Beaumont Dog Bite Lawyers
Dogs are usually loving and family-friendly pets, but even the dogs we know best can be unpredictable in certain circumstances. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the dog is properly restrained and is not in a position to attack someone else without warning or provocation.
Oftentimes, victims of dog bites are reluctant to consider legal action against a dog owner because the owner is a friend, family member, or acquaintance. When in fact, these dog bites are likely to be covered by the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance company. However, such insurers are rarely willing to provide dog bite victims with the appropriate amount of compensation.
If you or your loved one suffered severe injuries because of a dog bite in the greater Beaumont area, seek legal representation right away. Do not discuss your incident with any insurance company until you have hired an experienced Beaumont dog bite attorney.
Portner Bond, PLLC helps dog bite victims navigate the complicated claims process and obtain all of the compensation they are entitled to. We can explore all of your legal options when you call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Need A Dog Bite Lawyer?
Some may consider dog bite cases as being minor disputes that are too trivial to bring to an attorney. Insurance companies are likely to encourage this line of thinking when they are attempting to get people to settle their cases for far less than they are actually worth.
The reality is that dog bite cases can be every bit as serious and can have life-altering consequences as other personal injury cases, and personal injury lawyers often handle many dog bite cases each year because the incidents are so common. When the insurance company extends an offer that you know will not cover all of the damages you have incurred because of your dog bite, you are right to want more.
Do not be surprised if an insurance company is willing to suggest that you actually did something that makes you responsible for the dog bite. An attorney will be able to prove that you were an innocent victim if an insurer attempts to take this route.
One of the most common insurance company tactics is to offer a lump sum settlement early on. People who accept these offers without hesitation often learn that what seemed like a sizable amount of money can disappear rather quickly. However, a skilled Beaumont dog bite lawyer will be able to help you secure an amount that lasts.
Why Choose Portner Bond, PLLC To Handle My Case?
Portner Bond, PLLC represents clients in Beaumont as well as such surrounding areas as Port Arthur, Houston, The Woodlands, Nederland, Humble, Texas City, Crystal Beach, Sugar Land, Jasper, Galveston, Vidor, Conroe, Bronson, Friendswood, Pasadena, Baytown, Groves, Port Neches, and Orange. We handle cases in Jefferson County, Galveston County, Jasper County, Fort Bend County, Hardin County, Orange County, Liberty County, Chambers County, and Tyler County.
Chris Portner is a member of Jefferson County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice as well as the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, to which fewer than 1% of attorneys in the United States are members. Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) recognized him in Texas Monthly as a rising star in 2007 and 2008.
Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a former director and the current vice president of the Jefferson County Bar Association.
Portner Bond, PLLC will work towards a settlement that covers every expense you have incurred or will incur. That said, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit if an insurance company is unwilling to provide an acceptable amount. Our firm handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only pay when you receive a financial award.
Types of Dog Bite Cases We Handle
Texas is a “one bite rule” state, meaning that, to recover compensation, the dog bite victim must show that the dog’s owner knew the dog had bitten someone in the past. Texas does not have a law that specifically covers liability for damages regarding dog bites. However, in 1974, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits “for damages caused by vicious animals should be governed by principles of strict liability.”
In this context, “strict liability” means that if the dog bite injury was caused by a “dangerous dog,” the injured person does not have to demonstrate that the owner also failed to restrain or control the dog. The dog bite victim will be able to recover damages by showing that the dog was known to be dangerous and caused the injury. Texas’s dog bite rule does not apply to trespassers.
Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.005 establishes that a person commits an offense when they are the owner of a dog and, with criminal negligence, fail to secure the dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person causing serious bodily injury or death. It is also an offense if a dog owner knows a dog is dangerous, and the dangerous dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person at a location other than a secure enclosure causing serious bodily injury or death.
A violation of Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.005 is a third-degree felony and an attack causing death is a second-degree felony. Types of injuries in dog bite cases may include, but are not limited to:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Neck injuries
- Eye injuries
DogsBite.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and public education website, reported that the following breeds were involved in fatal dog attacks on humans between January 2005 and March 2018:
- Pit Bull— 284 (65.6%)
- Rottweiler— 45 (10.4%)
- German Shepherd— 20 (4.6%)
- Mixed-Breed — 17 (3.9%)
- American Bulldog— 15 (3.5%)
- Mastiff/Bullmastiff— 14 (3.2%)
- Husky — 13 (3.0%)
- Labrador Retriever— 9 (2.1%)
- Boxer — 7 (1.6%)
- Doberman Pinscher— 6 (1.4%)
- Malamute— 4 (0.9%)
- Golden Retriever— 4 (0.9%)
- Heeler — 4 (0.9%)
- Cane Corso— 3 (0.7%)
- Chow Chow— 3 (0.7%)
- Wolf Hybrid — 3 (0.7%)
- Presa Canario— 2 (0.5%)
- Akita — 2 (0.5%)
- Australian Shepherd— 2 (0.5%)
- Belgian Malinois — 2 (0.5%)
DogsBite.org reported that there were another 20 different dog breeds that each inflicted one death. The bottom line is that any dog is capable of causing a serious bite injury, even dogs that are not believed to be vicious.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you likely have questions about what to do and where to turn. Below are a few questions our dog bite attorneys at Portner Bond, PLLC often hear from clients. We expect that you’ll find this information helpful. If you have more questions, please reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation concerning your dog bite case.
What should I do after a dog bite?
Always make sure you seek medical attention for any dog bite, even when you do not think it was particularly serious. You not only want to prevent possible infection, but you also want to be able to demonstrate that your injuries were immediately treated and properly cared for. If you are able, take pictures of the dog that bit you. When you do not know the dog owner, ask them for their name and phone number. Do not be afraid to ask for a driver’s license so you can confirm that you are being given honest information. Contact an attorney before you speak to any insurance company.
How long do I have to file a dog bite lawsuit in Texas?
In Texas, a person has two years to file an action for injuries relating to a dog bite. When a victim was a minor, they will be considered “under a legal disability,” which means the time of their disability is not included in their limitations period and they will have two years to file after they turn 18 years of age.
Do I have legal recourse if I am bitten by a stray dog?
Stray dog cases can be much more difficult to determine liability, as governmental entities are typically not responsible for these animals. If a stray dog escaped from a local kennel or pound, however, those entities could be liable. Try to take photos of the dog that bit you.
Contact a Beaumont Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed as the result of a dog bite in Jefferson County, be sure to seek legal counsel right away. You will benefit from working with an experienced Texas dog bite lawyer who can help you recover all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Portner Bond, PLLC will fight to help you get justice and make sure that the dog’s owner or their homeowners’ insurance policy pays you the compensation you need to pay your medical expenses and other damages. Call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.