Dog is man's best friend. Except when he's not. Sometimes a careless owner, combined with the dangerous nature of certain dogs, leads to tragedy. Pursuing a claim against a negligent dog owner for your dog bite injuries allows you to obtain medical treatment including scar repair and rehabilitation that let you return to normal life. You may also be able to pursue damages for the fear and trauma of enduring a dog attack and help prevent the same thing from happening to someone else in the future.
Dog bites require a specific understanding of the law, and are typically fast-paced. Pursuing a claim against a negligent dog owner for your dog bite injuries allows you to obtain medical treatment including scar repair and rehabilitation that let you return to normal life. You may also be able to pursue damages for the fear and trauma of enduring a dog attack and help prevent the same thing from happening to someone else in the future.
There are several factors that must be considered when assessing a dog bite case. It has to be determined if the dog was known to be dangerous, and if there is liability on the part of the owner. There also has to be an investigation into damages and insurance.
A few factors to consider include but are not limited to:
- Was the attack provoked?
- Did the dog have dangerous tendencies?
- Was the dog restrained?
- Did the attack occur in the dog's yard or enclosure, or was it roaming loose?
If the dog has any dangerous, vicious, or aggressive tendencies the dog’s owner could be liable even if the owner had no knowledge of these tendencies. If the dog did not have these tendencies the focus is put on the conduct of the owner. A dog owner has a responsibility to care for the dog and prevent the dog from injuring others. Violating this can cause the owner to be liable for the attack.
The Texas law sets appropriate conduct for dog owners. The dog bite laws that create a "negligence per se" (i.e. automatic liability) cause of action separates dog bite cases into two categories:
Dogs that are not known to be dangerous, and dogs that are known to be dangerous.
How do we determine if a dog is dangerous?
A dog can be deemed dangerous if the dog makes an unprovoked attack on someone and causes bodily injury that occurs in a place other than the dog's enclosure. A dog can also be deemed dangerous if they commit an unprovoked act that causes someone to think the dog will attack. Once a dog is deemed dangerous the owner can be held liable under the statute if an attack happens away from the owner’s home and the dog was not secured. Also, if the dog escapes and is known to be dangerous, if it attacks someone the owner is liable, no matter what steps were taken.
After liability of the owner or person has been determined, damages are assessed. Damages include but are not limited to medical expenses, physical impairment and more. The law does not permit a claim if there are no damages.
Even if there is a clear liability on the part of the owner of the dog, if the owner does not have either homeowner's insurance or renter’s insurance a recovery on the claim is usually impossible.
If you have any questions in regard to a dog bite case, contact us at 512-472-7799 for a free evaluation.
Experienced Austin, Texas dog bite lawyer David Todd is dedicated to pursuing justice for dog bite victims in Austin and across Texas. Discuss your situation and your options with Austin dog bite attorney David Todd and learn the difference an expert Austin dog bite lawyer can make in your case. Review our free guide Win Your Texas Injury Case and read the client testimonials on our website. Learn how we can help protect your legal claim and successfully resolve your case.
If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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