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Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sneed

Helping Victims Rebuild Their Lives

DOG BITE LAWYERS

Due to the deadlines for filing injury claims, it is important that you meet with a Texas dog bite attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.

NEWS: Our Lawyers Currently Are Seeking $1.5 Million For Lady Viciously Attacked By A Labrador In Southwest Houston.

 

Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sneed

If you're looking for an lawyer that regularly handles dog bites lawsuits, contact attorney Niles Sneed today. 

It is a simple fact of life that dogs bite, and this includes dog of any breed. A dog bite can be anything from a nip to an attack causing physical injuries and even emotional stress disorders. Holding the owner accountable for the negligent handling of their dog not only allows you to seek the full range of personal injury compensation under Texas Law, but it also prevents others from being harmed by the same dog in the future.

If you or a family member were bit by a dog, you may have a right of recovery against the pet's owner or negligence of violation of a local ordinance, but you need a qualified personal injury lawyer. Niles J. Sneed is an experienced Houston Dog Bite Lawyer with a high success rate in a number of severe animal attack cases across the State of Texas and will analyze your claim and let you know of your legal rights. 

New Dog Bite Case Settlements 

CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT – PIT BULL ATTACK IN SOUTH HOUSTON

While jogging through the Houston Energy Corridor May 21, 2020 was attacked and suffered significant bite wounds to his hamstring. The bite points required multiple skin graphs and muscle repair efforts and caused our client significant nerve damage and permanent numbing sensations. The pet's owner failed to repair broken fencing, allowing the animal to roam free. 

$210,000 SETTLEMENT – MULTIPLE HAND INJURIES 

On February 21, 2020, our client was bitten by a German Shepard outside her home in North Houston, the dog latched onto the victim's hand causing complex finger and tendon lacerations, along with scarring that requirement revision. The neighbor filed to secure the dog by allowing it to escape through the garage door (attorneys' fees & case expenses of $69,300).

$100,000 SETTLEMENT – SCARS TO ARM AND LEG

A large dog attacked our client within a friend's home near Memorial drive January 8, 2020. Our teenage client suffered a long scar to her forearm and another to her knee after falling.  Our dog bite team was able to secure the complete Homeowners Liability Policy of $100,000. (attorneys' fees & case expenses of $33,000)

$85,000 SETTLEMENT – EMOTIONAL DISTRESS DISORDER

The child-clients, both 5 years old, were attacked by a loose dog within an apartment complex. The management company was aware of the dog roaming the complex, but failed to engage animal control, and even began feeding the dog. Both children developed post-traumatic stress disorder requiring multiple. (attorneys' fees & case expenses of $28,050)

If you need a lawyer for dog bite injuries in Houston, Texas or surrounding areas in Houston, Texas, call dog bite lawyer Niles Sneed and his team of animal attack litigations. You don't have to suffer alone. Call and share the story with us, today. 

Houston Dog Bite Laws

Houston, Texas has never had a civil liability law specifically for dog bites, but instead the Texas Supreme articulated the "One Bite Rule" in a case called Marshall v. Ranne. The One Bite Rule means an owner in Houston can be held strictly liable for any damages caused by an animal known to be dangerous (or which could be dangerous). However, if the animal has never bitten anyone before, then the injured person must prove that it was vicious before they could recover for the injuries.

 

One additional an important protection is the County Dog "Leash Law" Ordinance, which as of September 10, 2021 provides that dogs must be kept under restraint throughout Harris County, Texas, which includes neighborhoods, apartment complexes and even popular parks that require leashes across Houston, such as Memorial Park, Bush, and Sam Houston Park. Therefore, owners that fail to keep there dogs on leash can be held liable for the result.

Under These Laws An Injury Victim Must Show:

  • The dog has attacked previously; or

  • The owner did not secure the dog, or

  • The owner knows the dog is aggressive; or

  • The owner failed to prevent injury.

 

It is also important to note that dog related injuries are not just limited to bites or attacks but can even include other dog-related behaviors that causes injury, such as a dog jumping on someone and knocking him or her to the ground. If you need immediate assistance form a Dog Bite Lawyer in Houston, call (713)800-6676 today. 

How Common Are Canine Bite Injuries In Houston, Texas?

Some don't want to believe it, but dogs bite nearly more then 4 million people every year in the U.S, and nearly half of those injuries are to our children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides. Such a high rate of attacks necessitated 800,000 Americans each seeking related medical attention for wounds in 2019, with 386,000 require emergency room treatment. 

June 11, 2020, The USPS released their Annual Dog Attack National Rankings, showing that Houston ranked Number 1 with the highest number of to their employees attacks in 2019 with 86, or 10 more than were reported during the previous year. Dallas came in 5th with 40 attacks, followed by San Antonio and Fort Worth at 28 and 27. 

When handling animal attack claims, Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sneed always shares bite statistics with the mediation or jury to highlight the importance of dogs being properly restrained here in Houston, Texas. If you were bitten by a dog in Harris County, if is imperative to have an attorney experienced at handling these matters. 

What Are Common Injuries Suffered In Dog Attacks?

Regardless of which breed attacks, a dog bite can lead to severe injuries that often require extensive medical treatment. A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found in one recent year, dog bites accounted for 9,500 hospital stays (26 per day). According to the AHRQ, the injuries recorded in these hospital stays involved: 

Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sneed regularly assists dog attack victims and their families in establishing liability against pet owners and ensuring that clients are fully compensated for their injuries and damages. The treatment and rehabilitation costs related to dog attacks can quickly place economic strain on victims, Niles Sneed ensures that all forms of economic damage is accounted for.

Can I Get An Infection From The Animals Teeth or Saliva?

The CDC reports that dog bite victims should be especially concerned about the following:

  • Rabies

    • If the dog here in Houston is infected with the rabies virus, the dog can spread the disease through its saliva. A victim needs immediate treatment, which typically consists of a series of shots. If untreated, the illness is usually fatal.

  • Capnocytophaga species

    • A human being – especially one with a weakened immune system – can readily become ill if this bacteria is spread from the dog’s mouth. An infection can lead to sepsis and related complications, including organ damage and dangerously low blood pressure.

  • Pasteurella

    • The CDC reports that more than half of all dog bites cause victims to be infected with this type of bacteria, which can trigger swelling in the glands and joints and make movement difficult.

  • MRSA

    • A staph infection of this type is highly common in dog bite victims. An infection can spread to the bloodstream and lungs and become life-threatening.

  • Tetanus

    • This is a type of bacterial infection that can cause a victim to suffer painful muscle spasms. It often results from deep bite wounds. The worst cases can result in paralysis or death.

What Are The Most Dangerous Breeds In Houston?

Though this topic is often up for debate, Labradors and Chihuahuas are often notes as having the highest bite frequencies here in Houston and across Harris County. However, the bite incidents of these two breeds is often not reported due to the injuries being far less significant. Research shows that dogs with the physical characteristics of a brachycephalic head shape and weight between 66 and 100 pounds cause the most severe tissue damage due to an increased jaw pressure and strength. This physical category includes Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, and Huskies, the dogs most threatening in an attack.

According to a 2020 study released by American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the risk of suffering complex dog bite wounds from a Pit Bull is 4.4 percent higher compares to any of the top-biting breeds. Dogbite.org found that in the fifteen year period of 2005 through 2019, there were 521 fatalities in America, and Pit bulls contributed to 66% (346) of these deaths. The combination of pit bulls, American bulldogs, rottweilers, and mastiff-type breeds accounted for 81% of all dog bite-related deaths. In incidents of catastrophic injuries, our lawyers also discuses various support groups that aim to help in the long-term transition towards a return to normal life.  

What Should I Do After Being Bit By A Dog In Houston, TX?

If you or a loved one suffers a dog bite or other injuries due to a dog attack, you should take the following steps in order to protect your health and your legal rights:

  1. Wash The Wound: You should seek prompt medical care if suffer puncture wounds or other serious physical injuries after the attack. Any medical can aid you in the initial care.

  2. Call 911, No Matter What. An officer from the Houston Police Department will fill out an incident report and collect witness statement. Dog bite injuries sometimes even carry criminal liability under The Texas Penal Code § 6.03.

  3. Try To Get The Owner's Contact. If possible, get the name and contact information of the dog’s owner or the person who was in control of the dog at the time of the attack. 

  4. Collect Every Witness. If someone else saw the incident, or if they were also hurt or had experience a problem in the past obtain their contact information and our lawyers will collect their statement as evidence.

  5. Photograph The Injuries: Take photos of the injuries at a time when it is safe to do so, and before the wounds begin to heal. 

  6. Don't Wash The Clothes: Keep and do not wash any clothes you were wearing when the attack happened.

  7. Gather Medical Bills: Gather and store copies of any medical bills and receipts from any other dog bite-related expenses you have incurred.

  8. Gather Medical Bills: Take a moment and write down everything you can remember about the dog bite incident, making a note of where it happened, who appeared to be in control of the animal and what you did immediately before and after the attack.

  9. Contact an Attorney. Get in touch with a dog bite lawyer without delay in order to learn more about your legal rights and options and receive insight in how to best protect your claim and recovery.

Experienced Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sneed is available to provide immediate legal assistance if you or a family member has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Houston. We can help you and your family rebuild your lives, step by step, after experiencing an animal attack. Give us a call and learn why Niles Sneed is Houston's leading dog bite lawyer and dog attack attorney. 

Who Pays From The Award Following The Attack?

Victims of dog bite injuries often wonder if it is worth pursuing a claim against an individual in Houston for the pain and suffering, medical expenses and other damages caused by a dog attack. This quick answer is, "Yes, it is always worth trying."

 

In most of our clients situations, the dog owners homeowner's insurance policy cover the complete claim and stands in as the Defendant. In 2019, Homeowners insurers paid $797 million in dog bite injuries and attacks for their insured, and the number of claims nationwide rose to 17,806, a 2.9 percent rise from 2018. Texas also ranked Number 3 in the cost of claims. 

Although policies covering residential property do not does not cover a dog bites that occurs in motor vehicles, automobile insurance policies often are triggered in these situations. Oftentimes, both automobile insurance and homeowner's insurance policies will cover an animal bite that occurred in a vehicle at the time. In this circumstances both insurance companies normally claim the other should payout, but either way, our client is able to recover full and complete for what occurred.

 

If you or a loved one were injured by a dog on commercial property and the dog is regularly kept at that business establishment or owned by an owner, manager, employee or representative on the property, then an attorney is able to argue coverage under the commercial policy, which regularly range between $150,000 and 1,000,000. 

Our Houston Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Are Ready To hear The Story. Complete a Free Case Evaluation form and a lawyer will call you right now.

Do Public Parks In Houston Have Leash Laws?

Among the  United Stated most populous cities, Houston rank #1 in total acreage of outdoor park space by having 52,912 acres of total park space. Unfortunately, many dog owners often believe that vast park space means their canine can roam off leash. This is not true. If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog at a popular Houston, Texas park, chances are the recreational area has a "leash law", which entitles you to compensation from the owner. 

As an example, Houston's Discovery Green Park Rules state that dogs must be leashed except in the dog runs, this is the same for Levy Park, Buffalo Bayou Park, and Emancipation Park. Hermann Park has recently announced that their Conservancy has plans for an "off-leash" park, but the two-acre development s not completed, forcing all dogs to remain on leash until then. 

Contact Experienced Houston Dog Bite Lawyer Niles Sned

If you were bitten or attacked by a dog anywhere in Harris County, we can help. Niles J. Sneed is an experienced Dog Bite attorney in Houston who knows the ins and outs of Texas animal attack laws. Our firm regularly assisting dog bite victims and will help you obtain maximum compensation while you recover from serious injuries. Contact us online or call us today at (866)434-0014 to arrange for a free Dog Bite Case Evaluation.

Frequently asked questions

What is the average settlement for a dog bite case in Houston, Texas?


According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2018, Texas homeowners insurance policies paid a total of $32,000,0000 in claims related to dog bites, with an average settlement of $35,257. The average settlement from our dog bite lawyers in this same year was $76,450. Dog bite claims vary widely depending on the severity of the injuries and how the victim is physically or emotionally impacted from the accident.




What are the Houston Dog Bite Laws?


Texas does not have a "dog bite statute." Instead, Texas courts adhere to the "one bite rule" and also "negligent handling". The one bite rule establishes that a victim can recover compensation if the dog previously bit a person or the owner was aware the animal could be a danger. Under the principle of negligence, the owner is liable if they could have prevented the attack in some way, like repairing fences or gates, keeping doors closed, or keeping the dog leashed while in public.




I was bitten by a dog in Houston, can I sue?


The short answer, yes, as long as you were not more than 50% liable in contributing to causing the animal attack to occur. In legal terms, Texas law allows an injury victim to recover damages against the at-fault party, but the Defendant also has the defense of "contributory negligence" at their disposal. Under the theory of contributory negligence, fault is apportioned amongst the parties, but the person bringing the claim cannot recover anything if he or she is found to be more liable in causing the accident, or 51% at fault.




I was bitten by a neighbor's dog in Houston, Texas, what should I do next?


First, seek medical attention without delay. The saliva of dogs often carry communicable diseases and there are also certain injuries undetectible to the human eye, such as fractures, head trauma, internal bleading, and series issues related to even minor puncture wounds. Second, tell and experienced dog bite lawyer how the situation occurred while it is still fresh in your mind. Recovery option agains neighbors change depending on who the attack happened.




Who pays the settlement in a dog bite injury claim in Houston, Texas?


Typically, the dog owner's insurance company will pay for the compensation in a Houston dog bite case. While the owner is the responsible party, he or she will probably have some form of insurance (such as rental, business, homeowner, landlord, or other forms of insurance) that pay for a settlement or verdict (in the case of a lawsuit obtained against the dog owner). Many of our cases are settled out-of-court via negotiations with insurance companies.




How do I have a dog declared "dangerous" in Houston, Texas?


Chapter 6 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances addresses the process for "dangerous dog declarations". This declaration places the dog on a list and makes the owner liable if the dog ever bites another person, under any circumstance. To begin this process you file a complaint to BARC, in the form of a sworn statement, that a dog (or dogs) living within the city limits is dangerous. Here on The City Of Houston's website you can find more details.




Do dog bite cases always go to trial here in Harris County?


Less than 5% of dog bite cases reach the trial stage in Houston and throughout Harris County, resulting in 95% successfully settling either pre-suit, or within the discovery phase after a lawsuit has been filed. This is because the largest hurdle in dog attack cases is determining and proving liability. After liability is established, the case turns to the amount of compensation the victim is entitled to. A proper settlement demand considers all past and future damages, both physical and economic, and often is supported by the opinion of medical treatment experts and rehabilitation specialists.




What is Lillian’s Law and how to it apply to dog battack cases in Houston, Texas?


Lillian’s law was enacted in the State of Texas to increase the criminal penalties for pet owner's found criminally negligent in dog bite cases of severe injuries. Lillian, who the law was named after, was a 76 year old woman attacked and killed by multiple pitbull mixes that escaped from a neighbor's home. The pet's owner, Jose Hernandez, was charged with negligent homicide but a jury found him not guilty. Here in Houston and across the State of Texas, Lillian's law applies to cases in which an owner allows their animal to run at large and required the prosecutor to show that the owner was aware of a substantial risk of harm that could be caused by their animal. In cases where a person is found guilty under Lillian's law, the civil lawsuit for personal injury damages becomes much easier to pursue against the insurance company required to provide coverage for the extent of damages that took place.