The CDC estimates that there are more than 4.5 million dog bite victims in the United States every year. Dog bites can cause victims severe pain and disfigurement, and in the worst cases, they can even be fatal. Negligent owners who do not control their pets can face civil liability in Texas. Read on to learn more about how these types of personal injury cases are handled.
What Does Texas Law Say About Dog Bites?
Texas adheres to the “one bite rule” and “common law strict liability” when it comes to handling dog bite cases, but there is no state dog bite statute. Ultimately, if a person chooses to keep a dangerous dog on their property, they are legally allowed to do so, but they can be held liable for any damage the dog causes.
Under the “one bite rule,” victims can pursue compensation from the owner of the dog owner if the owner was aware that the dog previously bit someone or acted like it wanted to. Unfortunately, dog owners can attempt to shield themselves from liability by claiming that they did not know about the dog’s tendencies.
A victim may choose to initiate a negligent handling action, which seeks damages for the dog owner’s failure to handle their dog in a prudent manner, regardless of whether or not the owner had knowledge of the dog’s “vicious propensities”. In order for a negligent handling claim to be successful, the victim must prove the following:
- The defendant owned the dog
- The defendant owed a duty of care to prevent their dog from hurting others
- The defendant failed to meet their duty of care
- The defendant’s failure caused the injury
A dog owner can also be accused of “negligence per se” if they failed to abide by animal control laws (such as keeping their dogs leashed in public places) and their dog ran loose and caused the injury. Speak with a Houston dog bite lawyer at Stern Law Group to learn your options.
Injured? Call Today to Consult with Our Team
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury suit for a dog bite, after which a dog bite victim will no longer have legal recourse. If you have been bitten by a dog in Texas, the time is now to contact a Houston personal injury attorney at Stern Law Group. You may be eligible to obtain compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
Request a case evaluation with Stern Law Group by calling (877) 661-9900.