Experiencing a dog bite is a terrifying experience. The first course of action is to leave the aggressive dog’s presence and get to safety. Once there, you’ll want to assess the wounds and get the appropriate medical attention.
But once you’re safe and sound, what next? Do you call the police or report the dog’s bite to animal control?
Our seasoned Texas dog bite lawyers have encountered more than a few dog bite cases where the victim knew the dog’s owner, leaving them to ask the difficult question: Do dog bites have to be reported?
Do Dog Bites Have To Be Reported In Texas — Key Takeaways
- Reporting a dog bite to animal control is important, as it results in a rabies test on the dog that attacked you. Reporting the incident holds the owner of the animal accountable, preventing future attacks.
- Filing a report with animal control and the police will also help you receive financial compensation for your medical bills. You can claim lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses the bite caused, such as mental and emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress and fear of dogs.
Dogs are man’s best friend, so reporting a dog bite is understandably difficult, especially if you know the dog or its owner. Insurance companies know this and will often make it more challenging by guilt-tripping you against filing a claim just to save some cash.
Failing to report a dog bite keeps you from the financial recovery you deserve. It also means that the dog in question may go on to cause harm to others.
This article goes into detail to answer common questions such as: do dog bites have to be reported in Texas, how long do you have to report a dog bite, and do hospitals report dog bites to the police?
We’ll also explore different options and explain how our experienced team at Zinda Law Group can help dog bite injury victims seek the compensation they deserve. If a dog or another animal has hurt you or a loved one, call Zinda Law Group for your free consultation with our Texas dog bite lawyers.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-863-5312
Why Do Dog Bites Have to Be Reported?
Dog bites must be reported to ensure the victim gets proper medical attention, that insurance covers the bills, and that the dog owner is forced to train and manage their dog before it hurts anyone else.
Keep in mind that the dog isn’t necessarily who’s going to be held responsible for the bite — the dog’s owner and their insurance is. Once you report the bite, the owner typically has to pay to quarantine the dog for ten days after the bite.
The dog is then tested for rabies and other conditions, and its behavior is assessed. The owner is expected to change the management of their pet, as aggressive behavior often indicates abuse, neglect or a lack of training and socialization. Dogs are typically only euthanized if the bite is lethal or severe enough to cause permanent impairment or if there is a pattern of aggressive behavior.
Some states, like Texas, have a “one bite” policy, meaning a dog bite lawyer needs to show that the dog’s owner knew that the dog had acted aggressively or bitten someone in the past. After the first bite, the dog owner is notified that they need to restrain their dog more effectively in the future. Reporting the dog bite can prevent a future injury to someone else and prevent the dog from getting euthanized.
How long do you have to report a dog bite?
The Statute of Limitations timeframe changes from state to state. Texas law allows you to file a lawsuit against the owner of an aggressive dog within two years of the dog bite incident. These laws may differ if you’re suing on behalf of an underage dependant. We suggest you consult a dog bite lawyer in your area to review your rights in detail.
Do hospitals report dog bites to the police?
Hospitals have different requirements for reporting dog bites depending on their jurisdiction. That said, hospitals are typically forced to report dog bites and attacks to the local authorities to help track aggressive dog behavior.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Dog Bite?
A dog’s owner is responsible for training and managing their pet. If their carelessness results in their dog injuring you or a loved one, the dog owner is responsible for the cost of treating the physical and psychological injuries.
Dog bites can cause significant injuries such as torn skin, broken bones, skull fractures, rabies, pain and suffering, Post Traumatic Stress, or even fatality. Paranoia, depression, anxiety, and a fear of dogs that weren’t there before are all considered mental or emotional injuries as well.
Pursuing compensation from dog owners can be problematic, as the owner can’t pay you money they don’t have. That said, compensation can also come from the owner’s insurance policy. But insurance companies aren’t always eager to pay what they owe. This makes an experienced dog bite attorney essential for getting fair financial compensation.
Should I Call Animal Control After a Dog Bite?
Authorities urge you to report dog bite incidents to your local animal control office. Agencies like animal control and local health departments track animal attacks for the following reasons:
- Documenting the Personal Injury
- Initiating Dog Bite Investigation
- Holding Owners Accountable to Dog Bite Laws
- Preventing More Attacks
- Rescuing Dogs from Abusive Owners
If you need help reporting the dog bite incident or have specific questions about who to report it with or about what’ll happen to the dog if you do report it, most experienced lawyers offer a free attorney consultation.
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So, Do Dog Bites Have To Be Reported? How a Texas Dog Bite Lawyer from Zinda Law Group Can Help
Insurance companies will do anything to reduce your settlement amount, including convincing you not to file a claim against the dog owner for personal reasons. We understand not wanting to put an aggressive dog at risk of harm. However, failing to report the incident can lead to the continued mistreatment of the animal by an abusive owner or to repeated future dog bites, leading to euthanization.
Still, a lack of legal support and a poor understanding of the victim’s, owner’s, and dog’s rights can make reporting a dog bite seem overwhelming. An experienced Texas dog bite lawyer can guide you through the complicated process of reporting a dog bite.
Our lawyers at Zinda Law Group have experience pursuing the medical, financial, and emotional compensation you deserve after a traumatic animal attack. At your request, we’ll investigate your losses, contact bystanders, and compile evidence of the dog owner’s liability.
Zinda Law Group assigns a comprehensive team to your case, including expert witnesses. You get more than just an experienced dog bite lawyer when you work with Zinda Law Group. And we do our best to assign two lawyers to every case on our docket.
Zinda Law Group’s attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t receive any legal bills whether we investigate your case, negotiate for a settlement, or represent you in court.
If a dog or another animal bit you or a loved one, don’t be afraid to report the dog bite incident, and know you’re not alone. Call Zinda Law Group for your free consultation with our experienced lawyers.