Sometimes, man’s best friend doesn’t always act that way. When put in the wrong situation, even the most well-mannered canine can get testy and may attack another person, causing injuries. In fact, throughout the nation, more than 10,000 people require hospitalization for dog bite incidents each year.
Laws governing how dog bites are handled vary from state to state. Many states are governed by the concept of strict liability, which says that dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior in all cases.
Texas is a bit different in that it is a negligence or “one bite rule” state. This means that, in order to seek compensation for injuries you may have suffered if a dog bites you, it must be shown that the dog’s owner knew the dog had bitten someone or acted aggressively in the past, or that the dog’s owner was negligent in controlling the dog, resulting in the plaintiff suffering injuries.
If you are a dog bite victim
If you are attacked by a dog and suffer bumps, bruises, broken bones, or if you are bitten, you have the right to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to help you seek compensation for your injuries. More than just paying for medical bills, compensation can include a loss of income if you lose time at work, pain and suffering and any other costs related to your run-in with a dog and his or her owner.
Payouts for pain and suffering can compensate for the emotional trauma that a victim might endure because many times, a dog bite will leave scarring to a victim’s face, arms, legs or other exposed body parts. That trauma is made even worse when the victim of a dog attack is a child. Recovery can take a long time and may involve several cosmetic surgeries, as well as a lengthy rehabilitation period.
You may also be able to seek compensation from others besides the dog owner. Landlords may be liable if they allow a renter to keep a dangerous dog on their premises. Animal shelter staff may also be liable if they expose visitors to a known aggressive dog as well.
The Law Office of Maverick Ray serves clients in Houston, Pasadena and other nearby Texas communities.