Posted On November 13, 2017 In Personal Injury
In 2014, KFC was accused of asking the family of a disfigured 3-year-old girl to leave the restaurant. Three months prior to this incident, the girl had been attacked by three Pit Bulls while visiting her grandfather. Although the girl survived the attack, she lost sight in one eye and can no longer move the right side of her face. Her parents described how she could no longer look at herself in the mirror and did not want to be seen in public. This story is an example of how dog attacks can leave victims physically and emotionally scarred.
Dog attacks are common in the US. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 800,000 people in the US receive medical attention for dog bites each year. Statistics published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that during 2015, more than 28,000 people in the US required reconstructive surgery after being attacked by dogs. Children are more likely to suffer severe injuries, such as disfigurement, after an attack.
Even minor dog bites can cause severe health complications. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) statistics published in 2015 show that there is an average of 4.5 million dog bites in the US each year. Roughly one in five of these bites become infected. Although many of these bites result in minor infections, some bites transmit MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). MRSA infections are more difficult to treat because this type of bacteria is resistant to antibiotics.
Attacks can also be fatal. Some organizations, such as Dogbites.org, keep a running tally of the yearly deaths caused by dog attacks.
Dog owners may be liable for injuries or deaths caused by their pets. It would depend on the circumstances.
In Texas, a dog owner may be liable for an attack if he or she knew the dog was dangerous and it attacks someone. For example, the owner may have been aware that the dog had a history of aggressive tendencies. The owner may also be liable if they do not properly restrain the dog and it attacks someone. In these cases, it may be possible for victims or their family members to file lawsuits for damages.
The type of breed is an important factor for determining damages during a dog bite lawsuit. Although there are certainly many Pit Bull fans in the US, these dogs are more physically capable of causing significant harm to a person than smaller dogs, such as a Pomeranian.
If you or a loved one were attacked, then an attorney could help determine whether the owner is liable. There are nuances to dog bite statutes in Texas, so it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Damages from a dog bite lawsuit could help pay for medical bills, reconstructive surgery or funeral expenses. Pain and suffering damages, also called noneconomic damages, may be included in cases that involve disfigurement or psychological trauma.
If you or a loved one were attacked by a dog, the Texas personal injury lawyers at Mike Love & Associates, LLC can investigate your eligibility for filing a lawsuit.