Dog attacks have the potential to cause debilitating injuries and lifelong emotional and physical scars. Some dog attacks are even fatal. Children are at a particularly high risk when attacked by dogs because of their small stature, which often places their faces, heads and necks within easy biting distance. They are also more likely to be knocked to the ground by a dog. Still, anyone can fall victim to a dog attack when owners fail to keep their dogs in control.
Fortunately, victims of dog bites do have rights when it comes to holding an accountable party responsible and recovering financial compensation for their injuries. At The Daspit Law Firm, we help dog bite victims better understand these rights and how we can protect them!
Rights of Dog Bite Victims in Texas
Every state has its own interpretation and implementation of dog bite laws, and Texas is one of the less favorable states in terms of victims' rights. Some states allow dog owners to be held strictly liable for injuries inflicted by their dogs, regardless of particular negligence or wrongdoing.
- In Texas, an owner of a dog may only be held legally responsible if the animal previously bit someone or acted in such a manner as to indicate it would attack, and the owner knew of such a history or behavior. There is no specific statue applying to dog attacks in Texas; case law therefore dictates how these matters are handled.
- A victim of a dog attack in Texas may also be able to seek financial compensation if the owner of the dog was negligent, even if the dog had no history of violence. An example may be a dog that is not on a leash, in violation of leash laws in the area. If that dog then attacked someone, the owner could be held liable because he or she was negligent in handling the dog.
Texas law imposes harsh criminal penalties on owners of vicious dogs. Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.005 dictates that a person who, with criminal negligence, fails to secure a dog and the dog attacks another person without provocation, causing serious bodily injury to that person, may face third degree felony charges. This applies to attacks that occur somewhere other than the dog owner's property.
Whatever the particular facts and circumstances may be, The Daspit Law Firm is committed to helping dog bite victims across Houston and the state of Texas recover compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If you would like to learn more about your rights, a Houston personal injury lawyer at The Daspit Law Firm can help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.