Serious dog bites can require intensive treatment and ongoing care to minimize scarring. The cost of medical care adds up quickly, making many victims wonder how they can hold the dog’s owner responsible for their expenses. In some cases, this may be possible.
If another person’s dog attacked you and you received bite wounds that required medical treatment, the personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can review your case and explain your legal options for compensation. Texas does not have specific dog bite laws, making these cases especially complex. However, we know how to pursue compensation after a dog attack, and can help you fight for the money you deserve. Call our team today at 713-850-8600 for a complimentary claim evaluation with a dog bite lawyer in Katy.
How Do Dog Bite Laws Work in Texas?
Without a specific statute to provide oversight to the process of holding a dog owner liable for their dog’s actions, Texas relies on a common law known as the “one bite rule.” Many states that previously followed this rule now have stricter laws in place. Under the one bite rule, we cannot hold the dog’s owner responsible for you injuries unless we can show the owner knew the animal had the potential to behave viciously.
To do this, we must uncover providing evidence that shows:
- The dog attacked another person in the past, or acted in a vicious way with the intent to attack someone; and
- The owner and handler of the dog knew about this previous behavior.
Even if we can provide this evidence, these cases rarely proceed without complication. Often, the owner will claim the previous attack stemmed from someone provoking the dog, or they may say you provoked the dog prior to your attack. This is difficult to counter, unless there were witnesses present and animal control documented both incidents in a very detailed way. In many cases, it is easier to pursue a claim based on negligence.
How Can We Prove the Dog Owner Acted Negligently?
Often the one bite rule makes it difficult to win compensation after an attack. In many cases, we recommend our clients pursue a negligence claim instead. We can file this claim with the owner’s homeowner insurance company. If we can provide evidence to show the dog owner or handler was careless in keeping their pet contained—and this allowed your bite injuries to occur—we can build a strong negligence case against them.
All negligence claims require us to provide evidence to show:
- The responsible party owned or cared for the dog, and it was in their care when the attack occurred;
- There were laws in place that required them to keep their dog contained, such as local leash laws, or they acted in an otherwise unreasonable way;
- They broke these laws or acted carelessly; and
- Their careless behavior provided the opportunity for the attack to occur.
We will investigate the incident and identify all factors that contributed to your injuries. Then, we will collect evidence and build a strong case for negligence and liability. Only once we have done this—and we can prove the value of your damages—can we file an insurance claim and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. If we cannot reach a fair settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company, we will file a dog bite lawsuit and ask a judge or jury to award you the money you deserve.
Do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney to Help Me Get Compensation?
Because Texas relies on the common law one bite rule for liability in dog bites, these cases can be especially hard to navigate. We understand how these laws work, and how they may apply in your case. These cases are often difficult to prove, and we do not recommend trying to collect evidence or filing a claim on your own. A weak case could leave you with a much smaller payout than you deserve. If you are not ready to counter the dog owner’s possible defenses, you may lose out on collecting compensation altogether.
If your dog bite injuries were severe, you may face months or even years of ongoing care. You may need a series of surgeries to repair the damage done and minimize your scarring. The last thing you need is additional stress and worry. Allowing an attorney to handle your claim for you can allow you to focus on your physical recovery—while we fight for compensation to pay your medical bills and cover your lost wages.
It is important to understand the full value of your case, and to pursue a lawsuit if necessary to get the compensation you need and deserve. It is paramount that you talk to an attorney before you sign a settlement agreement, even if you decide to handle your claim on your own. Injury victims tend to vastly underestimate their losses, and you could settle for less than you need to cover your ongoing care costs. Our lawyers can help you understand what a fair settlement truly looks like in your case.
In the event the insurance company refuses a fair settlement in your case, you may want to discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit with one of our dog bite attorneys in Katy.
How Can I Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Katy for Free?
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, our legal team understands how to recover the compensation you deserve after a dog bite incident. We can build a strong case on your behalf, often proving the dog’s owner acted negligently and allowed the attack to occur. If you need help paying for your medical care and other losses associated with your injuries, we can help you hold the dog’s owner accountable.
We offer complimentary case evaluations, and handle these claims on a contingency basis. Call our office at 713-850-8600 today for a free case review with a Katy dog bite lawyer.