Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional injuries, including fractures, lacerations, infections, disfigurement, psychological trauma, and even death. If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury, you should reach out to a qualified Sugar Land dog bite attorney. Capetillo Law Firm can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
What are the Texas Laws on Dog Bites?
There is no one overarching civil statute on dog bites in Texas. Instead, there are various personal injury claims that an individual attacked by a dog may bring, depending on the circumstances. Because of the complexity, it is critical to work with a skilled attorney who has a thorough understanding of Texas dog bite laws. You may be able to file a lawsuit based on the following claims:
You can file a negligence claim if the dog owner failed to use reasonable care in controlling the dog or otherwise preventing the bite. Examples of negligence include letting your dog roam off a leash in public in violation of local leash laws.
Texas allows the defense of comparative negligence. The defendant can argue that the victim was partially to blame, and any damages will be reduced in proportion to the victim’s fault. For example, a defendant could argue that the victim provoked the dog or trespassed on the owner’s property.
• Strict Liability
Owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs when the owner knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous before the attack. Strict liability means that the victim does not need to prove fault to recover. For example, the victim does not need to prove that the owner failed to restrain the dog or otherwise failed to use reasonable care to prevent the attack.
Dangerous means the animal’s vicious or aggressive tactics were not typical for that animal species. The court may rule that your dog is dangerous if it had bitten someone before or otherwise had acted aggressively. Under Texas Health and Safety Codie 822.044, once an owner learns that his dog is dangerous, he must register the dog with animal control and restrain the dog at all times. Proving that a dog is dangerous can be challenging, so it is critical to work with a qualified dog bite attorney.
• Intentional Harm
Dog owners are liable for a dog bite injury if the owner trained their dog to attack others, or the owner willfully let or ordered their dog to attack another person.
What Should I Do If I Was Bitten by a Dog in Fort Bend?
If you or a loved one were attacked by a dog in Fort Bend, you should take the following steps:
1. Seek medical attention. You should seek appropriate medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. A dog bite injury must be cleaned properly to reduce the risk of infection. Before any treatment is administered, you should take photos of the injury.
2. Record names and contact information. It is important to identify the dog owner and record their name and contact information. You should also ask for insurance information, vaccination records, and veterinarian information.
3. Keep documentation. You should keep copies of all documents associated with the incident, including medical records, bills, police reports, and animal control records.
4. Contact an attorney. Texas dog bite cases are complex, so it is critical to have a qualified dog bite attorney on your side. Do not wait to contact an attorney. In general, you have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a dog bite suit in Fort Bend County.
What Compensation is Available in Texas Dog Bite Lawsuits?
The compensation you are entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries and the unique facts of your case. Examples of damages that the court may award include:
• Past and future medical expenses,
• Pain and suffering,
• Mental anguish,
• Lost earning capacity,
• Physical impairment,
• Lost wages, and
• Property damage.
In addition, you may be entitled to punitive damages if you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner acted with gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
Your Fort Bend Dog Bite Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you should reach out to a qualified Sugar Land attorney as soon as possible. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will evaluate your case and provide the best possible representation. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.