In the state of Texas, there are several different circumstances when a person can sue for damages after a dog bite. Many of these claims are brought on the basis of negligence. If the dog owner violated an animal control law—such as failing to use a leash—and you were bitten as a result, you may have grounds for a negligence claim against the dog owner; however, if the dog was known to be dangerous, mischievous, or vicious prior to the attack, it may be possible to hold the owner strictly liable, meaning that you would not have to prove negligence in order to recover damages. If you've been attacked by a dog, you may be wondering, what evidence will my attorney use to support my dog bite claim?
The basis on which you bring the dog bite claim will determine the types of evidence needed to prevail. Below are a few examples of evidence your attorney might use to prove liability, causation, and damages:
1. Animal Control Records
Any records that indicate the animal had bitten someone in the past might be used to prove that the dog is considered “dangerous” in the eyes of the law. Such evidence may include animal control records, deposition from the person who was bitten, medical records, the police report, and deposition from anyone who witnessed the attack. The dog may also be considered dangerous if it had killed or severely injured a cat, domestic pet, dog, or livestock.
2. Photos of Bite Marks and Lacerations
To win your case, it must be shown that you actually suffered a bite. You will also have to prove the severity of your injury. Photos of bite marks and lacerations can help your lawyer demonstrate the extent of your injury, which may strengthen your claim for non-economic damages and prevent the defendant from asserting that you are exaggerating the seriousness of the attack.
3. Eyewitness Accounts
If the defendant argues that your own negligence contributed to the attack or otherwise disputes your version of events, your attorney might depose people who saw the bite. Bring along the contact information of any eyewitnesses to your legal consultation.
4. Surveillance Footage
Surveillance footage may also be used to corroborate your claims about the incident. If these recordings are withheld, your attorney may be able to obtain them by filing a subpoena.
5. Medical Records
Your attorney will want to review any records you have received from your healthcare providers. Examples include prescription records, invoices, diagnostic imaging, and lab test results.
6. Financial Records
A serious dog bite can put the victim out of work for several weeks or even months. If you intend to pursue lost income and/or loss of future earning capacity, your lawyer and perhaps an economic expert will need to review your financial records.
7. Expert Witness Testimony
Besides an economic expert, your lawyer might also depose your treating physician and various medical specialists regarding the types of injuries you have suffered and the expected trajectory of your recovery.
Your Attorney Can Compile Essential Evidence on Your Behalf
The list above covers just a few examples of evidence that might contribute to your claim. It is also important to note that the owner of the dog might not be the only party who is liable for your damages. For instance, if the landlord or landowner knew that the dog was dangerous yet failed to remove the animal from their premises, or if the landlord failed to keep common areas safe for guests or residents, you might have a claim against the landlord or landowner.
At the end of the day, every dog bite case is different, and key evidence might only be available for a few days after the attack. For this reason, it is a good idea to schedule a prompt case evaluation with a well-credentialed dog bite lawyer.
Speak with a Houston Dog Bite Attorney Today
Chelsie King Garza, P.C. is an accomplished personal injury lawyer with a track record of success in dog bite claims. Chelsie is well-versed in the relevant case law and statutes, and she will use her vast knowledge and resources to help you pursue the highest possible settlement or verdict. For a free consultation, send us a message or dial 713-893-8808.