Across the world, dog ownership is commonplace. Many, if not most, homes have dogs or have had dogs in the past. Because dogs are such a part of everyday life, it is not surprising that dog attacks happen. In fact, they happen quite a bit. Four and a half million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. It is not always Pit Bulls or Rottweilers that attack. Even the most well behaved and tame dogs can snap. During these attacks, those around are sometimes left struggling and fighting to keep the animal from hurting the victim further. Simply put, these attacks can be brutal. The aftermath of an animal attack is never pleasant. The victims of dog bites are often faced with medical bills, physical scarring, and, at times, years of emotional trauma. Additionally, dog bites very often cause infections. Infections can cause serious health consequences. In many cases, the owners of the dog are neighbors or family members, complicating the situation. You may feel hesitant to pursue a personal injury claim, but it’s important to know that the dog owner likely has a homeowner’s insurance policy that will cover your injuries and loss.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A DOG BITE
- Get Medical Treatment. Your health should always come first. If the injuries warrant it, call 911 for serious injuries or wounds.
- Document Injuries and gather evidence. While you may be dealing with shock, it is important to collect video and photos of the scene. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses. Most importantly, photograph your injuries.
- Contact Animal Control/Police. You should report the dog bite as soon as possible. We recommend contacting law enforcement or filing a report with animal control.
Most everyone agrees that dog owners have a responsibility to keep their animal from harming others. However, Texas law regarding dog bites is complicated.
The Texas “One Bite Rule”
Texas is just 1 of 15 states that follow the “One-Bite Rule” when it comes to dog bites and attacks. This rule states that dog owners can be protected from liability for a dog’s first biting offense. However, this rule does not mean that an owner cannot be found responsible for damages caused by their animal’s first offense. Not only are some specific dog breeds not subject to the rule, but dogs from other “safer” breeds are only protected if liability can’t be based on other grounds.
Other Ways to Prove Negligence
There are many ways that animal owners could be liable regardless of the “One-Bite-Rule.” Some ways that owners have been founds responsible are:
- Due to jurisdictional leash laws, the dog should have been on a leash at the time of the attack
- The owner of the dog did not exercise reasonable control
- The dog owner(s) were negligent in the dog’s supervision.
If you or a loved one were injured because of a dog bite or attack, contact the lawyers at the Echavarria Law Firm at (210)320-5633. You and your family should not be left to deal with the medical expenses, physical injury and trauma alone. The Echavarria law Firm will work with diligence and compassion to aid those that are injured in a dog attack.