A dog can be a loving companion and true best friend, but the fact remains that dogs are animals, with deeply ingrained instincts and motives we cannot always understand or anticipate. When “man’s best friend” becomes a snarling beast and attacks, it’s a terrifying and painful experience, often leaving deep physical and emotional wounds. While nothing can erase the injuries or the traumatic experience of a dog attack, a dog bite lawyer in Austin can help dog bite victims recover their financial losses, achieve a sense of justice, and begin their physical and emotional healing.
Call the Austin dog bite attorneys at Shaw Cowart, LLP today so we can begin a compelling strategy for your Texas dog bite claim.
Why Choose Us for Your Dog Bite Lawyers in Austin?
The dog bite attorneys at Shaw Cowart understand the physical and emotional trauma of a dog attack. We have deep compassion for those who’ve experienced this type of terror. With over 60 years of combined trial experience in Austin and a history of success in navigating dog bite claims for our injured clients, our law firm is uniquely prepared to represent your rights and best interests. Your Austin personal injury attorney from Shaw Cowart, LLP will do the following in your dog bite claim:
- Offer a free case consultation and no attorney fees until we secure your compensation
- Work closely with you and your family so we can witness the impact of the injuries on your life
- Investigate all aspects of the dog attack that led to your bite injuries to prove the owner’s liability
- Document evidence of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other impacts on your life—known as your “damages” in a Texas dog bite claim
- Draft a compelling demand letter to the insurer of the liable dog owner
- Engage in powerful, evidence-backed negotiations for a settlement
- Take your case to court if the insurance company of the liable dog owner fails to offer an ample settlement for your damages
The attorneys at Shaw Cowart, LLP have earned a positive national reputation as well as a statewide track record of success in both personal injury claims and civil litigation. We offer large law firm results with a small firm’s close relationships with every client. Let our name become a powerful force behind your dog bite case in Austin.
Pet-Owner Liability for Dog Bites in Texas
Some states have strict liability laws that leave a dog owner responsible for their pet’s actions from the moment they take ownership. In Texas, no such strict liability law for pet owners exists. However, this does not mean you cannot hold a dog owner accountable for their pet’s actions. A dog’s owner may be liable under two specific circumstances:
- Dog owners may be liable for the victim’s damages under the state’s “one-bite rule.” Like a handful of other states that consider a pet’s previous history when determining pet owner liability, Texas courts find that a dog owner is liable for damages if the dog has bitten a person before or has a history of aggressive behavior. If a dog has bitten previously, the owner is aware that their dog is a safety hazard to others and must take precautions to prevent their dog from biting and causing injury
- Pet owners may also be liable for damages if their actions were negligent. For example, even if a dog has never previously bitten or shown aggression, if an owner allows their dog to wander freely without a leash and the dog bites someone in a public area, the owner is liable for damages
In dog bite injury claims, compensation for a bite victim’s damages typically comes from the owner’s property liability insurance.
If you aren’t sure how pet owner liability applies in your dog bite case in Austin, the Texas dog bite attorneys at Shaw Cowart are ready to investigate all aspects of your injury to determine how owner liability might apply in your case.
Common Injuries in Dog Bites
Dogs have sharp teeth with jagged edges that work like serrated blades to tear meat apart. When dogs bite humans, the injuries can range widely in severity level from bruises and abrasions, to puncture wounds, and to severe trauma to skin, muscle, and bone. The severity of the victim’s injuries depends on the size and strength of the dog, whether or not the victim was knocked to the ground, and how long the attack lasted. Common injuries in Austin dog bite claims include the following:
- Soft tissue damage
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Scalp injuries
- Loss of fingers, toes, hands, or feet
Dog bites can leave substantial scarring, disfigurement, and sometimes the loss of fingers, feet, hands, or limbs. Bites are also prone to serious infections that require ongoing medical treatment. In the event or a death, please reach out to an Austin wrongful death attorney today.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Dog Bite Claim?
Because dog bites can leave injuries in a range of severity levels, the victim’s damages may include some or all of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses for ongoing care such as treatment for infection or rabies, corrective surgery, and rehabilitation
- Lost income
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement compensation
- Compensation for loss of limb or body part
- Emotional trauma, PTSD, anxiety or depression
Compensation for emotional trauma is common after a terrifying dog attack. Victims often require counseling and sometimes medication to help dog bite victims overcome trauma.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries due to a dog attack, the wrongful death attorneys at Shaw Cowart, LLP are ready to help.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Austin
If you’ve been very seriously injured in a dog attack, you may be able to do little other than wait for emergency services and animal control to arrive. However, if you can use your phone or allow a friend or bystander to use it for you, the phone becomes a tool for documenting important evidence. Use your phone’s camera and other features to do the following:
- First, call 911 and request an ambulance and animal control services unless someone else has already called
- Use your phone’s camera to photograph the dog if possible
- Take photos of anything relevant to the attack such as a broken leash or open gate
- Take photos of your visible injuries
- Add the contact information of the dog’s owner if they are present
- Add the contact information of eyewitnesses
Always go to a hospital immediately after a dog attack. Ask for a thorough evaluation of every injury and a detailed medical report listing your wounds and your doctor’s treatment recommendations, including treatments for rabies protection, infection, and reconstruction.
Call the Austin dog bite attorneys at Shaw Cowart, LLP for a consultation before speaking to the dog’s owner or insurance company representatives.
Call or Contact Shaw Cowart, LLP Today About Your Austin Dog Bite Claim for Compensation
If you were injured because a dog’s owner failed to take reasonable precautions to keep their pet from biting, you shouldn’t be left responsible for the economic damages. You also shouldn’t have to deal with the emotional damages alone or worry about the complexities of a legal claim without counsel. Reach out to our Austin law office today so we can begin working on your financial recovery while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.