Too many times, dog bite victims tend to be meter readers, contractors or other workers who enter a back yard and have not been warned of a dangerous dog roaming there. Of course, children are also regular victims, as well, such as when a dog gets out of its yard and its first victim is a child.
Contrary to popular belief, most dog bites are not provoked and they usually involve inherently dangerous breeds, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds or Doberman Pinschers. Many of those dogs are bred to guard and attack, sometimes through biting. That said, any dog can bite anyone at any time for any reason. When I say dog bites, I’m talking about serious attacks, not just the playful types that can happen when I’m not talking about the playful dog bite.
The more severe injuries occur when dogs bite infants or children in the face; that often results in severe scarring and sometimes even the loss of an eye or a broken jaw. Such injuries usually require extensive scar revision, numerous surgeries and it can be costly and very traumatic for the victim. For adults, bites tend to be on limbs, such as arms, hands, legs and ankles or on the back, when the dog is larger. Adults tend not to be bitten in the face because they’re taller and stronger.
Are there Leash Laws that People Have to Abide By?
Here in the city of Houston, there are leash laws that folks should abide by when walking their dog, although I have never had a case in which a dog that caused serious injury was out walking and just got off the leash. The cases I see are dogs that tend to get away from the back yard and are wandering around; of course, that’s in technical violation of the leash law because they’re out in public without a leash.
Who is Liable for a Dog Attack?
That depends on the dog. For inherently dangerous dogs such as Pit-bulls, Rottweilers, etc. the owners of those dogs are automatically liable when that dog bites, while other dogs, such as poodles, retrievers, that sometimes bite but the owner is not necessarily liable just because the dog bit the first time. With those dogs, you need to prove the dog had a history of biting and that the owner knew of it before you can claim negligence. In other words, there is a one free bite rule for dogs that are not inherently dangerous.
What Would I be Entitled to If I was the Victim of a Dog Attack?
It depends on the severity of your injuries; if you have simple puncture wounds to your leg that did not require stitches and the scarring is minimal and located somewhere not clearly visible, the case is probably worth less than $10,000 because the medical bills will tend to be low. The exception might be if there is post-traumatic stress disorder that is documented by a psychiatrist.
Each case is evaluated individually; you may have a child who was bitten in the face, leaving severe scars that will require scar revision surgeries throughout their life; future medical costs could be in six figures; you never know. In certain cases, you will have nerve damage to the face, damage to salivary glands, or even eye or ear injuries that require major plastic surgery. Every case is evaluated differently.
For more information on General Vicinity of Dog Attacks, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 713-333–7025 today.