A 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. An estimated 333,700 of the dog bite victim population needed emergency medical care following the attack. These numbers prove that while dogs can be loyal companions, they can also cause extensive damages. If you live in Texas and suffered injuries in a dog bite-related accident, a Houston dog bite lawyer can help.
Our personal injury lawyers may be able to help you recover economic and non-economic damages. If you would like to discuss your case in great detail with a member of our legal team, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.
Causes of Dog Bites
Dogs can bite people for a number of reasons. The following are possible reasons dogs bite:
- Provocation. Being physically abusive toward a dog or acting in an intimidating manner can cause a dog to bite you. Also, jogging past a house can trigger the chase reflexes in a dog, which could lead to an attack. In some cases, if you wander into the space of a dog that is not properly trained or adequately socialized, you may get hurt. This is why you must refrain from putting your face close to a strange dog, even though it is a sign of affection.
- Territorialism. By nature, dogs are territorial and may not hesitate to defend their turf if they feel provoked or attacked. This explains why they may bark viciously when a guest or an intruder comes into the home. Dog owners who are aware that their pet gets aggressive around strangers but refuses to restrain them or take preventive measures to keep their guests and other-third parties safe can be held liable.
- Protection and defense. To protect and defend themselves, their puppies, owners, or pack, a dog may act aggressively and bite you. A dog bite can even be a warning sign that they do not want to share their food or toys. Interestingly, a dog may also bite if they do not want to be bothered or are injured or ill. Dogs with a history of abuse and abandonment may also attack and bite people easily since they are always in defensive mode.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
A dog bite can lead to a variety of injuries that vary in severity. These include:
- Nerve damage. A vicious attack by a dog can cause extensive damage to the head, neck, and nerves, and result in a temporary loss of function to permanent disability. In the case of facial damage, the victim can lose their hearing, sight, and even suffer permanent disfigurement.
- Puncture wounds and lacerations. The injuries from a dog bite can range from small cuts to deep wounds in the skin. Per the latter, the victim may need extensive medical care and sometimes, reconstructive surgery such as skin grafts. Even after the wound heals, there is the issue of scarring that can result in loss of confidence and diminished quality of life.
- Infections from dog bites can lead to certain medical conditions and in extreme circumstances, death. When bitten by a dog you may be at risk of contracting Capnocytophaga, Pasteurella, Streptococcus, or Staphylococcus. If the dog is not vaccinated, there is a risk of being infected with rabies
- Emotional trauma. Depending on the severity of the attack, a dog bite can result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the victim. This can cause a perpetual fear of dogs and even fear of being outdoors. For the victim to lead a healthy, normal life, they may need to seek psychological help.
Hiring a Lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
To seek damages for your injuries, you have up to two years to file a claim in civil court against the liable party. You can start your litigation process by hiring a Houston dog bite lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We will investigate your claims and if valid, file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner if they are liable. They can be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog if:
- You were not trespassing
- You did not provoke the dog through abuse, torment, or intimidation
- You were not attempting to or committing a crime
- The dog’s aggressive behavior caused your injuries
To recover damages, we will prove that:
- The dog’s owner knew that the dog has a history of aggression or bit someone in the past
- The dog’s owner acted negligently because they failed to restrain their dog or take safety precautions to prevent the bite from occurring in the first place.
Criminal Liability in Dog Bite Claims
In addition to civil liability, the dog’s owner can face criminal charges if the victim’s injuries are severe. The Texas Health and Safety Code section 822.005 states that the dog’s owner can be charged with a felony if:
- The owner failed to secure the dog and it attacked someone, unprovoked, away from the owner’s property
- If the owner knows the dog is dangerous and the dog attacks someone outside of its enclosure
- The above situation lead to bodily harm or death
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Houston, call (800) 794-0444
Contact Us for Legal Assistance Today
If you are a dog bite victim living in the Houston area, a Houston dog bite lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you recover damages for your injuries. To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us today at (800) 794-0444.