Being bitten and injured by someone else’s dog can be a harrowing experience, even when the physical injuries you sustain heal completely through time and medical treatment. Unfortunately, it is all too common for dog bite injuries to have permanent, debilitating, and life-altering consequences for victims, especially when the injured person is a young child or an elderly adult.
Recovering compensation for the effects of catastrophic dog bites in Houston is often more complicated than seeking restitution for a less severe attack, in no small part because of the possibility that the defendant may face criminal charges on top of civil liability. A skilled dog bite lawyer could explain how these cases work in detail during a private consultation and provide crucial assistance with pursuing every cent you deserve.
Civil And Criminal Liability For Catastrophic Bites
A dog owner can be held civilly liable for failing to keep their dog under control and prevent them from injuring you, whether the animal has shown vicious or aggressive tendencies in the past or not. However, when the dog has attacked or bitten someone else before, the court holds that the animal’s owner should have controlled or restrained the pet more. In practice, it is much easier to hold a pet owner in Houston liable for damages caused by a severe bite when it is not the first time the dog has attacked someone.
Additionally, the court can charge dog owners in Houston with a felony under Texas Health and Safety Code §822.005 when they demonstrate “criminal negligence” by failing to properly control the dog they know to be dangerous—especially when the animal causes serious or fatal bodily injury to another person. In this context, a “dangerous” dog is one that has attacked someone before or behaves aggressively in a way that looks like it might attack someone in the future. However, there is only legal standing to file a claim when the dog attacks the victim outside their enclosure, and that the victim did not provoke the animal.
Recovering Fairly For Long-Term And Permanent Losses
With or without associated criminal charges, a dog owner who allows their pet to cause catastrophic injury by biting or attacking someone else in Houston may be civilly liable for past and future losses the plaintiff sustains, including:
- All expenses for bite-related medical care, including expected costs of future rehabilitative care and surgeries
- Lost working ability or income
- Damage to personal property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and trauma
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life caused by permanent disfigurement or physical disability
During a confidential meeting, a knowledgeable lawyer in Houston can offer specific guidance about recoverable damages following a devastating dog attack.
An Attorney In Houston Could Help After A Catastrophic Dog Bite
All dog breeds have the ability to cause devastating harm if they believe someone else poses a threat to them or their owner. When you suffer permanent and physically debilitating or disfiguring harm because someone else’s dog attacked you, you may have a right to demand civil restitution, which a capable legal professional could assist you with.
Civil cases built around catastrophic dog bites in Houston are not proceedings you should try to handle alone. Call our legal representatives at Roberts Markland LLP today to learn how a seasoned dog attack lawyer could help you.