Dogs may be man’s best friend much of the time, but they have dangerous teeth, are territorial, and are prone to using their teeth in the protection of what they perceive to be their realm. This propensity can be overcome in most dogs by training and socialization, earmarks of responsible pet ownership. But not all dog owners fall into that category, making bites a fairly common occurrence, especially among children, who account for three-quarters of all dog bite victims. If you or a family member has been injured in a similar circumstance, it’s vital to have a skilled Houston dog bite attorney on your side.
When a dog bites a person, the owner of the animal or the property may be found liable for the bite injury in some cases.
Texas is third in the U.S. in the amount of claims paid to victims of dog bites in 2012, according State Farm, a provider of homeowners’ insurance.
Under the “One Bite” rule in Texas, the owner of a biting dog is liable for bite injuries if the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog was prone to causing that kind of injury. If the dog has ever bitten or tried to bite anyone before, if the dog bites another person any time after the first incident, the owner will usually be liable for the victim’s damages.
The truth is, any dog can bite. Dogs can be unpredictable, especially if they have not been trained and made to feel comfortable with a variety of people, including children. A dog that enjoys being with humans and other animals and feels relaxed around many types of people is less likely to bite. It is up to the owner to provide this social exposure and to exert control over the dog and provide proper obedience training. Anyone who decides to add a pet to the family must be prepared to take the responsibility for its behavior.
Unfortunately, the one bite rule places the burden of proof on the victim, making Texas dog bite cases challenging to prove. It is important to hire a dog bite lawyer who is experienced in pursuing compensation for animal attacks and who is skilled at digging out the information about the animal that will prove the owner’s liability—a lawyer who understands that the potential long-term damage from a dog attack goes far beyond the initial medical treatment and will go after a full range of economic and non-economic damages in your behalf.
When you’ve been bitten by a dog in Houston and the surrounding area, you need to hire an attorney who has a history of getting results for clients, and who has developed a successful approach to investigating and proving negligence and damages in order to obtain meaningful recoveries for dog bite victims. You’ll find this experience and track record of success from our Houston personal injury attorneys.
With sixty years of combined experience producing superior results for injured clients, we are a top choice when you need skilled, aggressive, and focused representation in a dog bite or other type of injury accident.
Call Gordon, Elias, & Seely, LLP today. Texas has legal time limits on filing a claim, so it is important to bring us on board as soon as possible to preserve your right to a recovery. The initial consultation is entirely free, and you’ll never owe us anything at all unless and until we win an award of monetary compensation for you.