Can You Sue For a Dog Bite in Texas?
Dogs are everywhere these days. People bring their furry friends to breakfast, the bar, and even the grocery store, but what happens when a negligent owner can’t control their dangerous dog? Can you sue for a dog bite in Texas? The Texas dog bite laws in 2023 can be a bit complex, but the good news is that, in many situations, you can sue for a dog bite in Texas.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and are wondering if you have a civil case, you should contact an experienced Houston dog bite lawyer before it’s too late.
Memories fade, injuries heal, and evidence deteriorates. Acting quickly in personal injury cases is essential if you want to get what you deserve. Call the Houston injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 and begin the process of seeking justice for your dog bite.
Can people sue for dog bites?
What are the Texas dog bite laws in 2023? Texas is one of many states that follows the “one bite rule,” which means that the owner of a dog is not automatically liable for the first bite or attack by their dog. However, after a dog has bitten someone once, the owner is assumed to have become aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, and future bites may lead to legal consequences.
Additionally, Texas recognizes a “negligence per se” standard, where a dog owner can be held liable if their violation of a leash law or other animal control ordinance directly results in a dog bite.
It’s important to note that Texas’ statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies to dog bite claims as well. The Texas statute of limitations on personal injury claims states that victims generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you don’t consult with a personal injury attorney in Houston and bring your civil suit promptly you may lose the opportunity to bring about a civil suit at all. Contact a trusted attorney before it is too late.
Common injuries from dog bites
Dog bites can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity from minor cuts and bruises to more serious, life-threatening wounds. Common injuries sustained from dog bites include:
- Puncture wounds and lacerations. Dog bites often cause, at minimum, puncture wounds and deep lacerations, which can lead to severe bleeding and the risk of infection.
- Infections. Because of the deep puncture wounds dog bites can inflict, bacteria from a dog’s mouth can lead to infections even if properly treated. Infections can cause additional complications and will likely require further medical intervention.
- Nerve damage. In severe cases, dog bites may cause nerve damage, leading to loss of sensation, weakness, or partial paralysis.
- Fractures and broken bones. A powerful dog bite can cause fractures and broken bones, especially in more vulnerable parts of the body like the hands and fingers.
- Rabies. Being bitten by a dog that has not been vaccinated against rabies puts humans at very high risk for contracting the usually fatal disease.
Even the most seemingly superficial injuries from dog bites can result in serious medical complications that stem from infection and disease. If you are bitten by a dog you should always seek medical treatment no matter how minor you believe the injury to be.
How much compensation do you get for a dog bite?
How much compensation you will receive from your dog bite claim depends on the amount of damages you have suffered and are therefore seeking. Damages should aim to compensate you fully for the injuries you sustained as well as all of the hardships you’ve endured as a result of those injuries. Common forms of damages sought in dog bite claims include the following:
- Medical expenses. These should cover the entirety of your medical expenses, including hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgery costs, prescription medicine costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, any caretaking expenses, or anything else that your dog bite necessitates.
- Lost wages. Any earnings that you lost from your injury, past and future.
- Pain and suffering. Any long-term physical complications from your injury will impact your quality of life both now and in the future.
- Permanent physical disfigurement or impairment. If you are left with any physical disability or impairment you need to be compensated for the loss in quality of life and possibly inability to work.
- Psychological trauma. Mental anguish damages can include PTSD, anxiety, or depression resulting from your accident.
As you can see you can be owed compensation for a long list of damages, the more that apply, the higher your settlement amount will be.
Sources of compensation in dog bite settlements
Because you can collect compensation from more than one source, the variability in average dog bite settlement amounts is quite high. Other than bringing a civil suit against the owner of the dog, some other sources from which you might collect compensation include:
- Homeowner’s insurance. In many cases, the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner will cover damages resulting from a dog bite. Homeowner insurance typically includes liability coverage, which can be used to compensate the victim.
- Renter’s insurance. If the dog owner is renting a property, renters insurance may cover dog bite injuries. Similar to homeowners insurance, renters insurance often includes liability coverage.
- Health insurance. Victims can use their health insurance to cover medical expenses resulting from a dog bite.
- Property liability insurance. Business owners who own the property where the dog bite occurs may have property liability insurance. This type of insurance can cover damages resulting from injuries that occur on the premises.
Victims need to report the incident to the appropriate insurance providers not only to get assistance with care early on in the process but also to document the incident for any future civil suits. Your personal injury attorney can not only help you bring a civil suit against the person responsible for the dog bite but can also assist with navigating the complexity of an insurance claim and dealing with the insurance company.
Continue reading: Questions to ask a personal injury lawyer
How do you win a dog bite case? Call Grimes & Fertitta today!
So, can you sue for a dog bite in Texas? If you were bitten by a dog because of a negligent owner or a dangerous dog, yes! Because dogs are often a part of everyday life, being bitten by a dangerous dog can be a traumatic experience that impacts your well-being for years and years to come, even after any injuries have healed.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and are wondering if you have a claim, do not wait to call the Houston catastrophic injury lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta. Our trusted personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of the insurance companies as well as the civil suit against the negligent party.
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