Animal Attack and Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog may be man’s best friend, but not all dogs subscribe to that old saying. Dog bites and animal attacks can happen in a few painful moments. They’re terrifying, and they can cause life-altering injuries and even death. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you need to contact a dog bite lawyer immediately. The Law Office of Joel A. Levine has been representing dog-bite victims for over six years in the central Texas area. Our Austin TX team is experienced in every phase of investigating animal attacks, and we’ll make sure your dog bite lawsuit is handled professionally and thoroughly, so you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that in 2012, some 4.5 million Americans were bitten by dogs. Fully half of them were children. Medical attention was required for 20 percent of those attacks. A dog attack attorney should be on your side any time a dog bite requires immediate medical treatment. A dog bite attorney can get you compensation for pain, suffering, loss of current income, loss of future income, loss of consortium and rehabilitation expenses.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, reconstructive surgery was required for 27,000 people who were bitten by dogs in 2012. Plastic surgery is expensive, and recovery requires a long absence from your job. A dog bite attorney will make sure to include any relevant plastic surgery expenses in the dog bite lawsuit. The law office of Joel A. Levine, Personal Injury Lawyer, will make certain that your rights are professionally represented.
Dog Bite Victims
The CDC says that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more likely to receive dog bites than adults. They also require medical treatment more frequently than adults. Adult men are more likely to be attacked than adult women. Dog owners with more than one dog in their home are five times more likely to be bitten than owners with only one dog.
A dog bite can happen in a variety of situations.
- The legs, feet, hands and arms were bitten 70 percent of the time.
- Male dogs were involved in 92 percent of all fatal dog attacks. Of those dogs, 94 percent were not neutered.
- Dogs on a chain were involved in almost 25 percent of fatal dog attacks.
- Most dog-bite victims knew the dog that attacked them.
- Some 60 percent of attacks occurred on or near the victim’s property.
Dog owners must take responsibility for their pets. They must be restrained at all times. Almost 60 percent of dog-bite fatalities were caused by unrestrained pets. The insurance industry pays over $1 billion every year for dog bite claims.
More than 350,000 victims of dog bites are treated at emergency rooms annually. Local clinics and primary care physicians handle 850,000 other victims. In the last few years, 30 to 35 people have died from injuries sustained in dog attacks.
To receive compensation for injuries sustained in a dog attack, you’ll need an aggressive dog bite lawyer. Only 15,000 to 16,000 sufferers of dog bites received a settlement from the responsible party’s homeowners insurance and rental insurance companies. An average insurance payoff is under $22,000. Insurance companies have a fleet of attorneys on hand to fight against your claim. Unless your attorney is experienced and willing to take the case to court, you could be one of the many who receive no settlement whatsoever.
Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)
Many communities have enacted breed-specific laws that prohibit some of the breeds that are more likely to attack, such as chows, pit bull terriers and Rottweilers. Dogs that have been used for fighting have a history of abuse that instilled a greater aggression in them. While BSL is a good first step, any dog can bite. BSL can create a black market for those banned dogs. Responsible breeding and training, in combination with effective law enforcement, is the best solution to the careless development of overly-aggressive dogs.
Don’t be a victim twice. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, contact Joel Levine. We’ll investigate the details of the case, the history of the owner and whether the dog has previously attacked anybody. We’ll fight for your right to just compensation to the fullest extent of the law. Experience in these cases counts, and Joel Levine has the experience and know-how to get the job done for you.
FAQ About Dog Bite Lawsuits
If there is a leash law in the area and a dog owner does not use a leash, are they liable if their dog bites someone?
Yes, the dog owner could be liable for any injuries their dog inflicts when not on a leash in an area where a leash law is in place. Leash laws are locally mandated, meaning that some cities may have them in place and others may not.
Is my neighbor liable if their dog bites me on my property and not theirs?
It depends on the circumstances. In the state of Texas there is a “one bite rule” stating that if a dog bites once, the owner is now on notice that their dog may be aggressive. They can be held liable if the dog bites again after the owner was made aware that it had bitten before.
Who is liable if a stray dog bites someone?
In most cases, no one can be held responsible for a bite from a stray dog because there is no owner. The only exception is if an animal shelter or pound negligently allows a stray dog to escape that results in a bite incident.
If someone is working on someone else’s property or in their home and the owner’s dog bites them, is the owner liable?
The owner is usually responsible if their dog bites a worker or contractor who has been invited into their home. The owner is expected to prevent their dog from biting or causing any harm and if they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
What happens to the dog if a bite or attack is reported?
Some people hesitate to report a dog bite or attack because they don’t want the dog to be put down. In the state of Texas the dog is not held responsible, the owner is. The dog may have to be restrained to prevent future injuries and in some cases may be removed from the owner’s care if aggressive behavior continues.
What should I do if I am bitten by a dog or other animal?
First, always seek medical attention. Then report the bite to local law enforcement. Keep a record of the medical care you receive. Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer in Austin, TX to file a lawsuit against the animal’s owner.
Are there certain dog breeds that are illegal to own in Texas?
Some states have put bans on certain dog breeds, however Texas has not. There are no particular types or breeds of dogs that are illegal to own as domestic pets. Cities, neighborhoods, and housing communities have no authority to ban breeds of dogs.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit?
A dog bite is considered a personal injury. In the state of Texas you have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the sooner you file the lawsuit, the better your chances of receiving compensation.
Helpful Tips for Personal Injury Cases:
Call 911 and provide all pertinent details regarding the accident.
Never leave the scene of the injury.
Always request a police report.
Take as many photos of the scene as possible.
Secure personal information from any witnesses.
Never sign any paperwork without an attorney present.
Obtain copies of all medical documents regarding your injuries.
Contact our office to begin an immediate investigation.
Animal Attack and Dog Bite Lawyer
In a busy city like Austin TX, motorists frequently share the road with bicycle riders. Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. You might also ride your bike to and from work. Some cyclists make a living as interoffice couriers or pedicab operators. Whatever your reason for riding, it's important for cyclists to obey traffic rules, watch out for errant drivers and make safe decisions. Bike accidents have the potential to cause severe and possibly fatal injuries. The risk of severe injuries in a bicycle accident is extremely high because riders have little or no physical protection aside from gloves and a helmet. Some of the most common injuries associated with these types of accidents are road rash, closed head injuries, brain damage, contusions, lacerations and broken bones.
Regardless of how severe the injuries are, the elements of proving a bicycle accident case are similar to any other auto accident. To recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost earnings, diminished earning capacity and other damages, your bicycle accident lawyer needs to prove that the motorist was negligent. This can be a complex process. First, a professional personal injury lawyer will gather the facts, document the accident scene and work with professionals to establish the conditions and situation that caused the collision. In a case like this, you might be fighting against a league of attorneys who work for the driver's insurance company and who will try to blame you. At the law office of Joel A. Levine, we have been handling bicycle and pedestrian accident cases since 2008. We are committed to recovering the fullest compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The statistics on bicycle collisions are shocking. In Texas alone, approximately 42 cyclists die each year after collisions with cars and trucks. Nearly three-quarters of cyclists are concerned about safety and accidents. However, motorists are often oblivious to the bicycles that are on the road with them. In Austin TX, the police department reports that the city experiences an average of 315 bike collisions annually, including some 280 with injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges that accidents involving bicycles are under-reported. It's estimated that only 10 percent of injury cases are ever reported by law enforcement. Nevertheless, statistics are grave.
- Intoxicated motorists are responsible for 40 percent of fatal bike accidents.
- About half of all reported bike accidents involve motorized vehicles.
- Approximately 75 percent of accidents occur at or near intersections.
- Most fatal bicycle collisions take place between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- One-fifth of fatal accidents occur between 8 p.m. and midnight.
- Cyclists accounts for 2 percent of all accident-related deaths.
Bicycle Accidents and Negligence
To determine responsibility in an accident case, your attorney will review the facts to establish whether the driver's negligence caused or contributed to the accident and subsequent injuries. The driver might be responsible if your attorney can prove that they cut into a designated bike lane, ran through a stop sign, were distracted or failed to observe a cyclist. Your bicycle accident lawyer can secure phone records to see if the driver was talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident. Violations related to speeding, drunk driving and traffic signals are extremely effective pieces of evidence when establishing the driver's negligence.
Occasionally, cyclists are responsible for accidents. When bicycling in Austin or anywhere in central Texas, cyclists are expected to follow state and city laws. City ordinances and sections of the Texas Transportation Code require bicycles to have functional reflectors and headlights. Under these laws, a bicycle is a vehicle. Therefore, all bicycles are required to follow traffic signals and obey all traffic laws. For example, bicycles are required to use the right-most lane or shoulder and ride in the direction of traffic. A violation of any state or city rule permits law enforcement officers to initiate a traffic stop. Tickets are issued for violations and can become part of the cyclist's permanent driving record. Frequent bicycle violations recorded by the Austin Police Department include missing reflectors, failing to use a headlight after dark, running red lights, failing to obey stop signs, cycling the wrong way on a one-way street and cycling on sidewalks in business districts.
Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident, you need effective representation from a qualified personal injury attorney. Injuries sustained in a bike accident can be severe and have long-lasting implications. In extreme circumstances, an accident lawsuit can become a wrongful death case if the cyclist dies due to their injuries.
At The Law Office of Joel A. Levine, we provide professional, competent representation and legal assistance to cyclists and other accident victims throughout central Texas. We offer free consultations and a contingency fee plan, so you don't have to pay anything unless we win your case. If you are unable to come to our office due to your injuries, our bicycle accident lawyer will come to you. Whether we provide legal advice or take your case to a jury trial, we aim to make the process clear, transparent and as easy as possible for you and your family. Call us today to take the first step toward recovering the compensation that you deserve after a bicycle accident injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of injuries can result from a bicycle accident?
You can sustain a lot of injuries if you are involved in a bicycle accident. You can be thrown from your bicycle, which can cause everything from cuts, scratches, abrasions and bruises to broken bones to severe head trauma. The extent of the injuries you sustain typically are influenced by what hit you, such as another bicyclist or a car, the speed at which you and the other vehicle were traveling, and whether you were wearing a helmet or any protective gear.
What should you do after a bicycle accident?
After a bicycle accident, you should exchange information with whoever hit you, such as another bicyclist or a driver. Be sure to get their full name, address, driver's license information and insurance information. Another step you will want to take is obtain the names, phone numbers and addresses of all the witnesses who may have witnessed the accident. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, showing anything that may have led to the accident, such as a driver running a red light or turning into a bike lane. Finally, obtain medical treatment. Bicycle accidents can cause internal injuries, so you should see a doctor if you feel pain.
Should I hire an attorney after a bicycle accident?
It is strongly recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney who has experience with bicycle accident cases after a bicycle accident occurs. Many insurance companies try to place fault on the bicyclist for the accident, trying to reduce or eliminate their insured party's responsibility in the accident. A lawyer can fight to show why the other party was at fault and why they should be responsible for your injuries. Additionally, an attorney can help you recover the maximum amount of money that you may be entitled to by properly valuing your case and fighting for the money you deserve.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit after a bicycle accident?
Each state has a different timeline in which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In the state of Texas, you generally have two years to bring a lawsuit against another party for damages and injuries you sustained following a bicycle accident. If you fail to bring a lawsuit against the party within this timeframe, the statute of limitations expires, and you can no longer bring a case against the other party. There are a few exceptions to this rule though, such as when a minor is involved, so it is best to talk to a lawyer about the specific timeframe for filing after your bicycle accident.
What damages can you expect from a bicycle accident?
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering what damages you can collect as an injured bicyclist. There are different damages that you may be able to collect, depending on the circumstances. The most common types of damages that one collects following a bicycle accident as lost wages, money for past, current and future medical expenses related to the injuries sustained in the accident, and money for pain and suffering.
Call us today at 512-982-1510 for a free consultation.