It can be a frightening experience if you or your child are bitten by a dog. Move yourself or your child to safety immediately and call local police. You should also report a dog bite in Texas to Animal Control authorities. Doing so will allow the animal to be tested for rabies and will allow you the opportunity to prove the dog’s owner or handler’s negligence and seek monetary recovery.
A personal injury lawyer can help you define your rights to recover damages and your responsibility to report a dog bite. Reporting a dog bite in Texas can also help when preparing a case for financial recovery. You could recover the costs of treating your injuries and recovering from them. Putting a report on record can also help prevent others from being bitten or attacked by the same dog in the future.
What Happens When I Report a Dog Bite in Texas?
If you are an animal lover or if the dog that bit you or your child is known to you, you may have concerns about its wellbeing after you report the bite. According to Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control (DSHS) guidelines:
- The dog will be quarantined at the expense of its owner
- The quarantine lasts for ten days from the date of the biting incident
- The dog will be tested to determine whether or not they have rabies
- The dog may be humanely euthanized under certain circumstances
Reporting the bite can also ensure you or anyone else injured gets prompt and immediate medical care. This is especially vital if you do not know the dog or its vaccination status.
What Medical Care Will I Need and Who Will Pay for It?
A dog bite can lead to many injuries that range in severity. These can include ripped and torn skin, which may require stitches. Severe cases may also require subsequent skin grafts. Additional injuries can include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Brain and skull damages
- Subsequent rabies diagnosis
A dog bite can also result in mental and emotional injuries. Dog bites or attacks can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear of dogs, paranoia, depression, and anxiety. If you pursue financial recovery from the negligent dog owner, the cost of treating these psychological injuries can be included in your personal injury case.
What Other Damages Can I Recover After a Dog Bite?
By holding the dog’s owner responsible for their pet’s actions, you can recover a variety of additional damages. A dog bite can lead to serious, sometimes life-changing, injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you recoup:
- Current and future medical care, including treatment of disfiguring injuries
- Replacement of any property damaged as a result of the fall
- Current and future physical pain and suffering related to injuries and treatment
As an adult dog bite victim, you can also recover the lost wages you experience when your injuries keep you from working. A lawyer will help you create a list of your recoverable damages and prove their monetary value.
Is the Dog’s Owner Automatically Liable in Texas?
The short answer is no because there must be an element of negligence to support financial liability. To hold the dog’s owner liable, according to Texas law, you will need to prove they:
- Knew their dog was dangerous or aggressive
- Did not adequately secure their animal
In addition, the dog bite or attack must have been unprovoked on your part. Similarly, under these circumstances, the dog’s owner might also face criminal consequences. Many cities in Texas have additional dog ownership regulations that may apply to your case. The best way to understand your rights and responsibilities is to consult a personal injury lawyer in your area.
How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit After I Am Bitten?
Texas law generally permits you to file a lawsuit against a negligent dog owner within two years of the date of the incident. If your minor son or daughter was the bite victim, the filing deadline may differ. A lawyer will help you determine the appropriate filing deadline in your case and ensure it is met.
If the statute expires, you could be prohibited from filing a lawsuit at all. Even if you do successfully file after the expiration date, your lawsuit is likely to be dismissed immediately. If that happens, you will have no further options to compel recoverable damages.
Call for Your Free Case Evaluation Immediately
You should report a dog bite in Texas if you or someone you love was a victim. Our personal injury law firm can use elements of your report and additional evidence to help you get financial recovery. Contact one of our team members today by calling D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® today.