed significant compensation as a result. We have extensive experience helping those who were bitten by dogs and other animals in Texas get the financial compensation they need to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, therapy, and other expenses.
Pet owners have a responsibility to control their dogs to keep others safe. When they fail in this duty and their dog injuries someone as a result, they should be held accountable for their carelessness. Dog bites can be painful, traumatic, and expensive. You do not have to deal with the aftermath of a dog attack on your own.
If you suffered serious injuries after being bitten by a dog in Texas, you will want to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. A Katy dog bite lawyer will help you recover all of the compensation you are entitled to. Adams Law Firm was named Houston’s Top Lawyers for Personal Injury and Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People by H Texas Magazine. You can have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (888) 262-6301 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Need A Dog Bites Lawyer?
Many people believe that they do not need an attorney to resolve their dog bite cases because the dog owners are usually friends, family members, or neighbors. They choose not to pursue a claim at all, because they do not want to impose a financial burden on someone they personally know. In truth, however, most dog bite cases are handled by the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company, so you should not feel guilty about saving yourself from financial difficulty by pursuing a claim.
A common problem when pursuing a claim against an insurance company, however, is that the insurance agent will try to resolve your case for as little as possible. An insurance company may aggressively try to pressure you into accepting a settlement to resolve your case and sign a release of liability. The amounts most people are initially offered are well short of what they are actually entitled to.
When you hire an attorney, they can deal with the insurance company for you. Your lawyer will have experience handling these types of claims and will know how to get an insurer to provide you with all of the compensation you need and deserve. They can investigate your claim, gather the necessary evidence, and negotiate with insurance agents until you get what you need.
Why Choose Adams Law Firm To Handle My Case?
Adams Law Firm has over 25 years of experience handling personal injury cases. Our firm’s lead trial attorney is a life member of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Tad Adams has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence. Will Adams is Double Board Certified and has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Our firm can attempt to negotiate a fair and full settlement to your case. When an insurance company refuses to make an adequate offer, we will file a lawsuit to try your case in court. Do not let concerns about money prevent you from contacting our firm. Adams Law Firm provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing until you obtain a financial award.
Types of Dog Bites Cases We Handle
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and public education website DogsBite.org reported that fatal dog attacks on humans from January 2005 to March 2018 included the following breeds:
- Pit Bull — 284 (65.6 percent)
- Rottweiler — 45 (10.4 percent)
- German Shepherd — 20 (4.6 percent)
- Mixed-Breed — 17 (3.9 percent)
- American Bulldog — 15 (3.5 percent)
- Mastiff/Bullmastiff — 14 (3.2 percent)
- Husky — 13 (3.0 percent)
- Labrador Retriever — 9 (2.1 percent)
- Boxer — 7 (1.6 percent)
- Doberman Pinscher — 6 (1.4 percent)
- Malamute — 4 (0.9 percent)
- Golden Retriever — 4 (0.9 percent)
- Heeler — 4 (0.9 percent)
- Cane Corso — 3 (0.7 percent)
- Chow Chow — 3 (0.7 percent)
- Wolf Hybrid — 3 (0.7 percent)
- Presa Canario — 2 (0.5 percent)
- Akita — 2 (0.5 percent)
- Australian Shepherd — 2 (0.5 percent)
- Belgian Malinois — 2 (0.5 percent)
Another 20 different dog breeds each inflicted one death, according to DogsBite.org. It is clear that virtually any dog is capable of biting a person, and those bites can occasionally cause serious injuries.
Unlike many states, Texas does not have a specific statute concerning liability in dog bite claims. However, in Marshall v. Ranne, the Texas Supreme Court decided to follow the rule stated in Restatement of Torts § 509 (1938). This means that Texas is a “one bite state” for dog bite claims. To recover compensation for a dog bite in Texas, therefore, you will have to prove 1) that the dog owner was aware that their dog had aggressive tendencies and 2) that you were lawfully on the property where you were attacked, and not a trespasser.
Furthermore, it is important to remember for dog bite claims that Texas is a comparative negligence state. This means that your compensatory award will be diminished based on the percentage you are found to be at fault for your own injuries. This means you will want to show that you did not provoke the dog in any way, ignore warning signs that the dog was going to attack, or do anything that would contribute to your injuries. Your award will be reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault for your injuries. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 for your injuries, but found to be 10% responsible for them, your award will be reduced by 10% and you will ultimately receive $9,000.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites
Dog bites are a niche area of the law, and the lawsuits surrounding them are confusing, particularly because the laws vary so much from state to state. Some of the most common questions we hear at our firm concerning dog bite claims are as follows.
What is the one bite rule?
Also known as the “one free bite rule,” certain states allow dog owners to avoid liability when bites involve dogs with no prior histories of aggressive actions. This differs from strict liability states in which dog owner are always liable for dog bites. Texas is essentially a one-bite rule state, in that a dog owner is liable when a victim proves that the owner had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities, was negligent, violated a leash law, or caused the bite intentionally.
What should I do if I was bitten by a dog?
If you are bitten by a dog, make sure to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not think your injuries are serious, you still want to get treatment in order to prevent any possible infections. It is also beneficial to quickly create a medical record relating to the incident and care for your injuries. You should make sure to take pictures of your wounds before they have time to heal. If the dog owner is a person you do not know well, you should get their name and phone number. You may want to ask for a driver’s license to confirm their identity if you suspect they may be lying to you. Make sure you contact an attorney before speaking to any insurance company.
What happens if I am bitten by a stray dog?
Stray dogs generally do not have owners that victims can file claims against. One possible exception could be the local dog pound, which could be liable if it can be proven that the stray dog you were bitten by escaped from the pound’s custody.
Dog Bite Statistics
An estimated 4,521,300 people were bitten by dogs each year between 2001 and 2003, according to researchers with the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A separate CDC study found 756,701 persons who suffered bites required medical attention.
There were 316,200 emergency department (ED) visits and 9,500 hospital stays related to dog bites in 2008, or an average of 866 ED visits and 26 hospitalizations a day, according to a November 2010 statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The HCUP reported that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, or about 50 percent more than the cost of the average stay for other injuries.
Homeowners insurance companies paid over $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm. The III reported that the average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide in 2017 was $37,051, a 90 percent increase from 2003 that the III attributed to higher medical costs and larger settlements, judgments, and jury awards.
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), 6,755 USPS employees were bitten by dogs in 2016. Over 35 dog breeds contributed to 433 deaths between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2017, according to a 2018 report issued by DogsBite.org.
The 2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 28,079 people underwent reconstructive procedures related to dog bite repair in 2015. Annual monetary losses for dog bite victims could be as high as $2 billion, according to a 1997 estimate by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Contact a Katy Dog Bite Attorney Today
Were you recently bitten or attacked by a dog in Texas? Make sure that you do not speak to any insurance company about your case until you have legal representation. Will Adams has been included among the top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers every year since 2012. Call (888) 262-6301 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
The Adams Law Firm Difference
Attorney Will Adams has fulfilled and maintained the rigorous requirements to become a certified expert in both personal injury and Civil Trial Law.
by H-Texas Magazine
Recognized as leaders in the field, we have been voted top lawyers in personal injury law for the Houston area. We are known for skilled, dedicated advocacy.
Our firm has garnered this top peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell® due to a reputation for meeting the highest standards in ethics and legal excellence.
Our lead trial attorney has been recognized as one of the top litigators in all Texas, known in the legal community as a leader in the personal injury field.