Loose dogs are illegal in most Texas cities, and if one harmed you or a family member, you can seek payments for your injury losses with help from a Texas dog bite lawyer provided by the Willis Law Firm.
Did you know that dog bites are epidemic in America? That’s right, because 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and about 2 million of them, or almost 50%,are kids, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among the 4.5 million annual victims, nearly 900,000 are bitten so severely that they must get medical attention. In the year 2012, more than 2,700 people had to receive reconstructive surgery due to their dog bite injury.
The toll continues to climb financially as well. Dog bites cost America around $1 billion each year in healthcare bills, lost work time and other expenses.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurers around the nation paid more than $483 million in dog bite claims in 2012. Too, 26,935 reconstructive procedures were reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2013. Dog bites injuries also can leave emotional and psychological scars along with physical ones. In short, the toll is very high for dog attacks in America.
Sadly, several Texas cities are among the worst for one category of dog attack: dogs biting carriers of mail for the U.S. Postal Service. It notes there were 5,879 dog attacks on postal carriers in 2012 and another 5,581 in 2013.
Los Angeles was worst with 69 dog attacks on mail carriers in 2012, but the USPS says San Antonio and Seattle were tied as the second worst cities, with 42 dog attacks on postal carriers.
Houston was tied with Minneapolis for ninth place, with each city having 27 dog attacks, while Dallas was tied with Tacoma, Washington for 13th place with 21 dog attacks on postal carriers in each city.
The Postal Service can refuse to deliver your mail if your dog or perhaps even a neighbor’s dog attacks a mail carrier. You’ll have to go to the post office to pick up your mail until the problem is resolved.
Besides postal carriers, children and the elderly are among the most frequent targets of dog bites. According to the American Humane Association, two-thirds of bites on children are on their neck or head, areas prone to serious injuries.
While Texas has laws involving rabies control and abandonment of dogs, Texas has no statewide dog bite law. But many cities have their own municipal ordinances about dogs.
In Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, it’s against the law to allow a dog to run loose without a leash on private or public property. Dogs must be fenced, confined or leashed by their owners — period.
In Houston, fines for loose dogs start at $100. The sole exceptions are when dogs are in authorized no-leash zones as at so-called dog parks, or when dogs run freely within a fenced yard and have no access to public property.
Many people allow their dogs to run loose in the front yard while they’re out front loading the car or other things, but that’s illegal.
“He won’t bite,” such persons often say, but that may just mean the dog hasn’t bitten yet. There’s always a first time. Besides, dogs are not allowed to run loose just because their owner believes they won’t bite. That’s irrelevant. Dogs must be confined or leashed. That’s the law, often known as a “leash law.”
Dog owners who wrongly think they’re an exception can be fined and have their dog impounded — even if the dog doesn’t attack someone. And if the dog does bite a person, the owner could be the target of a dog bite lawsuit or even serve jail time in serious cases.
Indeed, two persons in Harris County were charged when their pit bulls attacked and killed a homeless woman on Jan. 5, 2014. The Harris County District Attorney said dog attacks causing serious bodily injury or death won’t be tolerated, and owners will be prosecuted to the law’s full extent, which could be 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
The American Veterinary Medical Association supports an annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week in the third week of May each year. It notes that the majority of dog bites are preventable, and awareness of the problem can help reduce bites from the estimated 70 million dogs living among Americans.
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog, contact a dog bite attorney or injury lawyer with the Willis Law Firm. We’ll quickly provide you a free legal evaluation of your case, and if you decide to engage us, we will not charge you any up-front legal fees, but instead will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only are paid if we win your case.
Notify an experienced, knowledgeable dog bite lawyer with our law firm today, and get results.