Surviving a dog attack in San Antonio is just the beginning. Survivors often face painful medical treatments, a long recovery time, lost wages, phone calls from claims adjusters and confusing elements of the legal process. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., we understand how difficult it is to navigate the justice system while also dealing with personal injuries. We step in for our clients so they can focus on healing while we demand justice for dog attacks. Find out how we may be able to help you and your family after a dog bite injury today. Call (214) 200-4878 24/7 for a free consultation in San Antonio.
Why Clients Choose Us
- We care about our dog bite injury clients. We will do our best to maximize your results.
- We have been serving individuals and families in the San Antonio community for years.
- We have a long history of attaining impressive outcomes and satisfying our clients.
- We specialize in personal injury law and have experience with complex dog bite claims.
- We do not make our clients pay us until and unless we succeed with their claims.
How Can a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Help?
You may think you can handle the claims process with a dog owner’s insurance carrier on your own…until negotiations begin, and you realize the company isn’t playing fair. Insurance companies excel at saving money by downplaying clients’ injuries and offering less than their claims are worth. It can be tough to go up against an insurance claims adjuster without legal representation. After you hire a lawyer, however, you can have confidence in your ability to negotiate.
A dog bite injury lawyer understands how these cases work in Texas. Your lawyer will have experience with these types of claims and in going up against insurance companies. Your lawyer can negotiate aggressively with a claims adjuster for you while you focus on healing from your dog attack injuries. A lawyer will not allow you to be taken advantage of with a lowball settlement offer. Most importantly, a lawyer navigating your case can give you the peace of mind you need to concentrate on your physical and emotional recuperation after a dog attack.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
Your injuries after a dog attack can depend on the size and type of dog, how long the attack lasted, and your health status at the time of the incident. Children and senior citizens are more prone to life-threatening injuries in dog attacks than middle-aged adults. Texas leads the nation in the number of fatal dog attacks per year. In an 8-year period, Texas reported 34 deaths from dog attacks. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., we can help clients with all types of injuries from dog attacks in San Antonio.
- Puncture wounds
- Head, face and eye injuries
- Hand injuries
- Skin avulsion
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones from falls
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional injuries
- Fatal injuries
Dog attacks can be catastrophic. Our lawyers are prepared to go head-to-head with insurance companies and defendants on behalf of badly injured clients. We can collect medical records, hire dog bite injury experts and take other steps to help you build a case. Then, we can take over insurance negotiations or an injury trial on your behalf while you concentrate on healing. We will not let you settle for less than your serious dog bite injuries demand.
What Is Texas’s Dog Bite Injury Law?
In pursuing compensation for a dog attack in Texas, you or your lawyer must navigate the related statewide dog bite statutes. Unlike most states, however, Texas does not have a specific dog bite law. The courts make their decisions on a case-by-case basis, often influenced by prior cases. For the most part, the Texas courts utilize a negligence or one-bite rule when determining dog bite injury cases.
A one-bite rule requires an injured victim to demonstrate that the dog in question had bitten someone before, or that the dog owner should have known about the dog’s propensity to bite for another reason. Then, the victim must show that the dog’s owner negligently failed to prevent a foreseeable attack, such as by having the dog off-leash or inviting people to enter the house. The burden of proof can be difficult to meet in a negligence-based dog bite claim. You may need a lawyer to help you win your case.
A lawyer can help you gather evidence that proves the pet owner’s neglect to prevent the dog attack. For example, your lawyer can interview eyewitnesses, friends and neighbors to acquire a better understanding of the dog’s personality, behaviors and tendencies. A lawyer can also look into previous dog attack reports by contacting San Antonio Animal Care Services on your behalf. If your lawyer finds proof that the owner should have known the dog might attack, yet did nothing to stop an attack, the owner could owe you compensation for your damages.
What Is Strict Liability?
The negligence rule applies to the majority of Texas dog bite injury claims. In cases where the dog has a “dangerous dog” classification or is known to be vicious, however, the courts may use the doctrine of strict liability. Strict liability means a dog owner will be responsible for an attack even without proof of negligent ownership or control. Whether or not the owner was negligent, he or she will have to pay for the damages caused by the attack if Animal Care Services had previously designated the dog as dangerous.
A dangerous dog in Texas, according to Health and Safety Code 822.041, is one that attacked a person and caused bodily injuries unprovoked while not in its yard or enclosure. A dog that is aggressive enough to cause a reasonable person to believe that it could attack and cause bodily injuries could also receive the dangerous dog designation in Texas. Once a pet owner has a known dangerous dog, he or she must take special care in controlling the dog. He or she must register the pet, restrain it at all times on a leash or secure enclosure, comply with county regulations, and purchase liability insurance of at least $100,000. If a dangerous dog attacks, the owner could be strictly liable.
Common Defenses in Dog Bite Liability Cases
Many pet owners will not admit fault or accept liability for a dog bite injury without a fight – especially those who hire attorneys. Bringing a case against a pet owner for your dog bite injury could get more complicated if the owner tries to refute fault. The owner may use one of three common strategies to argue against liability for the dog attack in San Antonio.
- No prior knowledge. The most frequently used defense strategy in Texas is for a pet owner to allege that he or she had no reason to believe the pet could be vicious or aggressive. You or your personal injury lawyer will have to show that this was not the case based on evidence such as prior incident reports or eyewitnesses. It will be you or your lawyer’s burden to prove that a reasonable owner would have been aware of the dog’s aggressive capabilities.
- Trespassing or provocation. In Texas, a dog owner might not be liable for an attack if the injured victim was trespassing (on the premises without the landowner’s permission or knowledge) at the time. If you did not have permission or legal authorization to be on the pet owner’s property at the time of the attack, the pet owner may not be liable for your damages. The same is true if you provoked the attack, such as by antagonizing or bullying the dog.
- On-duty police K9. Texas’s dog bite negligence rule has an exception for on-duty police K9s. If the dog was performing its official duties as a police or military animal at the time of the attack, you may not have grounds to file a civil claim. A lawyer can evaluate your case to let you know if someone bears liability for your dog bite injury in San Antonio.
Hiring a lawyer from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. can allow you to anticipate what defense strategies, if any, the defendant may use against you. Your lawyer can prepare your case, collect evidence of the pet owner’s liability and go up against the defendant’s lawyer on your behalf. Working with an attorney can optimize your chances of securing financial compensation for your attack-related personal injuries and damages.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Injury Case Worth in Texas?
Dog attacks are volatile events that can easily be catastrophic for victims. When some dogs bite, they do not let go until they have done significant damage. The value of your dog bite injury claim in Texas will directly relate to the severity of your injuries and losses. As a general rule of thumb, more serious injuries will acquire higher compensatory awards from courts in Texas. A lawyer from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. can review your case and help you make a list of all the economic and noneconomic damages you can seek from the pet owner.
- Past and future medical bills
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Surgeries and skin grafts
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional damages and distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Psychological therapy
- Property damages
- Legal fees
- Lost wages
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages
If the dog gave you catastrophic injuries that will cause permanent damage or took the life of someone you loved, you could be eligible for significant compensation from the dog’s owner. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to secure you the award we believe you deserve from the owner’s insurance carrier. We have the power to represent clients at trial in San Antonio, if necessary. We can take your dog bite injury claim to court if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
What to Do After a Dog Attack in San Antonio
Many victims do not realize they have the power to alter the outcomes of their dog bite injury cases. If you take the right steps immediately after a dog attack in San Antonio, you may be able to build a stronger claim to damages against the responsible pet owner.
- Remain calm. Although it can be difficult to do after a violent dog attack, try to remain calm and in control of your emotions.
- Exchange information. Ask the pet owner for his or her name, phone number, address and information about the pet, such as if it is up to date on its vaccinations.
- Take photographs. If possible, take pictures with your cellphone of the scene of the attack, the dog and your injuries.
- Talk to witnesses. Write down the names and phone numbers of all eyewitnesses who were present at the scene of the dog attack. They may be able to testify on your behalf.
- Call the police. If the dog attack was particularly violent, call 911 and request an ambulance. Calling the police to the scene could also create an official accident report.
- Notify Animal Care Services. Legally, you must report all animal bites that break the skin to Animal Care Services. They will quarantine the dog to check for rabies.
- Go to the hospital. Seek immediate medical care for your dog bite injuries. This is important to prevent infections.
- Document your damages. Collect evidence of your injuries and damages, such as copies of your medical records.
- File an insurance claim. Call the pet owner’s homeowners insurance company to file your initial injury and damage claim.
- Contact a personal injury attorney in San Antonio. Contact us for a free consultation with a lawyer about your dog bite injury.
Your priority after an animal attack should be to protect yourself physically, emotionally and financially. When in doubt, contact our dog bite injury lawyers to ask questions and receive honest, reliable answers. We care about dog bite victims in San Antonio.
Contact Our San Antonio Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love was recently attacked by a dog in San Antonio, Texas, protect your rights by hiring an attorney. At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., we represent dog bite survivors throughout Texas. We may be able to help you obtain financial compensation for your past and future damages, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney about your dog attack today. Call (214) 200-4878 or request a consultation online.