Austin Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog may be man’s best friend, but not all dogs subscribe to that old saying. Dog bites and animal attacks can happen in a few painful moments. They’re terrifying, and they can cause life-altering injuries and even death. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you need to contact a dog bite lawyer immediately. The Law Office of Joel A. Levine has been representing dog-bite victims for over six years in the central Texas area. Our Austin TX team is experienced in every phase of investigating animal attacks, and we’ll make sure your dog bite lawsuit is handled professionally and thoroughly, so you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that in 2012, some 4.5 million Americans were bitten by dogs. Fully half of them were children. Medical attention was required for 20 percent of those attacks. A dog attack attorney should be on your side any time a dog bite requires immediate medical treatment. A dog bite attorney can get you compensation for pain, suffering, loss of current income, loss of future income, loss of consortium, and rehabilitation expenses.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, reconstructive surgery was required for 27,000 people who were bitten by dogs in 2012. Plastic surgery is expensive, and recovery requires a long absence from your job. A dog bite attorney will make sure to include any relevant plastic surgery expenses in the dog bite lawsuit. The law office of Joel A. Levine, Personal Injury Lawyer, will make certain that your rights are professionally represented.
Dog Bite Victims
The CDC says that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more likely to receive dog bites than adults. They also require medical treatment more frequently than adults. Adult men are more likely to be attacked than adult women. Dog owners with more than one dog in their home are five times more likely to be bitten than owners with only one dog.
A dog bite can happen in a variety of situations.
- The legs, feet, hands and arms were bitten 70 percent of the time.
- Male dogs were involved in 92 percent of all fatal dog attacks. Of those dogs, 94 percent were not neutered.
- Dogs on a chain were involved in almost 25 percent of fatal dog attacks.
- Most dog-bite victims knew the dog that attacked them.
- Some 60 percent of attacks occurred on or near the victim’s property.
Dog owners must take responsibility for their pets. They must be restrained at all times. Almost 60 percent of dog-bite fatalities were caused by unrestrained pets. The insurance industry pays over $1 billion every year for dog bite claims.
More than 350,000 victims of dog bites are treated at emergency rooms annually. Local clinics and primary care physicians handle 850,000 other victims. In the last few years, 30 to 35 people have died from injuries sustained in dog attacks.
To receive compensation for injuries sustained in a dog attack, you’ll need an aggressive dog bite lawyer. Only 15,000 to 16,000 sufferers of dog bites received a settlement from the responsible party’s homeowners insurance and rental insurance companies. An average insurance payoff is under $22,000. Insurance companies have a fleet of attorneys on hand to fight against your claim. Unless your attorney is experienced and willing to take the case to court, you could be one of the many who receive no settlement whatsoever.
Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)
Many communities have enacted breed-specific laws that prohibit some of the breeds that are more likely to attack, such as chows, pit bull terriers and Rottweilers. Dogs that have been used for fighting have a history of abuse that instilled a greater aggression in them. While BSL is a good first step, any dog can bite. BSL can create a black market for those banned dogs. Responsible breeding and training, in combination with effective law enforcement, is the best solution to the careless development of overly-aggressive dogs.
Don’t be a victim twice. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, contact Joel Levine. We’ll investigate the details of the case, the history of the owner and whether the dog has previously attacked anybody. We’ll fight for your right to just compensation to the fullest extent of the law. Experience in these cases counts, and Joel Levine has the experience and know-how to get the job done for you.
FAQ About Texas Dog Bite Lawsuits
If there is a leash law in the area and a dog owner does not use a leash, are they liable if their dog bites someone?
Yes, the dog owner could be liable for any injuries their dog inflicts when not on a leash in an area where a leash law is in place. Leash laws are locally mandated, meaning that some cities may have them in place and others may not.
Is my neighbor liable if their dog bites me on my property and not theirs?
It depends on the circumstances. In the state of Texas there is a “one bite rule” stating that if a dog bites once, the owner is now on notice that their dog may be aggressive. They can be held liable if the dog bites again after the owner was made aware that it had bitten before.
Who is liable if a stray dog bites someone?
In most cases, no one can be held responsible for a bite from a stray dog because there is no owner. The only exception is if an animal shelter or pound negligently allows a stray dog to escape that results in a bite incident.
If someone is working on someone else’s property or in their home and the owner’s dog bites them, is the owner liable?
The owner is usually responsible if their dog bites a worker or contractor who has been invited into their home. The owner is expected to prevent their dog from biting or causing any harm and if they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
What happens to the dog if a bite or attack is reported?
Some people hesitate to report a dog bite or attack because they don’t want the dog to be put down. In the state of Texas the dog is not held responsible, the owner is. The dog may have to be restrained to prevent future injuries and in some cases may be removed from the owner’s care if aggressive behavior continues.
What should I do if I am bitten by a dog or other animal?
First, always seek medical attention. Then report the bite to local law enforcement. Keep a record of the medical care you receive. Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer in Austin, TX to file a lawsuit against the animal’s owner.
Are there certain dog breeds that are illegal to own in Texas?
Some states have put bans on certain dog breeds, however Texas has not. There are no particular types or breeds of dogs that are illegal to own as domestic pets. Cities, neighborhoods, and housing communities have no authority to ban breeds of dogs.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit?
A dog bite is considered a personal injury. In the state of Texas you have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the sooner you file the lawsuit, the better your chances of receiving compensation.