Can I Sue My Neighbor If Their Dog Bites Me?
Dogs. Most people love them. Some, if not most, are generally friendly. Although people have their opinions on some breeds being “dangerous”, no dog is more likely to attack you than another. It all comes back to how the dog was trained. No matter what type, fighting the urge to pet dogs is a battle many lose every day. Whether the dog is one you know from the neighborhood or a stranger’s dog you see while out and about, the excitement to pet dogs never fades.
The real problem is, we never know when a dog may attack. If an owner warns you that their dog is not friendly, usually people fight the urge to pet them. Most people can read a dog’s attitude and instantly know if there is an issue or not. Dogs usually tend to be loyal to family and those they know; it’s only when a dog thinks someone is a threat that they do actually attack.
What Happens If a Neighbor’s Dog Bites You?
Depending on where you get bitten and how hard, you may need to go to the hospital. A rabies shot is usually suggested just in case, and worst-case scenario, you need stitches or surgery. If you or a loved one are bitten by a dog, call an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston. They can help you give you your options and file a claim against the dog owner’s insurance company.
What Are Houston’s Dog Bite Laws?
Unlike other states, Texas does not have a dog bite statute. Instead, lawmakers use the negligence standard, which means in order to recover for a dog bite incident, one must prove negligence.
Proving Negligence of the Dog’s Owner
Negligence case requires four basic elements:
- There was a duty
- That duty was breached
- You were injured
- Your injuries were because of the breach of duty
One Bite Rule
Texas follows the “one bite rule”, which says that in order to prevail against a dog owner for damages from a dog bite incident, you need to prove:
- The dog’s owner knew the dog had a history of biting or that the dog was known to act aggressively against someone before; OR
- The dog’s owner was negligent in controlling their dog or from preventing it from biting the victim
Things that may affect your case and how the judge decides are where it took place or whether you were at equal fault. If you were trespassing when you got bitten, you will not be able to recover. If you antagonized the dog before it bit you, you may lose your case. Or, if the court finds evidence that you knew the dog was vicious or aggressive and you assumed the risk of approaching it anyway, you will not be entitled to recover damages.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Serious dog bite injuries may end up costing you a lot of money out of pocket. It is possible that the injury could take you out of works for days or even weeks. An injury like this could have a major impact on your day to day life. It isn’t fair that you have to carry the burden of paying for injuries and deal with the pain; somebody should be held responsible.
Even if your injuries aren’t severe, you shouldn’t have to pay for any medical expenses yourself. Call and schedule a free consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney at the Pusch and Nguyen Law Firm. See what your options are in regard to your injury and receiving compensation for it. (713) 524-8139