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Dog or Animal Bites Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog

AVMA Offers Advice for Preventing Dog Bites

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on October 13, 2014

A dog bite is among the most emotionally traumatic injuries a person can face. Although dog bites are rarely fatal, they can cause severe pain and scarring. Worse, a dog bite attack quickly turns “man’s best friend” into a source of fear and terror – a situation that, especially for young children, can cause anxiety for years after the actual injury.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides a number of tips for families who are seeking to protect themselves from ever having to experience the pain and fear of a dog bite. The vast majority of those who suffer dog bite injuries every year are children. By following a few simple, common-sense steps, you can help protect the kids and adults you care about from these injuries.

  • Remember that any dog can bite. Even very sweet-tempered dogs may bite if provoked. Learning “good manners” around dogs can help reduce provocation and thus reduce the chances of a bite. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

Top Tips for Preventing Dog Bite Injuries

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on August 21, 2014

Texas Dog AttackDog bite injuries afflict 4.5 million Americans each year. Approximately 800,000 of these injured people need medical treatment for the bites. The overwhelming majority of dog bite injury victims are young children under 5. Although dog bites rarely cause death, they often inflict severe pain and create a fear of dogs that can linger for years – sometimes, for a child’s entire life. Consequently, experienced Texas dog bite injury lawyers are dedicated to helping families live safely with man’s best friend. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

What to do if your pet cat or dog bites you

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on May 20, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of animal bites occur every year – with dogs taking the top of the list. In every 10 bites, 7 are caused by the owner’s own pet or by one that they know. Unfortunately, most of the cases involve children under the age of 5. This article discusses the things that you need to take note of if you or a loved one has been bitten. Nevertheless, it is still best advised that you bring the wound to medical professionals to be thoroughly examined and taken care of.

Clean the wound

No matter how small or big the bite is, the first thing you need to do is to clean it. Animal mouths contain numerous types of germs and bacteria, and cleaning the wound reduces the chances of getting an infection. If the wound is rather small, clean it by running tap water near the wound so it washes any germs off. There have been some concerns that antiseptics damage skin tissue and therefore adversely impact healing. If the wound bleeds, you can also use a clean pad or dressing to help stop the bleeding after it has been cleaned. This helps apply pressure to alleviate the bleeding until you are seen by a doctor or a nurse. If the wound is deep, punctured and dirty, it is best to immediately seek medical attention.

Seek for medical help

Medical professionals can provide the care and attention that the wound needs to prevent it from worsening and causing other adverse reactions. The doctor or nurse may need to remove or trim part of the skin that has been damaged, as this is prone to develop infections.

Furthermore, there are wounds that may require surgery or operation to repair – especially if the wound is deep it reaches the cartilages and tendons.  dogcatferret

Doctors can also prescribe the proper medication to help with the wound. They can suggest antibiotics to counteract any potential infection that can be contracted with the wound. This is especially helpful if you have a low resistance to infection.

Doctors and medical professionals can also administer tetanus shots to further protect against infection. Tetanus can be deadly if left untreated, and so getting a shot of the vaccine can be very beneficial.

Animal bites are also known to cause rabies, especially if the animal is not vaccinated. This is another deadly effect of being bitten by an animal, as the effects only show up when it is too late to reverse and treat. As such, having your wound examined by a medical professional will help early detection and possibly, treat it before it worsens. Rabies can be contracted no matter how small the wound is – so it is important to not neglect and ignore animal bites no matter how light they seem.

One of the complications of animal bites is an infection of the wound. If you notice that the skin around the wound becomes swollen, tender and becomes more painful, see a doctor immediately to have it remedied.

Contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson if you or a loved one have been victims of animal bites of negligent pet owners.

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

The Yellow Dog Project Raises Awareness

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 29, 2014

angry-bull-mastiff-hanging-out-window-wt-johnsonIn America, most dogs are loved like family members. They live in our homes, ride in our cars, and play in the parks, along with their two-legged family members. Most people are happy to see a furry pet, and all too often rush over to welcome the animal, without thinking of the animal’s needs, desires, or fears.

Yellow Dog Project

The “Yellow Dog Project” is a way to alert humans that they have a reason to take extra caution and should be careful around a particular dog. The idea is to use a yellow ribbon on a dog’s collar or leash to identify it as a dog that might be unpredictable and to keep your distance. It does not signify the dog is mean, only to be cautious. This caution should also extend to other peoples’ dogs, as well. The yellow might mean a host of things, including:

  • The dog just had surgery or is on medication.
  • The dog is new to the family and untested.
  • The dog is old, blind, or deaf.
  • The dog does not belong to the person walking it.
  • The dog is in training and needs to stay focused.

It is a great idea to use it as a tool and to teach children to respect the meaning of the yellow ribbon. It will also help them understand that dogs are not playthings, they have feelings, and in some cases responsibilities.

Yellow Dogs Are Not A Duty To Warn

Anyone who owns a dog is subject to strict liability if the dog bites. This means the owner of the dog is liable even if the owner does everything in their power to keep a person from being injured by the dog. The yellow ribbon is not intended to reduce liability; it is intended to hopefully reduce the possibility of injury by putting the humans on notice to be careful.

The yellow ribbon does not mean that the owner knows or should have known that the dog has a propensity to bite. The yellow ribbon has little to do with the dog, it is a sign for humans to be cautious or leave the dog alone.

What To Do If A Dog Bites

Dog bites can be costly and can result in the loss of a dear family member or friend. It is a situation better to be avoided. However, dog bites happen many times without cause or warning. When a dog bites, it is important to seek medical attention. Dogs can carry diseases, such as rabies.
The bite should be reported to the police or animal control. In some cases, the doctor is required to report the dog bite themselves. Either way, the authorities need to be aware the dog has bitten so they can take the necessary steps to ensure the dog is safe. Generally, after a dog bite, there is a period of time when the dog needs to be quarantined, either in its home or at a shelter.

Contact an attorney experienced with dog bite cases. The victim has the right to be compensated for their injury.

Call The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today for a free consultation.

One bite too deep

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 24, 2014

As the old saying goes, “A dog is a man’s best friend.”  While canines can make wonderful pets (when they’re well trained and appropriately behaved) they can still cause potentially serious injuries if they attack an innocent bystander. Approximately 5 million dog bites occur in the United States annually; unfortunately, many of them consequently end in serious injuries or even death, especially when young children are concerned. Each year, more than 800,000 animal bites require medical care, and 82 percent of dog bites treated in an emergency room involve children under the age of 15. The problem is, animal bites aren’t only physically traumatizing by causing infection, scars, or disfigurement, but they can also be emotionally detrimental. It’s quite common for an animal bite victim to suffer from anxiety long after the incident has occurred. It is due to this, that The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson take these personal injury claims very seriously. Our dog bite lawyers have seen first hand the lasting damage animal attacks leave.4 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

Liability

 

In Texas, pet owners are liable in these particular cases:

  • Owner intentionally instigates attack

  • Negligence in handling or controlling animal

  • Leash law violations

  • A history of attacks

 

Compensation

 

There are a few circumstances in which texas law allows compensation for animal bites:

 

1) Medical treatment- The person responsible for an injury to another due to a dog bite may be liable for medical expenses that include:

– hospitalization

– emergency room care

– surgery

– following doctor visits

-medical treatments from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor to treat emotional damage.

 

2) Disfigurement-Dog bites can cause permanent physical damage also known as “disfigurement”. A victim of a dog bite may be able to recover money damages for this type of injury. The amount of money depends on the extent of the physical scarring.

 

3) Physical impairment-A severe dog bite wound can result in physical impairment that keeps a person from being able to perform specific tasks. As with disfigurement, the compensation for physical impairment depends on the severity of the impairment.

 

4) Loss of wages-Someone who is unable to work or run their business due to a dog bite can recover lost wages and/or lost profits. Lost wages refer to the amount of money a person lost because he/she was unable to work due to a dog bite injury. If a person wishes to prove that he/she lost profits due to a dog bite injury, they must do so with reasonable certainty.

 

5) Mental or emotional distress-A person who suffers from a dog bite injury is likely to suffer from mental or emotional distress. This refers to the mental pain and suffering they experienced as a result of a dog attack.

 

6) Death-The “wrongful death” statute provides a claim for certain people as a result of the death of a relative due to an animal attack.

Contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson

The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson has over 26 years of experience in personal injury claims in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As experienced Dallas animal bite lawyers, we’ve seen the pain and suffering that often accompanies an animal bite and will work hard to ensure that those who are responsible are held accountable. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve; Call (214) 231-0544 today for a free evaluation of your claim, or use our contact form to reach us online.

Dog and Animal Bites

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on December 13, 2013

angry-bull-mastiff-hanging-out-window-wt-johnsonFor every awesome, responsible dog owner, there are people who are unfit to train and raise dogs. I believe that human interaction and training is the main cause of a dog or pet acting out violently. Unfortunately, when these dog owners instill a status quo of aggression within an animal, it can affect others in negative ways. Often times, unsuspecting people or children are preyed upon by the ill raised dogs. If you get attacked by a dog there are techniques that you can do to prevent, or lessen the damage of a dog attack. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind for when you’re walking in the park and a dog begins to attack you. Also, once the attack has taken place there are certain measures that should be taken to treat the wound. Below I cover various things that should be done after an attack. Finally, if you feel that you’d like to take legal action because the dog bite has affected you in a serious way, listed below are various legal grounds that can be stood upon by a prosecuting attorney in the case of a dog or animal attack.

What to Do if You’re Attacked

Stay Calm

Most importantly, keep calm and don’t panic. If you panic, you’ll make mistakes and be more prone to serious injury. Dogs are better at reading emotions than humans realize. If you are scared, the dog will know and will be more prone to exploiting your fear with aggression.

Stand Your Ground

Keeping the last tip in mind, look confident and stand your ground. This will help you have a more “alpha” appearance. The dog will pick up on this, but be convincing! If this doesn’t work and the dog lunges at you, you need to fight back. Fight back by using your weight as an advantage. Dropping all your weight on your knee or elbow to the dogs vitals will really let them know that you mean business. Do not run, you will lose in a foot race. If you’re taken down at a full sprint, you will not only be bitten, but you’ll also sustain injuries from the fall.

Protect Vital Areas

If the dog gets a hold of you, be sure to protect your face, neck and chest. If bitten or mauled in any of these areas, the potential for severe damage is very high.

Seek Proper First Aid Afterwards

After you’ve hopefully escaped the attack, make sure that you clean and dress the wounds properly. If severe injury was sustained, call an ambulance immediately. Once you are stabilized, be sure to report the attack to the proper authorities. If the dog has an owner, the attack was their fault due to a multitude of possible reasons.

How to Treat a Dog Attack Wound

If you’ve just been attacked by a dog and you have an open wound, you may have quite a few minutes before an ambulance shows up to administer first aid. If you have severe bleeding as a result, make sure to use the cleanest article of clothing you have to apply pressure to the wound. If it bleeds through, don’t remove the bandage, just keep adding more and more wrapping until the bleeding begins to slows down.

Sources of Compensation for Dog/Animal Bites

Medical Treatment

The dog’s owner or the person who was handling the dog may be liable for the medical expenses that you’ve accrued from injuries from the dog attack. These expenses include:

  • hospitalization
  • emergency room care
  • surgery
  • follow-up doctor visits pertaining to the bite injury

Also, due to the emotional damage one could hypothetically sustain due to an animal attack, the animal’s owner could also be liable for psychiatrist, therapist or mental counselor bills.

Disfigurement

If your body is altered severely from the attack, then due compensation may be an option. Disfigurement includes extreme scarring and loss of limb or use of a body part. Based on the extent of the damage, the owner of the dog could be responsible for disfigurement compensation.

Physical Impairment

If the injury sustained from the attack has caused you to lose motor function or dexterity, causing you to have a lot of difficulty performing routine tasks, you may be owed compensation. Similarly to disfigurement, physical impairment compensation from the attack will be based on the severity of your limited movements and independence.

Lost Wages

If you work or own your business and the injuries you’ve sustained are preventing you from returning to work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or profits. Only if the victim is completely certain that they have to miss work, they are entitled to compensation. Jobs that require free movement and athleticism are most likely to be covered, such as construction work or law enforcement.

Mental or Emotional Stress

Like stated above in the “medical treatment” section, a victim of a dog or animal attack is likely to sustain emotional or mental injuries as well. It isn’t uncommon for a victim to stress out over the continuing anxieties that manifest after a traumatic event. If you are experiencing mental suffering from an attack, you’re entitled to compensation.

Loss of Consortium, Society and/or Loss of Household Services

If you are closely related or married to a victim of a dog or animal attack, you may be entitled to compensation due to loss of consortium or loss of society. Loss of consortium is the damages sustained when a relationship between a husband and wife are damaged; Loss of society is the damages sustained when a relationship between a parent and child are damaged. Lastly, loss of household services is the help around the house that has been lost or limited due to a member of the houses dog attack injuries. Depending on weather or not the attack resulted in death or disablement, these losses may or may not be recovered.

Death

This one speaks for itself really. Wrongful death entitles monetary recoveries to the family of the victim due to irreplaceable loss of human life.

Dogs make great, lovable pets with the right upbringing and training, but due to bad dog owners, aggressive dogs are inadvertently produced. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries from a dog or animal attack, please do not hesitate to contact the professionals at W.T. Johnson to fight for your future. They’ll work their hardest to see to it that justice is served!

Manchester, England Dog Owner Admits to Animal Cruelty Resulting in Wrongful Death

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on October 1, 2013

angry-bull-mastiff-hanging-out-window-wt-johnsonEarlier this year, 14 year-old, Jade Lomas-Anderson was visiting a friend in Manchester, England when the unthinkable happened. Two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers attacked, and mauled young Jade to death. A call to authorities reported out of control canines and an unconscious girl. However, when the police arrived it was too late for Jade, she had already expired by the time help arrived. Upon arrival, police shot the four vicious, violent dogs, too late to prevent the wrongful death.

The attack happened months before, but the hearing took place today. Beverly Concannon, the owner of the four dogs, admitted that she provided an unsafe environment for raising dogs. The unfit care she provided resulted in their vicious pack mentality, resulting in the untimely death of a young girl. The judge showed mercy by dropping the proposed charges of manslaughter, Concannon was only charged with animal cruelty. Her charges were reduced in severity due to Concannon being of good character prior to the incident. Her sentencing hearing hasn’t taken place yet, but animal cruelty permits a maximum 6 month prison sentence, a fine, and she could be banned from keeping animals for a year. Jade’s family did not attend the hearing, but due to Jade’s fate, they are heading a campaign against unsuitable animal ownership. They’d like to prevent any other families from going through a similar situation.

Wrongful deaths due to animal cruelty can happen anywhere, abroad or at home. Such sad, untimely situations demand proper compensation. Why should you be held accountable for another’s lack of responsibility? If you or a loved one was wrongfully injured or killed due to a dog attack, please contact W.T. Johnson for immediate legal consultation.

4 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on August 28, 2013

4 Most Dangerous Dog BreedsWhen walking around your neighborhood you might see dogs that appear friendly, but they might be more aggressive than you think. Dog bites and dog attacks in Texas happen more often than you would expect. It’s important to know which dog breeds are the most dangerous, so you can keep your loved ones safe from dog bites:

  • Pit bulls: Pit bulls are the most dangerous dog in America. During 2012, there were 38 fatal dog bites in America, and pit bulls contributed to 61 percent of these dog bite related deaths. Pit bulls are more likely to attack due to their selective breeding for dogfighting. Unlike other dog breeds, pit bulls frequently fail to communicate their intention prior to a dog attack.
  • Rottweilers: Rottweilers have caused the second most dog bite fatalities in America. From 2005 to 2012, rottweilers killed 32 people, about one person every 91 days. Their temperament is usually passive and attentive, but are prone to aggressive outbursts.
  • German Shepherds: German Shepherds have high intelligence and are aggressive, which makes them a good guard and police dogs. But these traits also mean they are the third most dangerous dog breed.
  • Wolf Hybrids: Many U.S. states regulate the breeding and ownership of wolf hybrids, which result from the mating of a wolf and a dog, because this crossbreed has such a deadly track record. Wolf hybrids accounted for 19 dog-bite related deaths between 1982 and 2012.

If you or a loved one were a victim of a dog bite or dog attack in Texas, you are entitled to justice and compensation for your emotional and physical trauma. Contact the experienced Texas dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

What To Do If A Dog Bites You

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on August 9, 2013

What To Do If A Dog Bites YouDuring the summer, Dallas residents love taking their dogs outside on walks to enjoy the sunny weather. But even though dogs usually appear friendly, they can be very dangerous. Around 880,000 dog bite victims seek emergency medical care at hospitals in the U.S. every year. To help prepare you for the worst, here is what to do if a dog bites you:

  • Get away from the dog: After you are bitten by dog, you might be tempted to try to get back at the dog or to follow the dog back to its owner. But the best thing to do is to go to a safe place where the dog can’t attack you further.
  • Seek medical care: When a dog bites you, you might not notice any wound on the surface, but significant damage might lie beneath your skin. It’s vital that you see a medical professional immediately after being bitten by a dog. If you delay medical care and later find out you were injured, it can be harder later to get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
  • Speak with the dog owner : It’s important to try to speak with the dog’s owner to make sure the dog is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations. Get their contact information in case your injuries turn out to be serious, and you decide to file a lawsuit.
  • Alert the authorities: You should contact Animal Control or law enforcement after a dog bites you, so they can quarantine the dog, and keep the dog on file. Once you alert the authorities, they can make sure the dog doesn’t keep biting others.
  • Contact a Texas dog bite attorney: An experienced dog bite attorney knows how to navigate the law to help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your physical and emotional turmoil.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog bite, contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

How to Prevent Dog Bites at Dog Parks

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on June 24, 2013

It can be fun to take your dog to a dog park on beautiful summer days, but it can also scary if your dog or others dogs are aggressive and prone to attacking or biting other dogs or owners. Here are four tips on how you can prevent your dog from showing aggression while at the dog park:

  • Show authority: Your dog will be on his best behavior at a dog park as long as he respects you as the “pack leader”. If your dog knows you are in charge, he will obey when you ask him to stop doing any type of behavior that might harm another dog or owner.
  • Make sure he can follow rules: Dogs do great at dog parks if they know that they still have to follow the same rules and boundaries in the park as they do when they are at home. Your dog must understand how to obey boundaries before taking him to a dog park.
  • Let him earn his treats before he gets to the dog park: To help your dog practice good behavior, right before going to the dog park try practicing commands, and give him treats after he obeys you. This will remind him that if he does well at the park, he will get rewarded. 
  • Take him on a quick walk before entering the dog park: One more way to remind your dog that you are in control, and he needs to obey you, is to walk with him assertively on the leash while keeping him close to you before entering the dog park. This helps ensure that before you enter the dog park your dog is in a calm state of mind.

Even after you do all you can to prevent your dog from biting others, some dog owners aren’t as vigilant. If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog bite or dog attack due to a negligent owner, you deserve compensation for your physical and emotional pain. Contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

Posted in: Dog or Animal Bites

If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.

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The Law Office of WT Johnson Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Texas.

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