Experienced Lawyer For Victims Of Dog Bites And Animal Attacks
Dogs are not always “man’s best friend.” They are cute and furry and they are someone’s pet. Yet they are still animals, which means they are unpredictable and potentially dangerous. If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may not know your rights or what to do.
This is where you can turn to me, attorney Joseph Onwuteaka. I have 30-plus years of experience litigating animal bite cases in Houston and the surrounding area. I provide bold, aggressive representation in the pursuit of your compensation. Texas dog bite law can be tricky, but I know how to approach your case to give you the best chance of recovery.
Call me at 281-661-5333 to take action. I provide a free consultation and there are no upfront legal fees.
Is The Pet Owner Liable For Your Injuries?
Dog bite cases are fact-specific. Dog owners may be shielded from liability the first time their animal bites someone. This is known as the “one free bite” rule. But it does not apply if the dog is known to be vicious or if the owner was negligent in allowing their dog to get loose and attack. Do not assume that you have no case and do not just take the owner’s word for it that this is their pet’s first incident. Consult a lawyer who is well-versed in the law and your rights.
- See my FAQ on Texas dog bite law.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered In An Animal Bite Case?
I have represented clients who suffered very serious injuries from dog bites. Children are especially vulnerable and are the most frequent victims of dogs. Depending on the nature of the attack and the severity of the injuries, financial damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Facial scarring or another disfigurement
- Physical impairment (nerve damage or muscle damage)
- Emotional distress
Victims of severe dog bite wounds may require reconstructive surgery, skin grafts or plastic surgery. A person who was chased or mauled by a large dog may need counseling for psychological trauma and fear of dogs. I work with clients to understand the full impact on their lives and their medical and financial needs going forward.
Holding Negligent Pet Owners Accountable
To recover damages, we must prove that the owner acted negligently. Did the owner allow their dog to run free or otherwise fail to control their animal? Did they knowingly keep a dangerous dog that has been known to bite or act aggressively in the past? Did they fail to stop an attack in progress (or purposely sic their dog on someone)? Did they violate a local pet ordinance?
Can Other Persons Be Held Liable For A Dog Bite?
In addition to the animal’s owner, there are some cases where the person responsible for the care of the animal can be held liable for the dangerous animal’s actions. These people may include kennel employees, staff members at a pound or shelter, and even pet sitters and dog walkers. Landlords may also be held accountable for animals that they allow on their property. The parents of minors can be held liable for the actions of their child’s pet, even if they had no direct involvement and were not present for the attack in question.
Nonbite Injuries Are Compensable Too
You do not have to be bitten to recover damages. For instance, if you fell and suffered a bone fracture when an aggressive dog chased you, the owner would still be liable. Serious injuries also occur when a puppy or big friendly dog knocks a person down. The crux is whether the owner failed to control an aggressive or overzealous pet.
Take These Steps If You Were Bitten Or Attacked
First, you want to seek out proper medical attention. You will need to have your wounds cleaned and properly bandaged by medical personnel. Animal bites are very prone to serious infections which can even become fatal. You will also want to take pictures of your injuries. This can be very helpful when pursuing a claim. Try to get the name and contact information of the owner or caregiver of the aggressive animal.
Keep copies of all medical records, bills and other expenses related to the incident. Keeping this information organized and having it available will help the authorities and your attorney. If this was a vicious attack, you will want to report it to the authorities so that nobody else suffers the same fate.
Contact An Experienced Dog Bite Attorney Today
I represent clients throughout Harris County and Fort Bend County. Call Law Office Of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., in Houston at 281-661-5333 or contact me online to schedule your free consultation. I take dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe attorney fees unless I recover compensation for you.