While many families have dogs as pets, this doesn’t mean the dogs are always safe. Sometimes, a dog may feel threatened or overexcited and bite someone. The dog may have escaped their backyard and ran to a person walking by or a bite could have occurred when someone was visiting a friend’s house and the dog was loose. These events are often sudden, shocking, and scary. Dog bite injuries can cause severe harm, and if this has happened to you or a loved one, you have the right to seek justice. When you need reliable representation for a personal injury claim, our law firm can help. A Midland dog bite lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will fight for you to get compensation for your injuries.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
You may be wondering how the dog bite happened in the first place. It’s possible you have met this dog before and are unsure of why the dog behaved this way. There are a few reasons why a dog would feel the need to bite.
The CDC lists the following tips on preventing dog bites and the situations where a dog may be more prone to bite. Approaching an unfamiliar dog, a dog that’s eating, a sleeping dog, or a dog that’s caring for puppies, may make the dog feel threatened and protective. Running from a dog or panicking could also result in a dog bite. If a dog is ill or hurt, it will also be more likely to be in a protective mode and will try to keep people away from it.
It’s always important to ask an owner before petting the dog. If a strange dog is coming toward you, stay still, don’t make eye contact, and turn your body to the side. Saying “No” or “Go home” in a deep voice may get the dog to turn around.
If the dog has a history of abuse, it may not be comfortable around new people. While the dog’s owners should have taken measures to secure the dog while you were on their property, they may think that because the dog is fine with them, it will be fine with others. This isn’t always the case.
There could be different situations where a dog bite occurs. If the dog isn’t aggressive and became overexcited, they may bite, but it’s not because they want to hurt you. This can still cause injuries, but the dog may not be necessarily dangerous. However, if the dog is dangerous, the dog owner needs to take certain precautions in handling the dog. Let’s take a look at dangerous dogs.
Dangerous Dogs in Texas
Establishing negligence is a crucial part of your claim. When our dog bite lawyers look into your case, seeing if the owner knew they had a dangerous dog is key. There are specific responsibilities for owners of dangerous dogs and if they aren’t followed, they are putting others at risk of injury.
A dog is labeled as dangerous by the state of Texas if it:
- Attacks unprovoked and causes bodily injury in an area that should have kept it enclosed
- Attacks unprovoked in another area and its actions provide reasonable belief that it will cause injuries to a person
The owners of a dangerous dog need to register with the animal control authority within 30 days of learning their dog is dangerous. They’re responsible for keeping the dog restrained on a leash or in a secure enclosure. To qualify as a secure enclosure, the area must be locked, keep the general public out, keep children out, prevent escape, mark the area as containing a dangerous dog, and follow the rules set by the local animal control authority. Owners also need to have liability insurance coverage and comply with other local regulations for owning a dangerous dog.
After a dog bite, you may be in shock and not sure what to do next. Let’s take a look at what you should do after the bite happens.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Dog bite injuries can range from mild to severe. Bruises, cuts, punctures, tissue tears, and tendon and joint injuries can happen, but there are also other injuries that can occur. If a dog bites, there’s also a chance it knocked you over. If the dog was running, you may have fallen with considerable force. As a result, you may have sustained brain or head injuries, hurt your back or spine, broken a bone, or sprained something.
When a dog bites, it can puncture or tear the skin and possibly cause infection. It’s important to tend to the wound as quickly as possible to prevent it from festering. The first step is to stop the bleeding. Use a clean, dry cloth and apply pressure to the wound. Then, wash out the wound with warm, running water and soap. Apply an antibacterial ointment and then use a sterile bandage to protect the wound.
If a child is bitten by a dog, they’re more likely to sustain injuries to the face, head, and neck areas. Facial fractures, torn skin, and infections are all concerns. If the dog is a stray or not up to date on its shots, there’s a possibility it could have rabies. Anyone who has had a dog bite should go to a medical professional within 24 hours of the bite. The doctor will evaluate the injury and start treatment if necessary, and inform you of how to care for the wound at home.
Documentation of your injuries and the place where the bite happened could help your claim later on. If possible, take photographs of your injuries and the scene of the bite. Your lawyer may be able to identify clues as to how the dog wasn’t secure or will be able to present a clear picture of the severity of your injuries.
After getting the medical attention you need, you should seek your legal options for compensation. Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is here for you.
How Can a Dog Bite Claim Help You?
Dog bites can cause complicated situations. It’s likely you know the owner, whether they’re a family member, friend, or neighbor. The closer you are to the person, the more awkward you may feel to file a claim. However, you need to put your health first. After getting medical treatment, you may have considerable medical expenses in addition to the medical supplies or medication you may have to purchase in the future. If your injuries were severe, missing work to recover may also be necessary.
Dog bites are scary—your experience of getting hurt and dealing with the pain should not be overlooked. Our dog bite attorneys will also look into your other losses from the bite, like pain and suffering. The emotional toll of getting bit could affect anyone, but young children may develop phobias or anxiety around dogs, which could require professional treatment.
Our lawyers will go over each aspect of your case. We’ll determine who was negligent, how the negligence harmed you, and what you suffered in losses because of it. Then, we’ll start to fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. To start your legal process, get in touch with our firm today.