People refer to dogs as man’s best friend, but the relationship between humans and canines is a little more complex than that. Dogs are also a major source of risk for their owners and for unrelated humans who encounter a domestic canine in the home of a friend, on the street or in a park.

Most dogs are generally friendly and curious animals, although each animal will have its own unique personality and behavioral traits. However, unexpected behavior is possible in even the most well-trained and socialized dog.

In fact, a shocking number of people learn the hard way every year that man’s best friend can also sometimes be his worst enemy after they or their child experience a vicious dog bite attack.

Dogs bite many people every year, and many of those bites are serious

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite about 4.5 million people in a year. When you look at that figure adjusted for the American population, that means that approximately 1 in 73 people in the United States will suffer a dog bite in any given year.

Of those 4.5 million dog bites, approximately 5.6% or 800,000 of them will result in hospital visits or the need for medical care on the part of the victim.

Who is responsible when a dog attacks?

Liability in dog bite cases can vary based on a number of factors when the attack happens in Texas. For example, if the victim was in the act of committing a crime or trespassing at the time of the attack, the dog’s owner may not have any liability for the injuries that result.

However, in a situation where the dog was running free, where the victim was legally visiting a property where the dog resided or where the dog otherwise attacked unprovoked, it is likely that the owner has some responsibility for what happened under state law.

Victims can seek compensation for their losses in a dog bite attack. In some cases, homeowner’s and renter’s insurance may cover the costs associated with medical care after a dog bite attack. Other times, a personal injury lawsuit against the owner may be the only recourse.