Weatherford Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog attacks are one of the most frightening and serious types of personal injuries in Texas. After a dog bite, a victim may be left with not only physical injuries but lifelong trauma, fear, and visible scars. At Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, Jason Stephens understands just how devastating these attacks can be.
If you have been attacked by a dog in Weatherford, Texas, you may have the right to recover compensation from the dog owner for the injuries you have suffered.
Jason Stephens has decades of experience representing dog bite victims in lawsuits and strives to level the playing field against insurance companies.
Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule your free consultation with a Weatherford dog bite lawyer to begin exploring your legal options.
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How Stephens Law Firm, PLLC Can Help with Your Dog Bite Lawsuit
Jason Stephens believes that negligent dog owners should be held accountable when their animal hurts someone. Property owners should be held accountable, too.
Unfortunately, dog bite victims often find themselves in a battle with an insurance company that wants to shift liability away from their policyholder and minimize the victim’s injuries and pain.
Stephens Law Firm, PLLC is committed to aggressively defending dog bite victims and leveling the playing field against the insurance companies. Jason Stephens has more than two decades of experience as a Weatherford personal injury lawyer and trial lawyer. He has earned numerous forms of industry recognition and secured some of the state’s largest jury verdicts for his clients.
When you work the law office of Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, you can expect Jason Stephens to:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your accident
- Build evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company
- Handle administrative aspects of your claim
- Take your case to court if necessary
Jason Stephens is not afraid to take your case to court if the insurance company will not reach a fair agreement. He will never pressure you to accept a settlement offer that is not in your best interests.
Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free consultation and benefit from a legal advocate who will zealously represent you.
Dog Bite Statistics in Texas
Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but the truth is dog attacks are more common than many think. Between 2001 and 2003, 4.5 million Americans suffered a dog bite injury. Of those, 885,000 required medical treatment.
Sadly, over 50% of dog bite victims are children. About 26% of kids bitten by a dog go to an ER or see a doctor compared to just 12% of adults. Dog bites are more common among children than bicycle accidents and playground injuries.
Between 2005 and 2018, there were 57 fatal dog attacks in Texas which leads the nation in deadly dog bites. Of these fatal dog attacks, the most common breeds were pit bulls (76%) and rottweilers (15%).
In Texas, 68% of fatal dog attack victims were children 11 and younger. 52% were under the age of two. Family dogs were responsible for 53% of these attacks.
Texas ranks first for fatal dog attacks but fifth for dog bite injury claims according to a major insurance carrier study. The USPS even places Houston, Texas second for dog attacks on postal workers after Los Angeles.
Dog Bite Laws in Weatherford
Unlike many states in the U.S., Texas does not have a specific dog bite statute. However, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1974 that it will follow a rule in Section 509 of the Restatement of Torts that makes Texas a “one bite rule” or negligence state for dog bite injury claims.
This means that dog bite victims in Texas must show the dog owner was negligent to recover damages. This can be done by showing the dog owner:
- Knew the dog had behaved aggressively or bitten someone before, or
- Negligently failed to exercise reasonable care to control the animal or prevent a bite
Most dog bite cases in Weatherford involve negligence, but Texas applies a “strict liability” rule when the animal is known to be dangerous or vicious and a bite results from the dog’s already known nature. When a dog bites someone, it can be classified as “dangerous.” If you are bitten or hurt by a “dangerous dog,” you do not have to show the owner was negligent. All you must do is show the dog was known to be vicious or dangerous.
The Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 822 defines a “dangerous dog” as one that makes an unprovoked attack on someone that causes bodily harm or commits an unprovoked action that leads a reasonable person to believe the dog will attack them.
There are three ways a dog owner in Weatherford may know their dog is “dangerous:”
- The owner knows the dog has attacked or bitten someone
- The owner received notice from the court that the dog has been found to be dangerous
- Animal control informed the dog owner that the dog is dangerous
After being notified a dog is dangerous, dog owners in Texas are required to take several steps. This includes registering the dog with local animal control, restraining the dog in a secure enclosure, and showing insurance liability coverage of at least $100,000.
In a typical dog bite claim, the dog owner may claim two types of defenses:
- The person bitten was trespassing
- The dog owner had no reason to know the dog was dangerous or likely to bite
An experienced Weatherford dog bite injury lawyer can help you build your claim to show that the dog owner was negligent and should be responsible for the injuries you have suffered.
Common Injuries in Weatherford, TX Dog Attacks
Dog bites may cause minor injuries, but they can also cause serious and debilitating injuries, especially to children. Many victims of dog bites are left with severe enough injuries to cause long-term consequences, permanent disabilities, and scarring.
Common injuries suffered by victims of Weatherford dog bites include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Muscle injuries
As if the immediate injuries aren’t serious enough, many victims require invasive surgery to correct damage as well as cosmetic surgery. When dogs bite children, they often bite the face and neck. Plastic surgeons have even published a recommended approach to treating facial dog bite injuries among children.
Corrective surgery may help, but victims of a dog bite may be left with disfiguring facial scars, embarrassment, PTSD, and depression after their attack.
A dog bite poses additional risks as dogs can transmit infectious diseases through a bite. This includes:
Jason Stephens of Stephens Law Firm, PLLC has represented dog bite injury victims and their families for over 22 years. He understands the complexity of these cases and how injuries can affect victims for many years to come.
Compensation Available to Dog Bite Victims in Weatherford
When someone else’s dog bites you or your children, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Dog bite victims may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages in a Weatherford dog bite injury lawsuit.
The compensation you can recover will be determined by the cost of your treatment, the impact your injury will have on your life and career, and the limits of the dog owner’s insurance policy. Depending on the facts of your case, you may recover compensation for:
- Initial medical expenses related to the injury
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost or reduced future earning capacity if left disabled
- Lost employment benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
If you lost a loved one due to a dog attack in Weatherford, you can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. This type of claim can allow you to recover many of the same types of damages along with funeral expenses and loss of companionship.
The Weatherford animal attack lawyer at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Texas
A dog bite injury claim is a type of personal injury claim. In Texas, there is a strict two-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit begins on the date of the attack. If you do not pursue your claim before this statute of limitations runs out, you will lose your legal right to seek compensation.
Do not make the mistake of delaying the pursuit of your claim because you think you have plenty of time. Two years is a long time for evidence to disappear. This can damage your claim and make it harder to recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Weatherford dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to protect your legal rights and begin gathering and preserving the evidence you will need.
Contact a Weatherford Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Have you or your child been injured by someone else’s dog? If the dog owner was negligent or the dog was dangerous, you have the right to seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Jason Stephens of Stephens Law Firm, PLLC understands the severity of dog bites and the physical, emotional, and psychological toll they can take.
Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Weatherford and Fort Worth to begin exploring your legal options. You never pay attorney’s fees unless your attorney in Weatherford recovers compensation for you.