Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC understands the scope of the dog bite problem in the United States. Across the country, about 30 people lose their lives due to dog attacks, mostly young children and the elderly. For the last decade, Texas has led the nation in this dubious category. In 2014, 7 people, including 4 seniors and 2 toddlers, were killed. In 2015, the 5 victims included an infant, 2 children aged 7 and younger, and 2 seniors. In most incidents the attacker was the family dog. However, they can and do attack neighbors or passersby.
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, you need an attorney who can help you recover fair compensation for your medical care. You may also be entitled to monetary damages for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and ongoing treatment, such as plastic or reconstructive surgery or physical therapy. Our El Paso dog bite attorneys will fight for a fair settlement or award to help you begin restoring your life.
Call (915) 206-5154 for a free consultation and review of your dog bite claim.
Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks
Bites from dogs can cause serious injuries, including:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Punctures and lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severed body parts
- Shock from blood loss
- Torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Psychological symptoms, such as night terrors and phobias
- Secondary-impact injuries, such as concussions, broken wrists, or broken hips, from being knocked to the ground
- Wrongful death
In Texas and New Mexico, it can be difficult to obtain compensation, even for an unprovoked attack, because these states do not enforce strict liability upon the owners of dogs who injured others. Therefore, you must retain an attorney who understands the legal issues and who is dedicated to recovering the compensation you deserve.
Overcoming the “One Bite” Rule to Obtain Full Compensation
Texas and New Mexico do not have dog bite statutes, so these states rely on two common law theories of recovery: strict liability for vicious dogs and negligence for all others. The rule regarding strict liability is sometimes called the “one bite” rule because it only holds an owner accountable if the owner was aware (or should have been aware) the dog had vicious tendencies, had previously bitten a person, or had acted as though it wanted to. In effect, this rule lets the dog get away with one free bite of a person before another unlucky victim can use that evidence to win a judgment of liability.
If the dog has not bitten anyone, a victim can sue under a theory of negligence. For example, an owner who violates a leash law while out in public with their dog could be held negligent if the dog bites. Or, if the owner violates state or local chaining laws, a court could find negligence. In apartment buildings, landlords can also be held liable for failing to rid the premises of a known dangerous dog.
Because of the difficulty of enforcing liability on a dog owner, a victim must retain a capable personal injury attorney with experience in dog attack cases. Our El Paso dog bite lawyers know precisely what factors come into play in these matters and use our trial experience and negotiating skills to pursue the best result for every client we represent.
After a Dog Bite
If you are attacked by a dog, you must do whatever is necessary to protect yourself. Take the following steps:
- Tend to Your Wounds: Administer first aid immediately. Blood loss can cause shock, so you should call for assistance as quickly as possible and then get to an emergency room. If you need a rabies shot sequence, you should begin as soon as possible. You might also require a tetanus shot.
- Call the Authorities: There are two objectives to accomplish here: to get information you need for your own well-being, and to prevent the animal from harming anyone else. The police can ascertain whether the dog has had its shots and impound the dog if there is reason to believe it is diseased or vicious. If the dog that attacked you is a stray, animal control can apprehend and impound the dog.
- Document the Attack: Take pictures of your injuries and torn or bloody clothing. Get the names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Contact an Attorney: Even if your injuries are minor, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. An attorney can pursue fair compensation for you.
Involve an El Paso Dog Bite Attorney Today
As with any type of injury case, the sooner you retain capable legal counsel, the stronger your case will be. Do not wait to call an El Paso dog bite attorney at Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC. Because we offer a free consultation, you can find out about your options and rights without any obligation to work with our firm. We want to guide you toward a swift and fair case result.
Contact our team at (915) 206-5154 for your free dog bite case evaluation.