Austin Dog Bites
Our attorneys at the law offices of Buford & Gonzalez understand the compromising situation a person experiences psychically and psychologically after being attacked or viciously bitten by a dog. Though it can sometimes be a traumatic experience, especially for children but also for adults, there are parts of Texas law which can ensure that you receive compensation for this particular type of personal injury. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog, our team is on your side. In considering us for your legal representation, we will help you to understand dog bites laws in Texas while we build your claim and recover compensation for your injuries.
Texas Dog Bite Laws
Unlike a majority of other states in the nation, the state of Texas does not have a specific statute related to dog bites. This means that there is no specific state law that holds the owner liable or responsible for his or her dog in the event of an attack. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have legal footing, however. Case law and precedent have established rules regarding liability for dog bites in the state. In Marshall v. Ranne, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that in the question of dog bites, the state would adhere to the one-bite rule.
What Is the One-Bite Rule?
The one-bite rule essentially means that a dog in Texas gets one “free” bite before its owner can be held liable for any damages caused to another party. This is also known as a negligence-based theory of liability. The logic for the rule is based in the idea that if the dog has not previously bitten someone, the owner has no way of knowing of the dog’s propensity for aggression; however, once the dog has bitten someone, the owner must act in a reasonable manner in order to prevent the incident from occurring again. If the owner fails to do this, they are liable based on their breach of this duty, i.e. negligence.
Your Right to File a Claim
Because Texas follows this type of negligence-based liability when it comes to dog attacks, those who are bitten or mauled by a dog have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog to seek damages. In order to win your suit, you will have to prove that the owner owed you a duty of care (i.e. you were not trespassing or doing something illegal), the owner breached that duty of care (by failing to properly restrain their dangerous dog or prevent the dog from attacking you), and that you suffered harm as a result.
If you can prove the elements above, then you can seek damages for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and all other types of economic or noneconomic losses you have suffered.
Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Because you may have no idea whether or not the dog that bit you has ever bitten another person or animal before, you may have no idea whether or not you have a strong foundation for bringing a claim against the dog’s owner. Our law offices of Buford & Gonzalez can help you to understand what you need to prove and gather all evidence necessary to your case. To learn more about dog bites laws in Austin and how our Austin personal injury lawyers can assist you, contact us online or by phone today.