Every pet owner has a liability to ensure that their dog and or any animal are contained or leashed and take precautionary steps to make sure the pet does not cause physical or mental harm to any human. However, it's been said that a dog bite occurs once every 40 seconds in the United States. Dog bites are dangerous, painful, and very costly. If you or someone you know has suffered from the following:
- Children injured by dog bites
- Loss of limb
- Emotional damage, anxiety
- Dangerous breed attack
- Serious injuries
- Harsh scarring
- Tissue loss
Contact the Law Offices of John K. Zaid & Associates, PLLC
Free Consultation about your Dog Bite Injury
No Attorney's Fees unless you Recover from your Claim
The following information will answer some of the more frequently asked questions about such injuries:
Q: What should I do if I have been attacked by an animal?
A: The first thing is to seek medical care for your injuries. Almost as important is to get as much information about the animal and its owner as possible. If you are attacked by a wild animal or an animal that you cannot identify, your doctor may insist that you get protective rabies shots, a painful experience.
Q: What if the animal that attacked me has an owner?
A: If, for example, you were attacked by a dog belonging to someone, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If possible, get some basic information about the owner of the dog, such as his name, address, telephone number, and insurance information. Act much in the same way you would act after having a traffic accident with another driver.
Q: How do I make a claim for my injuries?
A: Making a claim for injuries caused by an animal attack is usually a matter of contacting the insurance company of the animal's owner. Although the insurer will likely try to convince you that you do not need an attorney, don't listen to that bad advice. It is in the insurance company's best interest to talk you out of getting legal help, so make sure to consult with an attorney to protect your rights. You are ALWAYS entitled to talk to a lawyer.
Q: Do I have to show that the animal was vicious in order to recover?
A: Sometimes. If you are bitten by a dog that has never shown signs of aggression, the owner might be able to argue that he could not have prevented the attack because he had no reason to know that the dog would bite. In contrast, if the attack is by a guard dog or a dog bred for aggression or fighting (like many pit bulls), or the animal has shown aggression in the past, the owner will probably be liable for not taking the necessary steps to prevent your injuries. Again, the best way to pursue a claim arising out of an animal attack is with a lawyer who can help you determine the precise scope of your rights under a given set of facts.
Q: Assuming I have a claim, what kind of compensation can I recover?
A: The answer depends very much on the facts of your case. Certainly, you should be able to recover your medical expenses, as well as any wages you lost if your injuries rendered you unable to work. If the attack has left you scarred or disfigured, you can probably recover the costs of any cosmetic surgery necessary to correct the problem. You may also be entitled to something for your pain and suffering, and, in truly terrible cases, you may even be able to recover "extra" damages to punish the animal's owner if he is guilty of serious wrongdoing.
Q: What will happen to the animal and his owner? Will they get in criminal trouble?
A: Here again, the facts determine the answer. If the attack was by an otherwise good-natured family pet with no history of prior attacks, probably nothing will happen to the dog or its owner. However, if the dog has a history of attacking people, the authorities may find that it is dangerous and have it "put down." A new law enacted in Texas after several high-profile dog attacks makes it possible for the animal's owner to be held criminally liable in cases involving death and serious injury. But, as with all things legal, the facts will determine the outcome.
Q: If you are injured by an animal, who pays?
A: Usually, it is the insurance policy covering the owner of the animal and/or the property where the attack occurred. Most homeowner's policies will cover injuries caused by the homeowner's pets, and some homeowners even carry special animal insurance coverage. If the pet owner is not insured, this does not mean that he is off the hook. If he is legally liable for your injuries, he is also responsible for paying your damages, although they may be more difficult to collect. The one person who should not have to pay is the victim: Your injuries are not your fault, and you should not have to bear the cost. If you or a loved one has suffered an animal attack, contact our office immediately.
Call Now for a Free Initial Consultation
Our attorney offers free initial consultations to dog bite victims in Houston and surrounding areas such as the Clear Lake Area, League City, Pasadena, Baytown, Beaumont, Galveston, Texas City, Alvin, Friendswood, Pearland, Webster, Dickinson, Angleton, Deer Park, La Porte, Channelview, La Marque, South Houston, Spring, Katy as well as the counties of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Liberty, Chambers, Montgomery, Fort Bend and Jefferson, as well as across the country. We charge you no attorney's fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us 24 hours a day to let us know how we can help you: 281-333-8959. Reach us through our Web site by completing the brief contact a lawyer form.