Most Americans love having a family pet. Dogs are one of the most popular animals that families cherish. However, even the most beloved dog can be unpredictable, and may attack or bite another person.
At Tijerina Legal Group, we believe that there is no such thing as a “bad dog”, but bad dog owners. Nevertheless, an animal attack or dog bite can leave far more than just physical scars. Mental, and emotional stress, fear, and anxiety—all of these are lasting emotions that can significantly impact a victim long after an animal attack.
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Handling A Dog Bite Case in Texas
Like other states, Texas follows its own rules when it comes to personal injury cases involving dog bites and attacks. Unlike many other states, however, Texas does not actually have specific statutes regarding the dog owners’ liability. Instead, the state follows a general negligence rule when it comes to dog bite cases. Essentially, this means that Texas follows what is commonly known as the “one-bite” rule.
Under this rule, anyone who is bitten by a dog in Texas must prove the following elements in order to bring a civil claim:
These rules apply in cases involving dog bites, and other instances in which pet dogs harm people, even when they do not bite them. For example, if a large dog jumps up on you, and knocks you down, causing you to break your wrist or getting a back injury, you could have grounds for a claim if you can prove the above elements.
When Does Strict Liability Apply To Dog Bite Cases?
In some cases, the courts may apply a strict liability rule, meaning the dog owner is strictly liable for the injured party’s damages. This might be the case when a dog is considered “dangerous”, and the owner knew about (or should have known about) the dog’s nature.
A dog is generally considered “dangerous” if it has bitten another person before, regardless of how severe the bite, and resulting injuries were. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dangerous dog, you do not have to show that the dog owner was negligent in order to bring a claim.
Most dog owners do a very good job of taking care of their pets. In fact, dogs are usually considered a member of the family. Sadly, there are always bad apples, and those dog owners who abuse their pets or do not properly secure their animals can create situations prime for animal attacks.
Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bites include:
These, and other serious injuries can result in significant scarring, and emotional trauma. Often, dog attack victims need emergency medical attention, and many will require long-term, ongoing care. All of this can be very costly, putting victims, and their families under considerable financial strain.
If you or someone you love was bitten or attacked by a dog, it’s important to do the following: