What Damages Might Be Recoverable After a Dog Bite in Texas?
Nerve damage, severe scarring, lacerations, anxiety—the effects of a dog bite injury are serious and can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. If you were bitten by a dog in Texas, you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. As an experienced and compassionate dog bite attorney in Houston, Chelsie King Garza can help you fight for the maximum payout possible, and if the opposing party refuses to offer a fair settlement, she is not afraid to take your case to trial.
You should expect the insurance company and/or dog owner to look for any possible excuse to dispute your claim. They may even try to blame you for the attack. Chelsie knows the tactics used by insurance companies to deny and undervalue claims, and she will make sure you aren’t bullied into accepting a low payout. To discuss your case in a free initial consultation, call today at 713-893-8808.
What Damages May be Available After a Dog Bite in Texas?
Two categories of damages may be recoverable in Texas dog bite cases: compensatory damages and exemplary damages, also called “punitive damages.” Compensatory damages include economic damages, which are objectively verifiable losses like medical bills and lost income, and non-economic damages, which are intangible and include mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Compensatory Damages in Texas Dog Bite Cases
Compensatory damages can add up quickly after a severe dog bite, but if the attack occurred due to the dog owner’s negligence, you should not have to cover these losses out of your pocket. Compensatory damages in dog bite cases include:
- Medical bills;
- Future medical expenses;
- Lost income;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Modifications to your home and other household expenses;
- Loss of companionship or consortium;
- Mental anguish; and
- Pain and suffering.
Punitive Damages in Texas Dog Bite Cases
Punitive damages are only recoverable if the defendant’s actions involved actual fraud, malice, or gross negligence. If the dog owner had a specific intent to harm you or acted with complete indifference to your welfare, rights, or safety, you may be able to recover punitive damages.
Caps on Punitive Damages in Texas
Pursuant to Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, exemplary damages awarded against a defendant may not exceed the greater of:
- $200,000; or
- Twice the amount of economic damages awarded, plus an amount equal to the non-economic damages awarded by the jury up to $750,000.
What Is the “One Bite Rule?”
Texas adheres to the “one bite rule,” which means claimants in dog bite cases must show that:
- The owner of the dog knew the dog had acted aggressively or had bitten someone in the past; or
- The owner of the dog was negligent in preventing the bite from occurring or controlling the dog, and that negligence led to the claimant’s injuries.
Discuss Your Case with a Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Today!
If you or a member of your family was bitten by a dog in Texas, contact Chelsie King Garza to discuss your case. Call 713-893-8808 today to schedule a free initial consultation with a Houston personal injury attorney.