One of the first major animal attacks of the year occurred at a North Side grade school.
A pit bull and Chihuahua found a gap in a newly-erected fence and entered the school yard while children were at recess. The dogs went on a rampage, biting three children and scratching another one. According to a district spokesperson, some of the children were “walking up and down playing with the dogs on the other side of the fence,” and subsequently “the dogs came into the playground.” Animal Care Services picked up the dogs, and placed them into quarantine.
At least one victim’s family filed a case with ACS. School officials say that the fence was immediately repaired.
Every day, 1,000 people are hospitalized following animal attacks. The medical bills associated with these stays are significantly higher than other injury-related stays, mostly due to the age of the victims and the serious nature of the injuries. Most dog bite victims are children, and they suffer injuries such as:
Deep puncture wounds: Many dogs lock their jaws onto their victims, piercing skin, blood vessels and internal organs.
Scars: Other dogs literally tear at the flesh of their victims, leading to lacerations that may require skin grafts.
Broken bones: Even medium-sized dogs may outweigh small children, and when they knock down their victims, they may shatter small bones.
Damages in an animal attack case normally include compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses. The dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance provider is normally responsible for paying these damages.
Texas does not have a “dog bite law” like most other jurisdictions, so there are several theories of recovery available to injured victims. Two of them include:
Negligence: Texas has a one-bite rule, meaning that plaintiffs cannot recover damages unless they can prove scienter, which is basically knowledge that the animal was dangerous.
Negligence Per Se: Most cities have very strict leash laws, and violation of such a law can be a basis for recovery.
The insurance company nearly always argues that the victim provoked the animal into attacking. Proving otherwise can be difficult, but can be done with the help of a qualified lawyer.
For prompt assistance with a dog bite claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in New Braunfels. You have a limited amount of time to act.