Dog bites are terrifying experiences that frequently cause severe injuries and emotional trauma. Although some people get bitten when teasing or hurting a dog, others sustain canine attacks without reason or warning.
Unfortunately, dog lovers are not immune from being bitten. In many cases, dogs bite people they know. Many individuals, especially parents, would benefit from knowing the common causes of dog bites in Houston to prevent devastating incidents. Reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney at Roberts Markland LLP to learn more.
Dogs often give people warnings, but people must know how to interpret them. For example, growling, barking, and showing teeth are clear signs that the dog wants space. In these cases, the animal might be protecting its territory or food. Parents should teach children to be cautious if a dog exhibits these behaviors.
A dog’s body language can indicate whether it is feeling threatened. If so, it is more likely to bite. For example, loud, insistent barking and making their bodies appear as big as possible are signs that the dog senses a threat. Conversely, a dog that appears defeated, with its tail between its legs and a collapsed posture, is trying to signal submission and a wish to be left alone. Therefore, approaching a dog that feels threatened could be dangerous.
Dogs sometimes bite during play, but even accidental nips can break the skin and cause infection or scarring. Playfighting is behavior dogs engage in with littermates, typically carrying over into adulthood. Wrestling and playing tug of war often triggers this behavior.
Pet owners and others in Houston should avoid playing with dogs in a way that gets them overly excited, as excitement could lead to accidental biting. In addition, parents should always supervise their children when they play with dogs and encourage them to stop if the animal becomes rambunctious.
Dogs are more likely to bite in certain situations. However, if people adhere to common-sense rules and teach their children to do the same, many dog bites might be prevented.
Approaching an unknown dog if its owner is not present is unwise, even if the owner is present, since many animals attempt to protect their owners by biting. Dogs that enjoy meeting new people often make that clear by approaching in a relaxed manner. However, always ask an owner’s permission before greeting a strange dog, even if it appears harmless.
Do not approach or disturb a sleeping dog, as it might bite as a startle response. Likewise, reaching into a car or other enclosed space where a dog has nowhere to retreat invites a bite.
As dogs age, they often lose their eyesight and hearing, just like humans. Therefore, it is easier to startle an older dog, and the dog might bite in response. Additionally, sick dogs might bite because they do not feel well or their bodies are sore. A skilled lawyer in Houston could offer guidance on the best ways to prevent canine bites during a consultation.
Dog bites can happen even when people take reasonable precautions. Texas does not have a law that makes dog owners automatically liable if their animal bites. However, an injured person might have a viable claim if a dog has a history of aggression or if an owner’s negligence led to an incident.
When a bite happens, it is crucial to collect as much evidence as possible, including pictures of the dog, the wound, and the location where the attack occurred. If the owner is present, ask for their contact information. Houston Municipal Code §6-101 requires dogs to be leashed, so note whether the dog was leashed or had a collar and tags.
Getting immediate medical attention is also critical. Even minor-looking bites could lead to infections and scarring. A healthcare provider’s treatment record could establish when the bite happened and document its severity. This information could be necessary if the dog’s owner disputes that the attack occurred. A knowledgeable attorney in Houston could help victims gather the proper evidence after a dog bite to ensure they collect the maximum compensation possible.
There are several common causes of dog bites in Houston, each having significant and devastating consequences. If a dog bites you or your child, you might have a claim against the dog’s owner for your injuries.
A local attorney could investigate whether the dog has a history of aggression or if the owner’s negligence contributed to the bite. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today.