Our pets are often very much a part of our families and many of us cannot
imagine our lives without them. Unfortunately, sometimes the animal instincts
of man’s best friend can take over, resulting in serious injuries.
In fact, according to DogsBite.org, the state of Texas leads the nation
in dog bite fatalities and injuries. Under Texas personal injury law,
the owner of a dog is responsible for the actions of his or her pet. Therefore,
if you or a loved one was bitten or attacked by a dog, you can pursue
just compensation and hold the dog owner accountable for the pet’s actions.
What to do After a Dog Bite Injury
Understanding what to do in the aftermath of a
dog bite can be vital not only for your health, but for any legal actions you choose
to take. Below are some the first steps you should take after sustaining
a dog bite injury:
Seek medical attention: This is particularly important for puncture wounds and other serious injuries.
Not all dog owners are responsible, so you cannot assume all pets have
been vaccinated against rabies, which is why seeking immediate medical
treatment should be made a priority. If possible, it would also be helpful
to take pictures of your wounds before they are treated to ensure you
have an accurate record of the damage done.
Exchange information: Much like you would in a car accident, you will need to exchange information
with the dog’s owner or caretaker. This will allow you to easily
contact him or her afterward to obtain information, such as the dog’s
vaccination history. Make sure you get the owner or caretaker’s
name, address, and phone number.
Witnesses: If anyone witnessed the incident occur, be sure to obtain their information
as well. This will strengthen your case if you choose to file a personal
Animal control: Contact your local animal control agency and file a report. Doing so will
help prevent future dog bites. Additionally, their investigation could
potentially help your own case.
Documenting Your Dog Bite Injury
In addition to the aforementioned steps, you should also carefully document
your dog bite injury, including the effects of them, such as pain, decreased
mobility, and the inability to perform certain functions. You should also
include photos of your injury, journal entries, medical records, and any
other pertinent documents. In your journal, make sure you write down the
details of what happened as soon as you can while it is still fresh in
your memory. The more time passes, the less you will be able to recall.
In addition to medical expenses, you should also keep records of other
costs you incur as a result of the dog bite, such as lost wages or travel
costs to visit your doctor or other health care specialists. The more
accurate your records are, the easier it will be to calculate how much
compensation is appropriate for your injuries.
Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Every state, including Texas, has what is known as a “statute of
limitations,” which is the timeframe within which you must file
your claim. If you were bitten by a dog, the deadline for filing a personal
injury claim in Texas is two years, beginning on the date when the dog
bite occurred. If you do not file your claim within this two-year period,
the court will likely no longer hear your case. This is why it is imperative
for you to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get
started on your case.
To recover compensation in a dog bite injury case, you must show that the
owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog from biting
or attacking others, despite being aware of the dog’s aggressive
behavior. For example, if the owner regularly lets the dog out, allowing
it to roam around the neighborhood unsupervised, the court might find
the owner negligent.
You could also recover damages if you are able to prove that, if it were
not for the owner’s failure to control his or her dog, you would
not have been bitten or attacked by the dog.
Contact a Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today!
If you were bitten or harmed by a dog, you can hold the owner responsible
for the injuries you sustained. At The Cox Pradia Law Firm, P.L.L.C.,
our team of Houston personal injury attorneys has over 30 years of combined
experience and the necessary knowledge to effectively pursue compensation
on your behalf, which could cover your medical costs, lost wages, and more.
For the representation you deserve, contact our law firm today at
(888) 240-0843 to schedule your free case evaluation.