Dogs are a favorite pet in America, with over 77.5 million owned by families throughout the country. That being said, dogs are responsible for vicious attacks each year on private individuals, which can result in anything from moderate to catastrophic injuries. Alarmingly, there are approximately 4.5 million individuals who suffer from dog bites and attacks by dogs each year. In rural America in the year 2018, the number of individuals who had to go to the emergency room because of a dog bite was approximately 900,000. That is a staggering number. The United States had a population of approximately 326 million in the year 2017. Those numbers indicate that one in 69 people will be bitten by a dog this year.
No one is immune from a dog bite or attack. Children are especially vulnerable to suffering from a dog attack. Almost half of all reported dog bites and attacks involve young children. In fact, children under the age of 6 are more likely to be bitten by a dog because the animal is feeling threatened that the child might take a toy or the dog’s food. Older children are often bitten or attacked by a dog when the dog feels like the child is invading his territory.
Dog bites do not just cause physical injuries to the victims who are attacked, they also hurt people financially. Every year, Americans are faced with approximately a billion dollars in losses because of a dog bite or attack. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog and sustained injuries as a result of a dog attack, you should speak with the experienced and skilled lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC today to find out if you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries and losses.
Most Common Dog Bite Injuries In Texas
Being attacked by an animal is not something you want to take lightly. Dogs, like many other animals, have very sharp teeth, and just one bite from any size dog can penetrate deep enough to cause muscle damage and certainly scarring. The injuries inflicted by a medium-to-large sized dog can be catastrophic in nature and often cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, especially if a child is involved in the attack. Adults who are attacked usually suffer injuries that involve the extremities and often cause significant muscle mass damage as a result. In some instances, your body will take a significant amount of time to go through the painful healing process, but in others instances, you may need to seek the assistance of a reconstructive surgeon in order to heal properly. Listed below are some of the most common types of physical injuries that can occur from just one instance of a dog bite:
- Deep puncture wounds
- Tissue loss
- Nerve damage
- Fractured and broken bones
- Tendon/ligament strains
Injuries sustained in a dog bite attack can be devastating and life-altering. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog bite attack in the Houston area, call DeHoyos & Connolly PLLC to schedule a free consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your dog bite attack with a qualified and knowledgeable dog bite attorney to see if you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries and losses.
Diseases & Infections Caused by Dog Bites
Out of all of the injury possibilities related to a dog bite, infections tend to be the most complicated and it is not uncommon to get an infection after an attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections appear to persist in one out of every five dog bites, meaning 20% of all bites result in wounds that become infected. There are many types of diseases or infections that an individual can contract from a dog bite, such as:
- Rabies – A virus that can traverse throughout your body and attack your brain, in which case it is likely to result in death. Death is not a rarity when it comes to dog bites, either. In 2015 alone, there were 35 fatalities from dog bites reported in the United States.
- Capnocytophaga – A bacterial infection which is particularly potent in those who already have weakened immune defenses and lack sufficient abilities to fight it off.
- Pasteurella – The most common bacteria that is present in many who see infection as a result of a dog bite. This bacteria causes great discomfort at the region where the bite occurred. You can expect to experience pain and see redness, as well as swelling of the tissue.
- MRSA – A well-known bacteria that has built up a resistance to the very strains of antibiotics meant to treat it. You will not know if the animal that bit you has MRSA because it will likely show no symptoms, but this bacteria is very serious as it can be deadly.
- Tetanus – A toxin that can be contracted from a dog bite. If you are infected by tetanus, it can result in paralysis if you have not been vaccinated against it.
Young children, those who are under the age of 12, are the highest risk group to be bitten by a dog. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that half of all the children in this age group are likely to suffer from a dog bite. In the case of children, not only is the suffering physical, but these youngsters often suffer from long term psychological damages.
When a dog bites someone, the results can be devastating. If you have been injured in a dog attack in Texas, do not wait to contact a professional dog bite attorney. The lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC are dog bite attorneys that understand the devastation that these traumatic incidents can cause. After an attack, time is of the essence, and we will aggressively fight for your rights so contact as soon as possible if you have been bitten by a dog.
Non-Physical Damages from a Dog Bite
Dog bites can have a range of effects on a victim. There are obvious physical injuries, but for many, there are emotional scars as well. Children are the most susceptible to this emotional trauma, but they are not alone. If disfigurement results from a dog bite, most anyone can have a difficult time adjusting and can exhibit psychological pain. If a person has been bitten by an animal, the types of non-visible scars that can persist include:
- Long-term mental grief
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Prolonged emotional distress
- Fear of animals
These types of outcomes can be very difficult to endure and may take a significant amount of treatment in order to develop coping mechanisms. The important thing to know is: you do not have to navigate your way through this mental anguish alone. The lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC can provide the resources and support necessary to assist you with your journey to recovery both physically and mentally. We will be by your side and help you obtain full compensation for your injuries, your pain, and to cover the complete costs of treatment you need to get better.
Who is at Fault for a Dog Bite Attack?
The owner of the dog who attacked the victim can be liable for damages and injuries incurred from the incident. However, it may not be a fruitful endeavor to pursue the owner of the dog for compensation directly. Typically, homeowner’s insurance is the route to go for obtaining compensation to cover the damages. However, in some circumstances, there could be other insurance policies that may be accountable for the payments, such as auto insurance or even commercial property insurance policies, depending on where the incident occurred.
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out. That is not how they make their money, so in all circumstances, they are going to be looking out for their bottom line. Make no mistake, they will fight to protect it. That is why you need a knowledgable dog bite attorneys on your side who will be representing your best interests and looking out for you. The attorneys at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLC will fight for your rights in the face of these insurance companies who are looking out for their own.
Filing A Successful Dog Bite Attack Claim
Anyone who has been bitten by a dog in Houston or any of the surrounding areas in Texas should always immediately seek the attention of a qualified medical professional to assess their injuries. Your health and safety are the number-one priority.
After you have been thoroughly examined by a medical professional and have a comprehensive treatment plan in place to aid in your recovery, do not wait to contact the qualified Texas dog bite lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC. You deserve justice; to ensure you get it, you should always consult with a professional lawyer before you speak with any insurance companies. The attorneys at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLLC know and understand the laws on the book in the State of Texas regarding dog bites. We can help you by building a strong and successful claim.
To build a successful case for your personal injury claim in Houston and across the state of Texas, our experienced dog bite attorneys can compile all the necessary supporting information. We can help assess the general negligence of the dog owner, provide background on the type of breed that caused the attack, and closely examine the factors surrounding the incident which all play a part in helping you obtain full compensation. Some of the factors we would look at include:
- If the owner fails to take appropriate steps to keep others safe from the dog
- If the owner fails to respond to stop an attack in progress
- The landlord of a multi-person building can be held liable if they knowingly allowed a dangerous animal on the property which was hazardous to their tenants
- The “bystander law,” which allows for a witness to the attack to claim emotional damages against the owner of the pet after observing the traumatic incident
If an owner has not abided by governmental ordinances or if the dog was one of the specific breeds known to be a high risk for attacks, these components can be key factors in the amount of compensation available in your case.
Dog Bite Attorneys in Houston
When you have been attacked by a dog of any size, you face very real injuries and damages that you should never have had to endure in the first place. This can also be in conjunction with increasing costs associated with the attack. These are burdens you should not have to shoulder by yourself. You deserve fair treatment under the laws of the State of Texas. When backed by the knowledgeable and aggressive dog bite attorneys from DeHoyos & Connolly, PLC, you will be fully supported throughout the entire complex and complicated process of filing the claim all the way to the end, even if your claim goes to court.
We only take your case if we believe you can win. We do not get paid if you do not get paid. That is why we make it our goal to get the most compensation allowable under the laws of Texas for your injuries and damages. We will not let up until we get you the compensation you deserve and are entitled to. The Texas dog bite lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly, PLC understand how to pursue insurance companies in order to obtain justice on your behalf. We know when and where to seek compensation and we will work for you to ensure you receive what you need to fully recover.
Call DeHoyos & Connolly, PLC today at 832-767-3568 to gain valuable feedback regarding your claim and schedule a free consultation.