Many of us truly do count the furry and four-legged among our best friends, and most pet dogs bring much joy. There are dogs that do bring pain, however. Sometimes an overly protective or ill-trained dog attacks an innocent person, causing severe injury or death. It is estimated that 800,000 Americans are bitten or mauled by dogs every year, and many of these victims are young children. The aftermath of a serious dog attack usually includes medical bills, pain, and emotional trauma. A dog bite lawsuit, filed with the help of Austin attorneys Nick Reed and Michael Ely, can help victims navigate the legal system to help with healing and recovery. If you or a family member has been harmed by a dog, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ely & Reed for a free consultation.
Dog Bite Law
The state of Texas adheres to the “one bite rule” pertaining to civil action and dogs. It is grounds for a civil suit if the owner or keeper of an attacking dog is aware the animal previously bit someone or acted in an aggressive manner. Damages can also be awarded if negligence is established, i.e. if a dog handler neglects to exercise reasonable care in controlling a dog or preventing a bite from happening. In most cases, a dog in a public location is expected to be on a leash, and violation of this regulation can constitute negligent behavior.
When a Dog Attacks
A sudden attack by an aggressive, snarling dog is terrifying for adults, let alone children. Severe, disfiguring damage can be inflicted in a short time, requiring treatment for physical and psychological injuries. The long term effects can be devastating for the victim and whole family. In fact, the law in Texas recognizes a right to damages for the mental anguish experienced by a family member witnessing a severe dog attack.
Many dog bites occur on private property, such as at the home of a friend or acquaintance. In these cases, the victim or family may feel hesitant to pursue their right to reimbursement for losses. However, the damages in these situations are generally fully covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. In these cases, the lawsuit is aimed at the homeowner's insurance company, not the actual homeowner.
Legal Help That Makes a Difference
Insurance companies employ many tactics to keep their claim payouts as low as possible. Both Michael Ely and Nick Reed have worked on the defense side in the past, representing insurance companies in personal injury cases. Unlike most plaintiffs' attorneys, the attorneys at Ely & Reed know insurance strategies and how to avoid their traps. When you retain us to represent you, we take over as your advocates - and let you concentrate on healing yourself or your family.
Our experience as personal injury attorneys includes a track record of outstanding past results. We have been able to obtain many substantial settlements and jury awards for our plaintiffs. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is absolutely no charge to you unless we have won your case.