If you love dogs, that feeling may change if you or a loved one are attacked by one. Texas dog owners are obligated to prevent dog attacks, and while the state does follow the one-bite rule, you still have legal rights when you are injured in this type of incident.
What the Laws Say About Dog Bites in Texas
With the one-bite rule in Texas, you need to prove a few things before you can file a personal injury lawsuit. First, you need to show that the dog’s owner knew or should have had reason to believe the dog bit someone before or acted in an aggressive manner. Aggressive behaviours from dogs include growling, snapping, or lunging at someone.
Additionally, you will need to prove that the dog’s owner failed to take action to control the pet or prevent the attack. It should be noted that these rules apply even in situations where a dog doesn’t bite, such as if it knocks you down and causes you injury.
Injuries That Can Occur with Dog Attacks and Bites
While dogs can provide great joy, they can also leave serious injuries behind when they attack. This may include serious cuts, scrapes, puncture wounds, infections, broken bones, bleeding, facial injuries, nerve damage, neck and back injuries, and even psychological impacts.
It’s common for those who are bitten or attacked by a dog to be emotionally traumatized by the event. People who love dogs often become terrified of seeing them in any setting after an attack, and it can impact their enjoyment of life.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Dog attacks are frightening and may happen without any indication of danger. The first step to take is to call 911 for serious injuries. Even if the injuries don’t appear life-threatening, it is imperative to get medical attention.
A small puncture wound can turn into a life-or-death situation if it becomes infected. Don’t shrug it off — get the medical care you need right away.
When the police arrive, they will create an official report. They may even bring criminal charges against the dog’s owner. This will also provide evidence of your claims.
If you don’t know the dog’s owner, you’ll need to get their name and contact information. If anyone witnessed what occurred, it’s also ideal to get their information. You can have them record a statement or let your attorney talk to them.
Getting evidence of your injuries is valuable for your claim, too. You should take photos and videos, capturing your torn clothing in this documentation as well. Even if your clothing appears destroyed, don’t wash it or throw it away. Save it in a plastic bag as it could help you with your dog bite case.
Once you’ve been treated for your injuries, make sure you do everything your doctor has advised. If you are referred to a specialist or to attend follow-up appointments, make sure you go.
Dog bite cases can be challenging to prove. You may need help from a personal injury lawyer to prove the elements and claim compensation in your case.