In Texas, dog bites are one of the leading types of homeowners' insurance claims. Largely due to rising medical bills, the average claim amount has increased significantly since 2003.
Here in the Lone Star State, victims have several legal options. If the owner knew or should have known the animal was potentially vicious, the owner may be liable for damages. The same thing may apply if the owner failed to stop an attack in progress or if the owner violated a leash law or other animal restraint law.
Weatherford personal injury attorneys do more than obtain financial compensation in these matters. Lawyers also connect victims with the medical help they need. Usually, this treatment costs victims nothing upfront.
Physical Dog Bite Injuries
When a large dog lunges at a small victim, the knockdown often causes broken bones, head injuries, and other wounds. Unfortunately, the attack has hardly begun at that point. A dog's teeth often cause tearing lacerations and deep puncture wounds.
The tearing lacerations often require extensive reconstructive surgery. Most doctors are not qualified to perform these delicate procedures. So, victims must see expensive trauma injury specialists. These wounds also often require long recovery times and extensive physical therapy.
Meanwhile, the deep puncture wounds often pierce internal organs. Since these organs have no protective skin layer, they often bleed profusely. So, before a surgeon can even thing about reconstructive procedures, the surgeon must stop the bleeding. That usually requires a separate procedure.
As if all these things are not enough, dog bite wounds often become infected, often with a Pasteurella bacterial infection. These infections are especially serious for people with compromised immune systems and/or pre-existing conditions. Young dog bite victims often have weak immune systems, and older dog bite victims often have pre-existing conditions.
Sometimes, an attorney must obtain compensation for infection-related injuries in a separate legal action against a doctor or hospital.
Emotional Animal Attack Wounds
Dog bites are incredibly traumatic. Generally, the animal attacks with little or no provocation or warning. As a result, victims often experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms. Typical effects include an unnatural fear of all dogs, flashbacks, and depression. These symptoms are especially prevalent in children.
In case you are wondering, "provocation" is a defense in Texas, but it has limited applicability. Provocation is usually intentional and physical. Despite what pet owners may believe, people do not accidentally provoke animals. Furthermore, even aggressive teasing is usually legally insufficient. People provoke dogs when they hit them with sticks or otherwise inflict physical pain on the animals.
Animal attacks often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.