What Do I Do if My Neighbor’s Dog Bites Me in Houston?
Dogs are man’s best friends -at least that’s what they say. And, for the most part, this is true. It isn’t until your friend or neighbor’s dog bites you that you change your tune. In the movies, they make it look like getting bit by a dog is funny. In the cartoons, the dog yanks on a guy until he loses an arm. A few seconds later, he’s just fine.
In real life, it doesn’t work this way. If your neighbor’s dog bites you, there are going to be some serious injuries. You could suffer broken bones, facial lacerations, even internal injuries. Of course, most dog bites are minor. But depending on the nature of the attack and the size of the dog, there’s no telling what could happen to you.
What are the Dog Bite Laws in Texas?
A lot of states have statutes that specifically address dog bites. Texas does not have this kind of statute. However, there is something in Texas called the “One Bite Rule.” This rule comes from a case called Marshall vs Ranne. The court in this case decided that, if someone knows their dog is dangerous, they’ll be held strictly liable for damages.
This means that, if a dog bites someone, and it’s not the first time they’ve done, the owner will be liable for any damages. The plaintiff doesn’t even need to prove that the owner was at fault in any way. However, if the dog has never bitten anyone before, you’ll still have to prove negligence.
How Does Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Negligence?
Proving negligence in a dog bite case isn’t much different from proving negligence in any other case. Your Houston injury attorney has to prove the following four (4) elements. These include:
- The dog owner owed you a duty of care – This isn’t hard to prove. Dog owners have to make sure their animals don’t hurt people. They need to keep their dog on a list. They also have to keep their dog in the house if the know their dog is vicious.
- They breached their duty of care – You also have to prove that the dog owner breached this duty of care. For example, if they let the dog out without a leash, it will be considered a breach.
- You were injured – You need to go to the hospital after your bite to make sure you can document your injuries. You also want to make sure you’re okay.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach – It may seem like this would be obvious. However, there are times when your injuries have very little to do with the defendant’s breach. For example, a dog may bite you. But if it was because you threw a rock at it, the defendant probably won’t be held responsible.
What Kind of Damages Can You Demand?
Your personal injury lawyer in Houston is going to demand that you be compensated for your injuries. As with any other personal injury case, your damages will include the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Any lost wages due to your recovering from your injuries
- Future lost earnings if you end up unable to work again
- Pain and suffering
- Any property damage you may have suffered during the attack
Your attorney will do their best to get you the compensation you deserve. It’s important that you document your attack if you expect to recover any damages. This means you have to go to the hospital. You also have to call the police. This way, you’ll have a police report to prove what happened.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if Your Neighbor’s Dog Bites You
If your neighbor’s dog bites you, you need to call an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can sit down with you and answer any questions you may have. They can also give you an idea of what your case may be worth.
Call McDonald Worley today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case. The dog’s owner is going to have a lawyer working for them. So will their homeowner’s company. And don’t feel bad about suing a neighbor. You’ll file a claim against their insurance company. And, hopefully, it’ll never come down to you actually having to file suit.