Dog Bite Injuries
Houston Dog Bite Lawyers
Holding Negligent Owners Accountable for Dog Bite Injuries
Dog ownership is exceptionally prevalent in the United States, with millions of Americans having one or more dogs. Unfortunately, the large number of dogs in our communities makes it more likely that you or someone you love may get bit in your lifetime. When a dog owner’s negligence causes you harm, they must be held responsible.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our Houston dog bite lawyers can help hold dog owners accountable for their wrongdoing. Owners have a responsibility to prevent an unprovoked attack. If you or your loved one has been involved in a dog bite, contact our office immediately.
Dangerous Dogs and Civil Liability
Under Texas law, dog owners may have criminal and civil liability if their dog bites someone causing injury or death. Pursuant to Section 822.041 of the Texas Health and Safety Code defines a dog may be labeled a “dangerous dog” if they cause bodily injury to a person in an unprovoked attack that occurs outside of the dog’s secure enclosure.
Many dog bites occur on a person’s property, falling under a category of law known as premises liability. If you have been seriously injured in a dog attack or have lost a loved one, you need a Houston dog bite lawyer who is experienced in premises liability and can hold the appropriate people liable for their negligence or wrongdoing.
How Do I Receive Compensation for my Injuries?
Receiving compensation for your injuries after a dog bite can be difficult. You need to be sure that you file a claim against all liable parties. Generally, a dog owner may be held responsible for harm that is caused by a dog that has previously caused bodily harm and is not in a secure enclosure. There may also be liability for violating local ordinances, including leash laws and breed-safety regulations.
Texas law extends the definition of a dog owner to a person “who owns or has custody or control of the dog.” When a dog owner’s negligence or recklessness causes you injury, you deserve compensation. In order to receive damages for your injuries, you need to file a cause of action against the owner. Because dog bite litigation can be complicated, it is always recommended to retain an attorney as soon as possible.
Dog Bite Tragedies in the United States
Dog bites occur every day in the United States. According to woofdog.org, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of those, nearly 800,000 dog bite victims will have to seek medical care. It is important to note that even dogs that are considered “friendly-breeds” or non-aggressive can attack an unsuspecting person causing serious injury or death.
Dog bite statistics across the country:
- Children, seniors, and postal service employers are the most common victims of dog bites.
- Studies show that children alone account for half of those injured.
- The majority of children that are injured in a dog bite are 5 to 9 years old.
- Research indicates that 58% of dog bite fatalities were caused by an unrestrained dog on the owner’s property.
- 24% of fatal dog attacks were caused by unrestrained canines that were not on the owner’s property.
The Devastating Cost of Dog Attacks
Dog bites can cause severe damage to the hands, throat, face, and neck. Children are particularly vulnerable to head and neck injuries if they are attacked by a canine. In cases where a dog bite results in a serious injury requiring hospitalization, medical bills can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Woof Dog noted that the average hospital stay costs approximately $18,500. Pet attacks resulting in hospitalization have doubled over the past 15 years and are more frequent in rural areas. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, contact our office to speak with a Houston dog bite lawyer today.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in life-threatening, catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death. In some cases, you may be unable to determine the full extent of your injuries immediately after the attack. It is essential to seek medical treatment after any dog bite. You will also want to get vaccination records from the owner to determine if you need a rabies shot.
Typical dog bite injuries include:
- Nerve damage
- Severe lacerations to the hands, face, or neck
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken bones or fractures
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Eye and ear damage
Causes of Houston Dog Bites and Attacks
While every dog bite case is unique, there are several factors that may make it more likely that a dog could become aggressive or bite another person. Even if it is determined that you had some culpable conduct or were partially to blame for the dog bite, it does not mean that you cannot recover damages. Your compensation, however, may be reduced in proportion to your negligent conduct.
Causes of dog bites or attacks may include:
- A dangerous breed
- A dog that is abused or neglected
- An unsecured enclosure
- A dog that is sick or scared
- A dog that is off-leash or untrained
Generally, it is negligent or wrongful conduct by the dog owner that is the underlying cause of the bite. Dog owners must be aware if their dog has aggressive behavior or a high likelihood that they could cause serious bodily harm. In addition, failure to properly secure a dog can result in liability.
Houston Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions
When you are seriously injured because of a dog owner’s negligence or wrongful conduct, you may be unsure about your rights and your potential for recovery. The Houston dog bite lawyers at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, will help you navigate the legal process of holding a negligent owner accountable after a dog bite.
Should I get a lawyer for a dog bite?
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to a dog bite or dog attack, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Without legal representation, you may not get the maximum compensation available in your case. A Houston dog bite lawyer can help you to file a claim against a negligent home owner’s insurance company or any other liable party.
How much money will I receive if I was bit by a dog?
Every case is different. There is no set amount that people receive after being attacked by a dog. Ultimately, your compensation will depend on several factors, including your medical expenses, lost wages, cost of future treatment, and other provable losses.
Can I sue in Texas for a dog bite?
In most cases, yes, you can bring a lawsuit or a claim for damages against a negligent dog owner if you were seriously injured by their dog. In cases where the dog bite was fatal, family members may also be able to sue for wrongful death.
What if the dog was owned by a family member?
Our attorneys know that it can be very difficult to bring a lawsuit against someone who is a family member or friend. We are well-versed in handling cases involving close-relationships and will always provide you with the highest level of representation. In many cases, we can work directly with the homeowner’s insurance company.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a dog bite?
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 16.003, a person has two (2) years to file a claim for damages related to personal injury. Failure to bring a cause of action within the statute of limitations can result in a bar to your recovery.
What are the benefits of hiring a Houston dog bite lawyer?
Your best chance of receiving the largest possible verdict or settlement is by hiring a lawyer. Our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation by subpoenaing documents, interviewing key witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case. We are trial lawyers that know what it takes to win. When you are injured in a dog bite, it is always in your best interest to have legal counsel.
Get the Dedicated Dog Bite Representation You Need
Contact the Houston dog bite lawyers at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs today at (713) 999-3681. We have recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injury victims in Houston and throughout Texas. You should never have to settle for less. Get the champion that you need to get the recovery you deserve.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to a dog bite, you need a firm with a proven track record of success. Our attorneys are here for you when you need it most. Fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation today. There are no fees unless we win.
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