Conroe Dog Bite Lawyers Help Victims Obtain Justice
Skilled attorneys focus on recovering full compensation
Dog may be man’s best friend, but there are exceptions. Across the country every year, there are about 885,000 dog bites that require medical attention. Many of these result in severe injuries and some end in death. In fact, in Texas, there were seven fatal dog attacks in 2019. At Hope & Causey, P.C. in Conroe, we understand how traumatic a dog attack can be. We help victims obtain justice by holding dog owners accountable to the fullest extent possible for the injuries their pets inflict.
The Texas “one bite rule”
Texas law holds an owner strictly liable for a dog biting someone only if the animal has shown a propensity for viciousness, as evidenced by a prior attack. This is known as the “one bite rule.” After that first incident, the dog owner is liable to pay damages for all injuries resulting from any unprovoked attack on a person who is lawfully present on private or public property.
If the dog has not bitten anyone before and the owner has no other reason to believe the dog is vicious, the victim can recover damages only by proving that the owner was negligent — that is, the owner did not exercise reasonable care in restraining the dog.
The owner might also be criminally liable if the dog attack happened because the owner was taking a substantial and unjustifiable risk or if the dog had previously been determined to be dangerous. Depending on the facts, the owner could be charged with one of these crimes:
- Third-degree felony — A conviction could mean imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000
- Class C misdemeanor — A conviction carries a fine up to $500
A conviction would virtually assure a finding of civil liability for injuries.
What to do if you have been bitten by a dog
Your first consideration after a dog attack is protecting your personal safety and that of anyone else in danger. A dog that has attacked a person may return and attack again. It’s also important to realize that a person who has been attacked by a dog may go into shock, especially if there is blood loss. You should immediately call for medical assistance.
If possible, try to preserve evidence for a legal case. Taking photos with a cellphone can help authorities identify the dog and/or the owner. Photos can also provide evidence of your injuries. If your clothing has been damaged in the attack, you should hold onto it, keeping it in that condition.
Can I get compensation for a dog bite?
Dog attacks can cause serious injuries that include:
- Punctures and lacerations
- Broken and crushed bones
- Shock from blood loss
- Torn muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Psychological symptoms, such as night terrors and agoraphobia
If you or a family member has suffered such injuries in an unprovoked attack, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. Damages recoverable in such a case can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering compensation
How long after a dog bite can you sue in Texas?
As with any personal injury claim, there is a statute of limitations. Texas law allows two years from the date of the attack for you to file a lawsuit. However, it is always best to consult an attorney immediately. This allows your attorney to investigate while the event is still fresh to preserve evidence and get witness statements on record.
Contact an accomplished Conroe lawyer for a free dog bite consultation
The personal injury attorneys at Hope & Causey, P.C. in Conroe, Texas represent dog-bite victims in Montgomery County, San Antonio, Houston and the surrounding areas. For a free case consultation, call 936-441-4673 or contact us online today.