Houston Dog Bite Lawyer
Being attacked by a domesticated animal can be unexpected and frightening. You may be able to recover damages for your injuries, and a Houston dog bite lawyer can help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
You may file a legal claim based on the One-Bite Rule in Texas. You may also be able to file a negligence statute against the owner of the domesticated animal. A Houston dog bite attorney can help you present your case to a judge or jury strategically and forcefully.
One-Bite Rule in Texas
An individual bitten by a dog or other domesticated animal may be permitted to recover monetary compensation from the dog’s owner if either (1) the dog previously bit another person or acted though it was going to bite another person or (2) the dog’s owner was aware of the dog’s prior vicious conduct.
If neither of these conditions is true for your case then the injured individual may not file suit under the One-Bite rule in Texas. A dog owner may not be liable for an injury caused by a dog unless the dog owner knew of the dog’s vicious propensities or if the dog in fact had bitten someone before.
Dog Bites and Negligence
Every dog owner has a duty to use reasonable care regarding dog ownership and stewardship. A dog owner’s negligence can make the dog owner liable for another person’s injuries. If an injured individual wants to recover financial compensation from a negligent dog owner then the injured individual must prove the following:
- The negligent individual owned or was in possession of a dog
- The negligent individual had a duty to exercise reasonable care to stop the dog from injuring other people
- The negligent individual breached their duty of care by failing to stop the dog from injuring other people
- The negligent party’s breach was the actual and proximate cause of the damages and injuries to the injured individual
A Houston dog bite lawyer can help you assess your case so you can determine the best course of action to take so you can recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
Under Texas law, an owner of a dog or other domesticated animal is presumed to have acted negligently by violating an animal control law. A dog owner may violate an animal control law by taking a dog to a particular area without a leash, or by permitting the dog to wander aimlessly around a neighborhood.
If the dog later bites someone then this negligent behavior of the dog owner will be considered by the judge in a dog bite case. The negligence standards apply whether or not the negligent individual owns the dog.
The dog owner may argue that the injured individual suffered harm because they were trespassing, or that the injured individual was contributorily negligent by enticing the dog or making the dog want to bite the injured individual.
You will need a knowledgeable dog bit attorney to help you counter the arguments defense counsel will put forward. Our Houston dog bite lawyers can help present the strongest case possible to allow you to recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
Consequences of Severe Dog Bites
Dog bites are not minor events. Bone fractures, exorbitant medical bills, abrasions, and dangerous infections can occur due to vicious dog bites. An individual recovering from a dog bit may experience rising medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. No one has to deal with these symptoms alone.
Call The Patel Firm today at (713) 539-1115 so we can help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
4.5 Million Dog Bites in the United States Every Year
4.5 million people in the United States suffer dog bites every year. Dog bites are not always minor injuries. Victims experience violent attacks that have the potential to cause life-threatening harm and lingering disease. Negligent owners and handlers are often responsible for these vicious attacks.
A Houston dog bite lawyer can help you defend your legal rights in a court of law. The lawyers at our firm understand how to present facts and legal arguments to the judge and the jury. Our aggressive advocacy will enable us to pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation for you.
Contact The Patel Firm today for a free consultation.
Dog Bite Lawyers and Insurance Companies
Insurance companies analyze dog bites according to algorithms that help them pay out as little money as possible. Claims adjusters look for ways to reduce the amount of claims the insurance company has to pay. The attorneys at The Patel Firm will help you stand up to the insurance companies and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Do not rest on your rights or allow the insurance companies to intimidate you and try to convince you to settle for less financial compensation than you deserve.
Investigating Dog Bite Claims
Insurance companies use various tactics to avoid paying out the financial compensation you should receive. An insurer might state that the injured person caused the vicious bite by provoking the dog. The insurer may also assert that the dog had no history or record of being violent toward people or animals.
The lawyers at The Patel Firm will find the facts associated with the dog bite case. Our lawyers will perform the following tasks:
- Interview neighbors, police officers, animal control officers, and other witnesses who responded to the scene of the dog bite or observed its occurrence
- Documenting the scene of the attack by taking photographs and videos
- Procuring police reports, witness declarations, and animal control records
- Organizing and assessing medical records and treatment records
Austin, Texas dog bite lawyers often hire expert witnesses to assist with trial preparation. Animal behavior experts, medical experts, and healthcare consultants. Treatment needs are unique to dog breeds. The particular body part injured during a dog bite is also important to presenting your dog bite case to a judge or jury.
Our Houston, Texas dog bite lawyers may also consult veterinarians to ensure that we are up to date on all the kinds of infections that can arise due to injuries from dog bites. Our use of expert witnesses can cost money, but we are willing to make sure that you present your case with as much substantive evidence as possible.
Houston dog bite lawyers understand that most clients do not want to go through a full trial, and instead would prefer to settle their claims with the insurance companies. We will collect and organize all the relevant records in your case and produce a settlement demand to the insurance company representing the dog owner or the dog handler.
We spend hours researching and writing thorough settlement demands. Due to our understanding of how the insurance companies work, and how much ongoing litigation they are mired in at any one time, we can quite often settle the case with the insurance company without needing to file a lawsuit or go to trial.
Some insurance companies will not want to settle under any circumstances. These insurance companies may challenge liability and contest the amount of damages. Our lawyers at The Patel Firm are ready to litigate and go to trial if the insurance company refuses to settle or does not offer a substantial amount of money.
Insurance claims adjusters will try to draft reports and correspondence that will decrease the amount of compensation you are entitled to as a Plaintiff. Do not trust what the lawyers representing the insurance company tell you about the extent of your injuries and the amount of financial compensation you may recover.
Our Houston dog bite lawyers will help you maintain a strong, professional attitude toward the insurance companies and their attorneys. You do not need to do any excessive research or legal analysis. You also will not owe our lawyers any fees unless we recover money for you in a settlement or a judgment.
What To Do After a Dog Bite in Houston
Calling one of our Houston dog bite lawyers is the first thing you should do after suffering a dog bite. Please consider taking the following steps after you assess your injury and get immediate medical care:
- Never sign any document you receive from an insurance company before consulting your lawyer and asking him or her for legal advice
- Do not provide the insurance company with a recorded statement or an interview if the insurance company requests these items from you
- Obtain emergency medical care and document all of your injuries and treatments
- Retain copies in one central location of all medical bills, e-mails, letters, receipts, and other documents related to your dog bite injury case
- Obtain as much information as you can from the dog owner or handler
- Do not wash the clothing items you wore the day you suffered a dog bite injury, and keep these clothes undisturbed so they can be analyzed by an expert witness later
- Take photographs of the injuries you suffered, the scene of the attack, and the dog that attacked you
- File a report with the police and the animal control office
Under Texas law, a bystander can recover monetary compensation after witnessing first hand a vicious dog attack on a family member such as a spouse or child. A Plaintiff can file a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim. Our lawyers at The Patel Firm will help you assess whether you or a family member who witnessed the dog bite may file a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress can both be used to compensate a bystander who was a family member. These bystanders must have suffered some physical consequence to recover for their damages caused by witnessing the traumatic event.
Dog Attacks That Occur on Rental Property
Some dog attacks occur on rental property, and depending on the circumstances of a particular case, an injured Plaintiff may be permitted to seek recovery from the landlord. The landlord may have known of the dog’s vicious propensities, and therefore the landlord could have taken action to remove the dangerous dog from the property.
The lawyers at The Patel Firm will assess the facts of your case and the corresponding legal authority to identify all potentially liable parties. Land owners, landlords, tenants, and commercial entities may all be liable for your dog bite injuries.
Statute of Limitations
If you suffer personal injury in Texas, and you want to file a claim in a court of law, you generally must file a claim within two years from the date the injury occurred. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations.
You do not want to wait and procrastinate after you suffer a dog bite injury. You need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured so you can defend your legal rights. Call an attorney today at The Patel Firm so you can obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Call A Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Today
You never asked to suffer from a serious dog bite injury. You did not expect to pay costly medical bills and treatment invoices. You should enforce your legal rights and persuade a court of law to hold the responsible party liable. A negligent owner should not be permitted to let his or her dog harm someone else in the future.
By calling our Houston dog bite lawyers today you are not only protecting your own legal rights, but you are keeping your community safe from negligent dog owners and dog handlers.
When you call The Patel Firm, you are enforcing your rights and also keeping the negligent party accountable. If you have questions about the legal process, filing a claim, or proving your case then our Houston dog bite lawyers will answer your questions and help you assess your legal issues. To schedule your free case evaluation, call our office today at (713) 539-1115 or contact us online.
The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
5206 FM 1960, Suite 105
Houston, TX 77069