What You Should Know About Dog Bite Injuries in Houston

Dog Bites

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 photos of your injuries prior to receiving treatment 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 swap contact 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 injury claim.
  • 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 and reduced mobility. 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 of the incident. 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.

Establishing Negligence

To recover compensation in a dog bite injury case, you must show that the owner was not reasonably careful in preventing 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 40 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.