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A Dog Bite Attorney Who Will Protect Your Rights
If you or your child has been bitten or attacked by a dog, you should immediately begin taking steps to help secure a compensation that will pay for the medical attention you need.
It’s important to never assume that even minor injuries do not require attention. As your dog bite lawyer, Humberto Enriquez will help secure a settlement that covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, and damages caused by the attack. The Enriquez Law Firm protects victims of dog bites in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, NM, who require legal assistance following a traumatic experience.
Texas and New Mexico Laws Regarding Dog Bites
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code (section 822.005), a dog’s owner can be charged with a felony if the owner fails to secure the dog and the dog attacks someone unprovoked at a location away from the owner’s real or personal property. Additionally, the owner of the dog can be charged if the owner knew the dog was dangerous and the dog attacked someone unprovoked outside its own secure enclosure. If either of these situations causes serious bodily injury or death, the dog owner is at fault.
In New Mexico, according to the uniform jury instruction (UJI 13-506), an owner of a dog is liable for damages caused by the dog if the owner knew, or should have known, that the dog was vicious in nature. However, the dog owner is not liable to the person injured if the injured person had knowledge of the dog’s behavior and purposely excited it or put him or herself in the way of the dog.
Texas and New Mexico See Dog Bite Accidents on a Daily Basis
In the U.S., the average cost of a dog bite-related inpatient stay was $18,200. That is roughly 50 percent higher than the cost of the average injury-related hospitalization. According to the CDC, 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. every year, and 900,000 of those bites become infected.
Texas is one of the nation’s leading states when it comes to dog bites. In 2016, the lone star state ranked number two for the nation’s highest number of fatalities from dog-related attacks. Pit Bulls have been responsible for most dog bite deaths, however, German Shepherds greatly contributed to the high number of attacks. Other dogs that are often mentioned as high-risk include Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and American Bulldogs. While there is a commonality of these breeds when it comes to attacks, it’s important to recognize that any type of dog, big or small, may cause bodily damage. In New Mexico, the state declared Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds as potentially dangerous, given their history of attacks.
Injuries May Range From Permanent Scars to Severe Skin Damage
Victims of dog bites, especially young victims, may experience fractures or nerve damage caused by the grip of a dog’s sharp teeth. Since dogs often hold on to the skin, they tend to tear through the first layer of skin and reach the bone. In 2015, hospitals performed more than 28,000 reconstructive surgery procedures because of dog bites. The severity of attacks, as well as the medical costs, are not to be taken lightly.
A dog bite or attack may result in one or more of the following injuries:
- Fractured bones
- Infections such as Rabies or Cellulitis
- Tissue loss
Common places where dog bites or attacks take place:
- Parks or public sporting places
- Outdoor restaurants
- In residential areas or outside the owner’s property
Critical Steps for Your Health and Safety Following a Dog Bite
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog, you should seek medical attention right away. Prior to leaving the scene, you should gather the owner of the dog’s information, including their full name, phone number, and address. You’ll also want to collect information from any witnesses. After you’ve seen a doctor, you should file a complaint with animal control services. Doing so will ensure that the owner takes necessary steps to keep their dog out of harm’s way and ultimately help prevent future attacks. Next, give our law firm a call. As your dog bite attorney, Mr. Enriquez will help you secure the funds necessary to treat your injury.