McAllen, Texas, is a dog-friendly city, with many venues allowing dogs and their owners to get out and socialize, including dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants, and more. Unfortunately, any dog can be aggressive in the right (or wrong) circumstances.
If a dog bit you in McAllen due to the owner’s failure to protect you from their pet, you can seek compensation for your injuries.
An experienced McAllen dog bite lawyer from Kenny Perez Law can explain this process to you. Contact our office for more information.
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About Dog Bites in McAllen
Whether you walk down the street in your neighborhood or at McAllen Dog Park, you should feel safe from dangerous dogs. Pet owners must ensure that their dog does not harm others. Dogs bite for many reasons, including stress, being hurt or sick, protecting their puppies or their owner, or being used to rough play.
Fatal dog attacks are relatively rare, but a handful of people die each year due to dog bites. More than 30 breeds of dogs have provoked deadly dog attacks; most of these attacks involved unspayed or unneutered animals.
Dog Owners Can Face Criminal Penalties for Dog Bites in Texas
In Texas, prosecutors can charge those who negligently secure or restrain an aggressive dog with criminal negligence. Criminal negligence is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the dog kills a person, the owner can face a second-degree felony.
The Types of Injuries Sustained from Dog Bites
Dog bites send around 337,103 people to the emergency room each year. Many dog bites are superficial wounds. While a “superficial wound” sounds like a minor injury, dog bites of any severity can result in infection as the bacteria from the dog’s mouth seeps into the wound. Many of the diseases caused by dog bites can be serious or even deadly, such as rabies.
In addition to a high risk of infection, dog bites can cause injuries such as:
- Traumatic damage to the face, nose, or eyes
- Dangerous blood loss from bites to the throat
- Broken bones
- Muscle sprains, strains, or tears from running away or falling on the ground
- Nerve damage
Seeking Compensation for a McAllen Dog Bite Injury
People usually file dog bite injury claims against the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, like a premises liability claim. In McAllen, dog owners must have their pets secured at home or on a leash in public areas unless the area permits dogs to be off-leash, such as in a dog park.
If a dog has a history of aggression toward people or animals, the owner is strictly liable for compensating the victim. However, the owner may be liable even if the dog was not previously aggressive.
The dog bite claims process generally begins with a demand made by your attorney to the at-fault party’s insurer for payment of the claim’s value. The insurer can accept the claim, deny it, or offer a settlement for less compensation than the claim’s total value.
If the insurance company refuses to accept the claim or make a fair settlement offer, then you can file a dog bite lawsuit in civil court.
In Texas, the statute of limitations on such claims is generally two years from the date of injury. Talk with a McAllen dog bite lawyer to ensure you do not miss any critical filing deadlines in your case.
The Types of Compensation Available in Dog Bite Claims
Individuals who suffer dog bite injuries can seek compensation for the expenses they incur as a result of their injuries, such as:
- Expenses from medical treatment
- Wage loss
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Texas does not have a civil statute that explains when a person is civilly liable for damages from a dog bite. As established by precedent rather than statute, Texas follows a “one bite” rule in dog bite claims. Under this rule, you must show that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog was capable of aggressive behavior. For example, you could show that the owner knew that their dog bit someone in the past.
However, if the dog did not have a history of aggression, you would need to prove that the dog was vicious and that the owner acted negligently. An example of owner negligence that could result in a McAllen dog bite would be violating McAllen’s leash law by letting their dog run loose.
How Our McAllen Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help With Your Claim?
People sometimes hesitate to contact an experienced dog bite injury lawyer when a dog hurts them.
They may worry because:
- The dog’s owner is a friend, and they feel bad about filing a claim against them.
- They fear they can’t afford an attorney.
- They think they can navigate the legal process on their own.
However, you usually file dog bite claims against the owner’s insurance policy—not against the owner. In addition, we don’t get paid unless you receive compensation, meaning that you can afford to hire our McAllen dog bite lawyers.
Lastly, insurance adjusters want you to try to handle your case alone. They know that you likely will not know how much your case is worth or how to negotiate aggressively.
A knowledgeable lawyer protects your rights and fights for you, keeping insurance companies from using tactics to avoid your claim.
If a dog bit you in McAllen, it is crucial to evaluate your claim and answer your questions. The legal team at Kenny Perez Law is happy to do this for you for free. We can also tell you about the services we can provide to assist you with your claim. Contact us online or by calling (956) 544-9292.
Kenny Perez Law
1900 N Exp 77. Suite A,
Brownsville, Texas 78521
“Definitely a law firm that you can trust! Professional, reasonable, and knowledgeable. The legal team has great customer service skills. They were able to help and guide us every step of the way after our accident.” – Cynthia Barrera
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