Texas does not have a specific dog bite law. In many cases, a dog must have a history of bad behavior before the owner can be liable for the injuries it causes. This makes it difficult—but not impossible—to hold the owner responsible for the damages you suffer in a dog attack. A dog bite lawyer in Cypress, TX, can help you navigate this legal process.
The personal injury team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, knows how Texas dog bite cases work. We might be able to build a strong argument for negligence on the part of the owner. We offer free consultations and handle these cases on a contingency basis. You owe us no legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call us today at 713-850-8600 for a free consultation with an attorney.
Damages You Might Collect Following a Successful Cypress Dog Bite Case
Some people think of dog bites as minor events, but the injuries can often be significant. Almost all of them require at least a visit to the emergency department or the doctor for cleaning. The most severe cases involve scarring and disfigurement, and some victims even suffer permanent impairments after this type of attack.
The potential value of your case depends on a number of factors, but the severity and nature of your injuries is front and center. Bite victims who only needed to visit a walk-in clinic to flush the wound will not have the same type of damages as those who required a lengthy hospital stay.
In general, from a dog bite injury you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical care, including hospitalization, plastic surgery, and other related costs;
- Ongoing care costs and the cost of future surgeries as necessary;
- Lost wages, if you miss time at work;
- Diminished earning capacity, if you cannot return to your job;
- Replacement of damaged personal property, such as your clothing or your phone;
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the incident or your injuries;
- Therapy for PTSD and other emotional injuries;
- Pain and suffering damages;
- Mental anguish;
- Other emotional damages; and
- In the event of a fatal attack, wrongful death damages.
Texas and the “One Bite” Dog Bite Rule
Many states have updated statutes that allow you to hold a dog owner liable for an attack, even if the dog has never shown any sort of aggression before. However, under the outdated common law that applies in Texas, the owner must be aware of the dog’s “vicious propensities” before we can hold them liable. People frequently refer to this as the “one bite” dog bite rule, because of this rule, most people assume each dog gets one free bite before their owner is liable for their bad behavior.
Because of this law, it is challenging to obtain the proof necessary to win a dog bite case in Texas. To meet the burden of proof, we would likely need to show:
- The dog bit someone in the past, or threatened to bite them;
- The current owner knew about this behavior;
- The first victim did not provoke the dog in any way; and
- You did not provoke the dog before it bit you.
As you can imagine, several of these factors are almost impossible to prove. This is especially true if there is no record of the first aggressive incident or if it occurred so long ago even the victim remembers few details.
We Might Be Able to Show the Cypress Dog Owner Acted Negligently
Often, it’s more prudent to pursue compensation in a dog bite case not under the common law but instead based on the state’s premises liability laws. This and reviewing proof that the owner acted negligently by allowing a dangerous dog to attack you. To win a case on this basis, we need to provide evidence of the four elements of negligence:
- The owner had a responsibility, or some other duty, to follow local leash laws and control the dog in a careful and reasonable way, even on their own property;
- They did not maintain reasonable control of the animal, or otherwise breached a duty to you;
- That this breach allowed the attack to occur or failed to prevent it; and
- The dog bit you, causing you damages.
We investigate every case we handle, and will build a strong argument that allows us to help you pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Often, we will try to settle dog bite claims without filing suit against the dog owner. We can sometimes recover compensation by filing an insurance claim based on the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
This process begins when we send a demand letter explaining our case against the policyholder and detailing your damages. This may trigger settlement negotiations, which often allow us to reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company. Then the insurer cuts a check to pay for your losses.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the dog owner’s insurance company does not cover dog bites, if they do not have this type of policy, or if the insurer denies our claim, we might need to file a personal injury lawsuit to try to get you just compensation. Litigating your case means we will need to appear in front of a Judge and present the case we built against the dog owner. The Judge then determines if you deserve a payout and decides how much the case is worth.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Cypress About Your Case Today
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, our Cypress dog bite attorneys will build the strongest case possible based on the facts of the attack. While we cannot guarantee we will win your case, we will aggressively pursue the full compensation we believe you deserve.
Call us today at 713-850-8600 for your free case review.