When you head out for a jog in Austin or visit a neighbor’s home with your kids, you should not have to anticipate a serious dog bite injury. However, dog bites can happen without any warning, and children frequently are victims of fatal animal attacks. According to a fact sheet from DogsBite.org, Austin residents should be particularly wary of the risks of a dog bite, given that Texas led the nation in fatal dog bites with five deaths in 2015. And that number does not take into account the additional dog attacks that resulted in non-fatal injuries.
If you or your child sustained dog bite injuries, you should speak with an experienced Austin dog bite injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.
Texas Law and Dog Bite Injuries
Chapter 822 of the Texas Health and Safety Code provides important definitions concerning dangerous dogs in Texas and how the law handles dogs that have attacked and caused serious bodily injury. Dog bite law in Texas is also governed through common law, meaning that previous case law helps to determine how the state handles dog bite cases. What do you need to know about Texas law and dog bite injuries?
Texas is a negligence, or “one-bite rule” state when it comes to dog bite injuries. This means that the owner of the dog will only be liable for injuries if the owner knew the dog was likely to bite or had a reason to know that the dog could be likely to bite someone. In other words, did the owner know that her dog was dangerous?
The injured person will have the burden of proving that the dog’s owner knew or had a reason to know that her dog was dangerous. Plaintiffs may be able to show that the animal was a dangerous dog in many different ways, including but not limited to:
- The dog previously bit someone;
- The dog scared people who walked by the house, visited the house, or made deliveries to the house by barking, growling, and behaving in a threatening manner; and
- The owner has received previous complaints about the dog behaving viciously.
A dedicated Austin personal injury attorney can discuss other ways in which you can prove that the dog’s owner knew or had reason to know that her dog was dangerous before it bit you.
Learning More About Dog Bites in Austin, Texas
How often do dog attacks occur? Are some people at greater risk of a dog bite injury than others? According to the DogsBite.org fact sheet, the following statistics provide important facts and figures about dog bite injuries:
34 dog bite fatalities occurred in 2015;
Pit bulls account for more than 80 percent of all dog bite fatalities;
Young children and older adults are at greater risk of a fatal dog bite injury than are people in other age groups;
Kids under the age of nine account for more than 40 percent of all fatal dog attacks;
Nearly 40 percent of deadly animal bites involved adults aged 60 and older; and
About one-third of all deadly dog attacks happened inside the home of the dog’s owner.
Contact an Austin Dog Bite Injury Attorney
If you or your child suffered serious injuries caused by a dog bite, you should learn more about filing a claim for compensation. An Austin dog bite injury attorney can discuss your options with you today. Contact Buford & Gonzalez today for more information about how we can assist with your case.