Estate Planning Lawyer
Believe it or not animal attacks in the United States are fairly common. Just in the United States alone, the estimated number of animal attacks per year is around 4.5 million. And in some states, such as Texas, animal attacks are one of the main health concerns for hospitals. It’s important to remember when these animal attacks happen it isn’t only coyotes or hogs. Household pets like cats and dogs are also big contributors to this problem, this is where the law gets involved.
If a dog or a cat is owned by someone, in most cases the owner can be held liable for the damage done by their pet, whether it was done on another person, or even another person’s pet. It’s important to take into consideration that animal attack laws vary by state. For instance, Texas has a “one-bite-rule”. This means the owner of a dog cannot be held liable for any injuries their dog has caused the first time their dog bites a person or someone else’s pet. But there are exceptions to the one-bite-rule — three to be exact.
The first exception is if the dog owner knew the dog had the potential to bite someone. An example of this is when a dog is often standoffish with new people, or if their dog starts to growl and bare its teeth at a person minutes before attacking. The second exception to this rule is if the dog owner is negligent or encouraged the dog to bite the other person, this would apply if someone commanded their dog to hurt or attack you.
The third and final exception to this rule is if the dog owner violated an animal control law, like not keeping the dog on a leash while taking it on a walk at the park.
The only other way to take legal action against an animal attack (from a household pet owner) is if the person who was wounded acquires a personal injury attorney and presses criminal charges against the pet owner. This can only be applied if the dog attacked the person unprovoked and left serious bodily injury. If the owner is found guilty of their dog’s actions, then he or she will be charged with a third-degree felony. A felony of this caliber is punishable by two to 10 years in prison, and they may be given a fine of up to $10,000. Moreover, if the person who was attacked dies, the owner can be charged with up to a second-degree felony, with more prison time and a higher fine amount.
Despite animal attacks being somewhat common in the United States, attacks from household pets like dogs or cats can be almost just as dangerous as those from wild animals. When bitten by a household pet, the person who has been attacked must take the best course of action they can after the event occurs. Whether that be to brushing it off and moving on from the incident, of course, if there was no major injury that was caused during the attack or to get a personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, and discuss the incident with them to understand the best course of action to take. Even in Texas, where there is a one-bite-rule, if serious damage has been done, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.