According to the Centers for Disease Control, dogs bite over 4.7 million Americans a year. A significant number of these incidents require emergency care for serious injuries.
Legally, these victims have several options in Texas. The Lone Star State uses the one-bite rule. Owners are liable for attack damages if they knew or should have known the animal was potentially vicious. Evidence on this point includes prior attacks of people or animals as well as pre-bite behavior, like aggressive barking. Additionally, if the owner violated a leash law or other safety law and that violation caused injury, the owner may be liable for damages as a matter of law.
A Weatherford personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Most of these claims settle out of court.
Many times, the knockdown causes broken bones, head injuries, and other serious wounds. That's especially true if the attacking animal was a pit bull or other large breed dog, and the victim was a small child or older adult.
Furthermore, when dogs bite, their teeth usually cause both deep puncture wounds and severe tearing lacerations. The puncture wounds lead to severe internal bleeding. Such bleeding is difficult to detect and even more difficult to stop. The lacerations often require expensive treatment in specialized animal attack trauma centers.
Dog bites also cause some invisible injuries. For example, many victims suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms, such as:
Heightened awareness (unnatural fear of all dogs).
Brain injuries like PTSD are always permanent. Once brain cells die, they do not regenerate. However, extensive physical therapy can ease the symptoms, so these victims can carry on with life.
Pasteurella and Capnocytophaga bacterial infections are very common in dog bite cases. Normally, the only symptoms are additional pain, redness, and swelling. But if the victim has a pre-existing condition, like a bacterial allergy, these infections could be life-threatening.
Legally, all these victims are entitled to all the compensation mentioned above. If the victim had a pre-existing condition, the eggshell skull rule usually applies. Essnetially, tortfeasors take victims as they find them. If the victim incurs expenses related to the attack, someone must pay them, and that someone cannot be the victim.
To obtain compensation for infection-related damages, an attorney may need to file a separate claim against the physician.
Dog bite victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. Home and hospital visits are available.