What to Know About Dog Bites in Texas
We don’t expect to get hurt by man’s best friend, but the truth is that dogs bite humans more often than you think. In fact, Texas has one of the highest rates of dog bites. In the United States, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year. In many cases, they are bitten by their own dogs. In 2018, 36 people died from dog bites.
A dog bite can cause a variety of injuries. A person can suffer deep wounds that can cause scarring and disfigurement. Some attacks can cause broken bones, facial wounds, neck injuries and head trauma.
Any dog has the ability to bite, so don’t think you’re protected simply because you have a lovable Labrador or a tiny poodle that would never hurt a fly. However, the dog breeds that attack the most are pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds, bull mastiffs and huskies.
What Texas Law Says
Texas operates under a one-bite rule, but it’s not very straightforward. This rule states that a person can recover compensation for their injuries only if the dog has bitten a person before or acted like it wanted to. The victim will not receive compensation if this requirement is not met.
This can be hard to prove. The dog owner may not have been present when the dog bit someone previously, so how would they know? Also, what constitutes “acting like it wanted to?” This requirement is quite vague. Would the dog have to be growling or showing its teeth? What criteria must be met? This is why dog bite victims have a hard time recovering compensation for dog attacks in Texas.
Handling a Dog Bite Claim
There are two ways to file a dog bite claim. Under a strict liability claim, the victim needs to identify the dog’s owner, prove that the dog was dangerous compared to other dogs and that the owner knew the dog was dangerous and show that the dog was directly liable for the injuries.
Under a negligence claim, the victim must prove that the dog owner was negligent and this negligence led to the attack. This could mean that the dog was poorly trained or not well restrained. The dog attacked the victim and the owner did little to intervene and prevent it from happening.
When filing a claim, make sure to keep some things in mind. Document everything about the incident. If there were witnesses, get their information. Don’t be dishonest with anyone, from your doctor to your lawyer. If your doctor recommends treatment, then do it. If you don’t, it could affect your recovery and your claim in general. Don’t settle too early for too little. Be patient and make sure you receive sufficient compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Dog bites can cause serious injuries. A person can suffer lifelong injuries due to an attack and these damages can be costly.
The Houston dog bite lawyers at The West Law Office, PLLC can assess your case. Seek medical attention for your injuries and leave the rest to us. Schedule a free consultation by calling 281-347-3247 or filling out the online form.