Dog Bites Claims and Lawsuits

Have you or a loved one been injured from a dog bite? If so, you’re not alone. Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, and of those, nearly 1 out of 5 dog bites become infected and require medical attention.

This type of negligence led to an 86% increase in dog bite related hospitalization stays between 1993 and 2008 in the United States. And as these hospital stays become more prevalent, victims were stuck with an average hospital stay bill of $18,200. It comes as no surprise that homeowners’ insurers paid over $797 million in personal injury claims related to dog bites in 2019.

I get it. Most Americans are dog people! With over 78,000,000 dogs in American homes, these pets are an important part of our lives. And generally speaking, dogs are considered loving family members who provide companionship and happiness to their owners.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes dogs can become aggressive. They can bite humans, and as a result, they can cause serious injury. Certain breeds are more aggressive and territorial than others. Have you ever wondered why your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance asks you, “what breed of dog do you have?” They need to know because certain breeds are more prone to bite and be aggressive.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after a dog attack, you can contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite lawsuits and claims. Your lawyer will help you recover money for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost time at work.

I have experience helping victims of dog bites, and I can help you navigate the legal process. I can also answer common questions about leash laws, the first bite rule, and what can be done to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Whether you want answers to your legal questions or are in search of dog bite resources, I’m here to get you the help you need.

Learn More About Dog Bites, the Law, and Your Rights as a Victim

What should I do if I was bit by a dog?

  • First things first, seek medical attention.
  • While receiving medical care, make sure you obtain documentation of your injuries. You’ll want this information for your claim.
  • Next, you’ll want to contact the local police to alert them of the issue. The policy may quarantine the dog and test it for rabies.
  • You’ll also want to document any and all details associates with the incident. This can include information about the dog and its owners, photos of your injuries, and statements from bystanders or witnesses.
  • It is most important that you take photos of your bite injuries. Make sure the photos are clear and show the entire bite area.  If you need stitches, take photos before and after the procedure. 
  • And, as soon as you can, contact a lawyer who is experienced with dog bites, so they can help you maximize your compensation.

How quickly do I need to file a dog bite claim?

Texas’ statute of limitations sets the timeframe for filing a claim at two years from the date the dog bite occurred. That said, you should contact an experienced attorney and file your claim as soon as possible.

Who is liable for a dog bite?

While each dog bite case is unique, there are a number of individuals who may be liable for the injury. The responsible parties could include the dog’s owner, an individual caring for the dog, a dogwalker, the property owner, and a property management company. 

What is the one bite rule?

Texas is a "one bite rule" state. This means the dog owner can be held strictly liable for any damages caused by a dog known to be dangerous or which could be dangerous. If the animal has never bitten anyone before, then the injured person must prove that it was vicious before they can be compensated for the injuries.  In a sense, the dog owner may get one pass for a first bite if the dog has never bit anyone before. 

What happens if the dog bite victim was partly at fault?

Texas falls under “modified comparative negligence,” which means if you are more than 50% at fault, you would not receive compensation for your injury. An experienced lawyer can help you determine what percentage you would fall within, and thus, what level of compensation might be available.  "Comparative negligence" also comes into play for other civil actions.

How much is a dog bite lawsuit worth to the victim?

The level of compensation is varied based on the details of the case and the severity of the injuries. A dog bite claim can include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity in the past or future, disfigurement, and physical impairment.

How much does a dog bite lawsuit cost?

If you retain me as your lawyer, I operate on a contingency basis, which means I do not charge any fees unless I successfully recover money on your behalf.

How long does a dog bite lawsuit take?

Some cases last only a few months and others could last years. The time frame varies from case to case and depends on the court’s calendar and how many other cases are ahead of you. It is important to remember that a lot of dog bite claims do not go to court, and this would help decrease the time for resolution.

Do most dog bite cases go to trial?

Most dog bite claims settle without court involvement because they are negotiated between the injured person and the dog’s owner or the owner’s homeowners insurance company.

There are circumstances where the dog bite lawsuit might progress all the way to a civil court trial.

Each case is different and this can be discussed at the free initial consultation.

Do I have a legal case if my neighbor's dog bit me on my property?

Possibly, however, you will need to prove that the dog injured you. This will require documenting your case, seeking medical attention, and contacting the police.

If I was bitten by a stray dog, can I still file a claim?

In most cases, a person bit by a stray dog would not have a legal claim. However, if the dog had escaped from a local dog shelter and bit you, you may have a claim against the shelter.  The same applies to a dangerous dog that escapes a homeowner's house. 

Can I sue the property owner if I was bitten by a dog while working?

Yes. Since the property owner invited you on the property to perform work, it is reasonable to assume the property is safe. If the property was not safe, the property owner would be liable for negligence.

If a dog bit me while I was working, can I file for workers' compensation?

If the dog bite occurred within your normal work activities, then yes, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation with your employer.

Can I file a claim if the police dog bit me?

This would depend on the circumstances. If the police dog was improperly used or not properly supervised, the dog bite could constitute unreasonable force and this may require the police to compensate you for your injuries. Special notice requirements are required when suing a city or governmental entity. This would have to be discussed at the free initial consultation.

Free Initial Consultation and No Out-of-Pocket Costs*

If you are injured and believe you have been a victim of someone else’s negligence, call me at 281-929-0110 for a free initial consultation. Or if it is an emergency, please feel free to text me at 832-797-7600.

*As your personal injury lawyer, I will only receive a fee if we recover a settlement or jury verdict for you. In other words, you don’t pay any legal fees unless I make a financial recovery for you!

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