In today’s episode, McAllen attorney, Ryan Solis, (a.k.a. Captain Rescue) must use his wits to help an innocent victim get the compensation they need to cover expensive medical costs after a vicious dog bite.
Captain Rescue can no longer sit by as predatory institutions and insurance companies take advantage of the people harmed by man’s – sometimes misguided – best friend.
At his desk in the Law Office of Ryan C. Solis, our personal injury lawyer in McAllen is hard at work gathering information regarding these types of cases so that future clients are better prepared to fight off the onslaught of bad faith insurance claims adjusters and negligent property owners looking to undervalue — or outright deny — what is rightfully owed to them.
What Determines a Dog Bite’s Severity?
While even a minor nip may leave the strongest of superheroes traumatized, severe dog bites are often life-changing. Several categories defined by veterinarians exist to determine how much suffering a victim is going through in order to gauge the amount of recovery an individual can secure through a personal injury claim.
The levels of severity are as follows:
- Pre-Bite – This occurs when a dog bites the air as a warning. No contact with human skin occurs in a pre-bite, but this behavior does signal to the dog owner that behavioral treatment should be sought before they put other guests/people at risk.
- Near Bite – During a near bite, the dog’s teeth make contact with a human’s skin but doesn’t puncture it. This is another serious warning that a dog will make if it feels threatened, and in certain states, it is required that a veterinarian reports this incident to animal control.
- Shallow Puncture – This type of bite is painful for the victim. The dog’s teeth sink just into the first few layers of skin, and the risk of bacterial infection and rabies is high. By law, dog owners and veterinarians are required to report the incident to animal control. After this type of incident, the dog will become a significant liability for the dog owner.
- Multiple Shallow Punctures – Same as before, just more shallow punctures inflicted upon the first few layers of skin.
- Deep Puncture – Like shallow punctures, there are two types of deep punctures: single and multiple. These types of bites often require surgery — even multiple surgeries — to treat the victim, and risk of infection or rabies is heightened.
- Death – This is the highest, most severe kind of dog bite there is. In this incident, a dog killed the victim and/or consumed his or her flesh.
Keep in mind that anything other than a pre-bite would be a good idea to get checked out by your local hospital. There, your doctor can mend any wounds and treat any infections while documenting what injury you sustained, what treatment you were given, and how much it all cost. This will prove valuable if you decide to file a personal injury claim in the future.
What Are the Texas Laws on Dog Bites?
In Texas, there are some general standards by which a claim can be made against the owner of a dog who bit an individual. Like in other personal injury claims, you may file a claim against the owner of the dog if it can be proven that the owner acted negligently and failed to use ordinary care to protect you from suffering injuries. This basically means that the dog owner failed to use reasonable (common) sense to avoid the accident.
For instance, if the owner of the dog failed to properly restrain their aggressive dog in a crowded public park, and the dog bites someones, the owner failed to provide a duty of care to the injured party.
Under Texas law, a dangerous dog is considered to be:
- One that has already shown signs of aggression (bitten or scratched) someone on three occasions.
- One that has caused an injury to an individual and has been noted by the authority on at least one instance.
- One that has killed another animal and which has been noted by a veterinarian to the proper authorities.
Depending on the city/jurisdiction where your dog bite incident took place, you may be able to file a claim if the owner failed to have their dog restrained (i.e. on a leash) when the animal attacked you.
What You Can Win in a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Because dog bites often require multiple surgeries to correct, medical expenses can get pretty steep. When they begin to pile up, victims of dog bites can feel lost, overwhelmed, or unheard. Captain Rescue, however, hears their cries and fights negligent dog owners, greedy claims adjusters, and the civil court itself to get you the money you need to recover.
His specific set of legal skills have helped those in need get the money they need to cover:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Property Damage (i.e. only related to the incident)
Aside from these expenses, a victim of a dog bite can sue a dog owner that was overly negligent for punitive damages as a punishment. Don’t hesitate for long, however. In the State of Texas, dog bites have a two (2) year time period from when the injury happened to file a personal injury claim against the party liable for the dog bite injuries you have suffered.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Some homeowners and rental insurance policies may cover dog bites, with the amount of money you may receive reaching up to $100,000 to even $300,000. Any amount after that must be covered by the dog owner.
However, some homeowners and rental insurance companies will not offer coverage if the breed of dog is considered aggressive or that particular dog was deemed dangerous. If a dog does lash out, it may continue to be a risk that can cause a drop of coverage or increase premiums.
Insurance companies, however, are notorious for making up excuses to slash down or deny your personal injury claim, possibly even using the above as an excuse. That’s why you need an experienced dog bite injury attorney like Ryan C. Solis to fight for the money you deserve.
At the Law Office of Ryan C. Solis, we will get you the money! Contact our McAllen personal injury lawyer at (956) 686-9600 for your FREE consultation today.