In addition to being painful and frightening, animal bites can also be expensive. Depending on the severity of the injury, a trip to the emergency room may have been required. In any event, follow up treatments such as tetanus shots or monitoring for rabies are often required. This may also involve lost time from work.
When a dog or other animal bites, a natural reaction may be to not place blame on the animal because it was only doing what animals do. This is only partially correct. While an animal may never be fully responsible for its actions, every owner has a duty to keep their animals under control.
Almost all jurisdictions have laws requiring animals to be kept on a leash or inside a fence in most circumstances. Even when these laws do not apply, an animal owner is still responsible for making sure their animal is trained to not bite people or to otherwise exercise control over the animal so that it cannot bite people.
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Legally, this is known as a duty of care. This duty of care is owed to all people who may come into contact with the animal during ordinary circumstances. Examples of when a duty of care is owed include being in the same public park as the animal or walking down a street in front of the animal. A duty of care would generally not be owed in circumstances such as when a person climbs over a fence to where the animal is secured on private property or strikes a leashed animal.
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If an animal bite is the result of an owner breaching a duty of care, the owner may be legally responsible for any damages suffered by the injured party. Damages will often extend beyond initial treatment to any losses resulting from the bite such as subsequent doctor visits and any time lost from work.
If you have suffered financial losses due to an animal bite in or around Corpus Christi, Texas, contact an attorney to learn about your right to be reimbursed by the owner. The attorney will explain what you may be able to legally recover and what you will need to do.
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Often, an initial consultation will be free. This will allow you to consider whether legal action would be worth pursuing without incurring any expenses. If an attorney believes you have a valid claim and is willing to assist you, he or she will often take a personal injury case such as an animal bite on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will have no upfront cost and the attorney will only be paid if you recover money in court.
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