Corpus Christi Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
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Dog bites may cause devastating and long-lasting injuries, so it’s important to take steps to protect your legal right to seek compensation.
TEXAS DOG BITE LAWS
Texas is a “negligence” or “one bite rule” state when it comes to dog bite injuries. Therefore, in order to recover for a dog bite, the victim must show that:
- The dog's owner knew that the dog had bitten someone before or had acted aggressively in the past, or
- The dog's owner was negligent in controlling the dog or preventing the bite from occurring, and that negligence caused the victim’s injuries.
Additionally, Corpus Christi has its own dog bite ordinances, setting out specific requirements for owners of dangerous dogs. A dangerous dog, according to the Texas Health and Safety Code, is defined as:
- A dog that makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
- A dog that commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own, and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
WHY DOG BITE INJURIES OCCUR
Usually dogs bite people when they feel threatened. It’s a natural instinct for dogs to try to defend themselves in threatening situations. This is why it’s important for everyone who interacts with dogs to understand what may provoke a dog bite. Some of the most common causes of dog bites are:
The Dog is Defending Itself
A dog may bite you in self-defense. A dog may also bite you to defend its territory, a member of its pack, or its food. A mother dog may fiercely protect her puppies as well.
The Dog is Startled
Never startle a dog you don’t know by waking it up or suddenly approaching it from behind. Surprising a dog when it least expects it may provoke a defensive bite.
Playing or Running Away from a Dog
Running away from a dog, even during play, may provoke a bite. The dog that’s chasing you may think it’s part of the fun and nip you too hard. On the other hand, the dog chasing you could turn the chase into a predatory pursuit, causing it to bite more aggressively.
The Dog is Scared
A dog that is scared of its environment may bite anyone who approaches it. These kinds of situations are especially prevalent in dogs that have previously been abused or abandoned.
The Dog is Injured or Sick
If a dog is in any kind of pain, it may not want to be approached or handled, even by its favorite people.
COMMON DOG BITE INJURIES
The most common injuries sustained from a dog bite may include:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Emotional effects
WHAT TO DO IF A DOG BITES YOU
Here are some steps you should take if you have been bitten by a dog:
1. Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention immediately after being bitten, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. Leaving a dog bite untreated may cause infection and develop into something much worse. Remember that medical records may help prove that your injuries were caused by the dog bite, so be sure to keep an organized record of any documented injuries.
2. Obtain the Dog Owner’s Contact Information
It is always important to obtain the dog owner’s phone number, address, and insurance information. Even if you don’t know who the dog’s owner is and the owner is nowhere to be found, you may still obtain information from possible eyewitnesses or even from the dog’s license or collar tag, if possible.
3. Gather Evidence
Keep and gather evidence. Do not get rid of torn, blood-soaked, or dirty clothing, backpacks, purses, or anything else that was worn during the attack. These items could be crucial evidence. Additionally, make sure to take pictures of any injuries you may have, the dog, the location where the attack happened, and anything else that may be relevant to showing how the attack occurred.
4. Report the Dog Bite
Victims often hesitate to call the police or local animal control authorities when bitten by a dog they know. Understandably, victims do not want to sour a relationship with a family member, friend, or neighbor by reporting their dog. However, it’s important for aggressive dogs to be evaluated to determine if they are dangerous to others. Remember, if you fail to report a bite, the dog could hurt someone else.
5. Call A Dog Bite Attorney
Filing a personal injury claim for a dog bite is often a complex and challenging process. Hiring an experienced dog bite attorney may help you through this difficult and traumatic time after the dog attack. A dog bite attorney at Zinda Law Group may not only help with gathering your claim documentation but may also help you establish liability and seek and negotiate fair compensation for your injuries. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced dog bite attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
WHO MAY BE LIABLE
Dog owners are usually the ones who are held liable when their dog bites someone, but other parties may also face liability:
A dog sitter or house sitter may be held liable if they are temporarily taking care of another’s dog. During the time the caretaker is watching the dog, they will typically be considered the dog’s keeper at the time. Whether or not a temporary caretaker may be held liable depends on the circumstances and the court.
Property Owners and Landlords
Landlords who do not have control over their tenants’ dogs are generally not held liable when the dog bites someone else. However, liability may be imposed if the landlord knew that the dog was dangerous but still allowed the animal on their property around others.
Read More: Premises Liability
Children and Parents
If a child is under 18 and owns or is taking care of a dog, the child’s parents are probably liable when the dog bites someone else. Some states may rule that the parents are harboring the dangerous dog in their home.
COMPENSATION FOR DOG BITE INJURIES
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your own vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
Remember that damages are more than just medical bills. When a victim suffers from serious injuries after a dog attack, they may be traumatized by having to undergo painful shots or take medications with bad side effects. A dog bite victim may also be left with facial scars or scars to other visible parts of their body. These scars may last a lifetime and may subject the victim to problems in social settings. Dog bite scars have the potential to significantly lower a victim’s self-esteem or cause long-lasting emotional distress.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
GET HELP FROM OUR CORPUS CHRISTI DOG BITE ATTORNEYS
At Zinda Law Group, our Corpus Christi dog bite lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from a dog bite.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from a dog bite, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our Corpus Christi dog bite attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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