Texas does not have a specific statute that covers civil liability for dog bites. However, this does not mean that you cannot recover compensation for your injuries. If you are bitten by a dog in Houston, you may be able to file a lawsuit based on various claims, including:
• Negligence. The dog owner did not use ordinary care to keep their dog from attacking you, and you suffered harm. You do not need to prove that the animal was vicious or dangerous.
• Strict Liability. The dog that bit you is known to be dangerous. Under Texas law, an animal is dangerous if the animal’s vicious or aggressive tactics were not typical for that animal species. The court may find a dog to have dangerous propensities if it has previously bitten someone, even if the bite did not result in serious injuries. Strict liability means you do not need to prove that the owner failed to restrain the dog with reasonable care to recover damages.
• Violations of Local Leash Ordinances or Laws. Many Texas cities and towns, including Houston, have local laws requiring dogs to be properly restrained. This means that owners must leash, muzzle, or otherwise restrain their dogs when they are in a public area.
• Intentional Harm. The owner trained the dog to attack others, or someone willfully let or ordered their dog to attack you.
If you or a loved one have been injured, you should not hesitate to contact a Houston dog bite attorney. In general, you only have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Dog bites can result in severe and even life-threatening injuries. Children and the elderly are the most at risk. Common injuries from dog bite injuries in Houston include:
• Puncture wounds,
• Nerve damage,
• Broken bones,
• Finger or limb amputation,
• Facial lacerations,
• Eye injuries,
• Head and neck injuries,
• Post-traumatic stress disorder,
• Infections, and
If you or a family member were bitten by a dog in Houston, you should take the following steps.
1. Get medical attention. Sometimes injuries are more severe than they appear, so it is critical to be evaluated by a doctor. Before any treatment is administered, you should take a photo of your injuries.
2. Notify the dog owner about what happened. You should ask the owner for their name, phone number, insurance information, vaccination records, and veterinarian information.
3. Record the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Witnesses can be an important source of evidence for your claim.
4. Maintain copies of all documents associated with the incident. Examples of documents you should keep include medical records, bills, police reports, and animal control records.
5. Hire an experienced Houston dog bite attorney. Dog bite cases are complicated, and you will need an expert on your side. An experienced attorney will handle all aspects of your case, including:
• Informing you of your rights and options;
• Gathering evidence and investigating the complete circumstance of the incident;
• Filing all necessary legal documents;
• Negotiating with the other party or insurance company; and
• Presenting your case in court, if necessary.
The compensation you are entitled to will depend on your injuries and the unique circumstances of your case. An attorney can review your case and explain what compensation may be available to you. Examples of damages that you may be awarded include:
• Medical expenses (surgery costs, hospital stays, ambulance transportation, etc.);
• Pain and suffering;
• Mental anguish;
• Physical impairment;
• Property damage;
• Lost wages; and
• Lost earning capacity.
In addition, you may be entitled to punitive damages if you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner or other liable party acted with gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, call the Paxton Law Firm. We have represented injured persons involved in these types of accidents for nearly twenty years.
Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your legal battles and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.
Do you believe you have a case? Understand that time is of the essence in getting you the justice you deserve! We would love to hear from you.