Amarillo Attorneys For Victims of Dog Bite Injuries
When someone else’s dog bites you, the trauma can be hard to shake. Additionally, serious bites can lead to overwhelming medical bills, missed work, and other financial realities you will need help dealing with. Luckily, our team at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP, knows how to get you the resources you need to recover.
With over 200 years of combined experience, our Amarillo dog bite lawyers are fully capable of filing a lucrative personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. While no amount of money will change what happened, holding a dog owner liable for your injuries will give you financial security and a sense of justice.
For a free consultation, please call our law firm in Amarillo at (806) 547-2022 or complete our contact form. Our personal injury lawyers represent clients throughout the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Most dogs generally don’t bite unless they are provoked, but animals can be unpredictable. When a dog is allowed to wander at large or walk off-leash, it may act aggressively for no reason at all. If a person fails to control their pet, they can be found liable for negligence.
The state of Texas has no specific dog bite statute, so negligence will be the key to proving your claim.
What Is The One Bite Rule?
The “one bite rule” is a legal device that puts the burden of proof on plaintiffs in dog bite cases. In order to win your lawsuit, you must show that the dog owner knew or should have known that their dog would bite you.
If a dog has never bitten anyone before, this can be difficult to do, which is why many people say dogs have “one free bite” in Texas.
Still, at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP, we can help you find ways around the one bite rule. For example, if the owner let their animal walk without a leash, we can help show they should have known their dog would behave erratically and bite. We can also talk to neighbors and witnesses to gather evidence that the dog had a propensity to bite.
What About Dangerous Dogs?
If an owner knows their dog is aggressive, they can be held strictly liable if the animal attacks you. For cases of serious bodily injury or death, criminal consequences may also apply. Title 10 of Texas Safety Code § 822.041 defines a dangerous dog as any canine that:
- “Makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury” outside of its enclosure
- Otherwise behaves violently outside of its enclosure
Texas law implies that any dog that wreaks havoc while running lose or off-leash is dangerous. It also suggests a dog who sneaks out to attack chickens, for instance, will also attack a person.
The language of these statutes can help us prove liability in your case.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
In dog bite cases, the state of Texas defines “serious bodily injury” as: “severe bite wounds or severe ripping and tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek treatment from a medical professional and would require hospitalization..
If you are hospitalized after a dog attack, you likely have a strong legal claim. Injuries that occur in dog bites can include:
- Lacerations (deep cuts or tears in the skin)
- Puncture wounds
- Infections (like Tetanus)
- Rabies and other diseases
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries from falling
- Avulsion and amputations
- Nerve damage
Sadly, children are more likely to be bitten by dogs, and children’s dog bite injuries are often severe. We can help you seek compensation for medical treatment and surgeries for scarring that your child may need after a dog bite injury.
Why Choose Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP?
Every member of our team has decades of experience and the skill they need to help you achieve your goals. We have been helping residents of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle since 1990 and we want to help you, too.
Our attorneys are honest, straightforward, and effective. We are here to represent your rights and increase your chances of maximum compensation.
For effective legal help, look no further than our firm. A number of our attorneys are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys have also been named among America’s Top 100 Lawyers.