Dog Bite Injuries
If you or a loved one suffered personal injuries from a dog bite in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Central Texas, or elsewhere across the state of Texas, you might be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Dog bite injuries can be devastating. Many dog bite victims suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement from the dog’s jaws ripping, tearing, and chomping on the victim. All too often, as we know, dog bites are fatal, especially to children and the elderly. Even a snap from a dog can break the skin and cause lacerations. Infections can fester in the wounds, compounding the injury. You need representation from an experienced dog bite attorney to win the compensation you deserve.
The state of Texas follows the “one bite” rule. The “one bite” rule means that the owner of the dog is not liable for damages caused by a dog bite unless the dog previously bit someone or attempted to bite someone. To hold the owner liable, you must show that the dog owner knew about the first attack. While this may seem unfair, the issue in Texas is whether the dog owner knew the dog had a propensity or a predisposition for biting people. A Texas dog owner is not liable for the first bite unless the dog owner has a reason to know the dog is dangerous or vicious.
The dog owner is liable for negligent handling of the dog. If the owner inserts the dog into a situation which a reasonable person would foresee the dog would attack, then the owner is responsible for the damages caused by the dog even if that is the first time the dog attacked. The owner of the dog cannot simply walk away from the situation he or she caused because they introduced the dog into a dangerous situation.
So, what should you do if you suffered a dog bite? First, seek immediate medical attention if the situation requires it. You may also consider calling law enforcement personnel to respond to the scene to document the incident. The police are a wealth of information in this regard. It is possible that this is not the first time the dog attacked or that the person in control of the dog has had dogs known to bite. You should call animal control to inquire whether the dog had the required inoculations such as rabies shots. Animal control is another resource from which you can learn whether this is a repeat or isolated incident.
There are other things you can do to protect your rights after suffering a dog bite once the emergency has subsided. Make notes as to your recollection of how the bite happened. Try to document as much information as you can shortly after the incident when your memory is fresher. Try to identify the dog. If you cannot identify breed, then take note of coloring, size, weight, the presence or absence of a chain, or dog licenses. Note the scene and include details like where you were walking, if you were walking with your dog, witnesses in the area, and what lead up to the attack. You will need to know where the dog came from and where it went after the attack.
You should also try to identify the dog’s owner as soon as possible. The owner may be immediately on the scene and easy to identify. If so, take note of the owner’s demeanor. The owner’s behavior can give you some indication as to whether they knew about the dog’s propensity for violence or whether this was the first time. Make a note of the condition of the owner’s premises. The owner may be liable for failing to maintain the proper barrier so the dog cannot escape from the owner’s premises and into the public. However, you can interview neighbors to discover whether incidents like this have happened before.
Above all, hire an experienced and accomplished dog bite attorney to fight for your rights. If you suffered injuries caused by a dog bite in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Central Texas, or anywhere in the state, dog bite attorney Hermes E. Flores is here to represent you. There is no fee unless we are successful. We are available 24/7 to address your needs. Call 512-947-9103 to speak with an attorney about your rights today.