Dog Bite Law in Texas
For many families in Texas, their dog is a valued family member. Most of us do not know what we would ever do without the love, comfort, and happiness that our four-legged friends bring to our households. However, it is essential to remember that dogs are still instinctual animals. So, it is not uncommon for a dog to bite someone when they are distressed. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. every year.
The big concern that many dog owners have is, “would I be liable if my dog bit/injured someone?” Well, the laws vary by state, but we can certainly tell you what the law says in Texas!
Texas Dog Bite Law
Texas is a negligence, or one-bite-rule, state when it comes to dog bites. To recover damages, an injured person must show negligence on behalf of the dog owner. This means that if a dog owner does not handle their dog as any reasonably prudent or responsible person would, they would be liable for any injuries caused by their dog. One example would be if someone lets their dog off its leash in a leash-only park, and it bites you while you are cooking hot dogs, they would be liable. However, there a few different actions that the plaintiff must prove to file a negligence claim:
- The defendant owned or possessed the animal
- The defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the animal from harming others
- That the defendant failed to meet that duty
- Failure to meet that duty caused the plaintiff’s injury
However, it is essential to remember that strict liability rules apply in situations where the dog is known to be dangerous, and the bite resulted from the dog’s known nature. In this situation, strict liability means the victim would not have to demonstrate that the dog’s owner also failed to use reasonable care to restrain the dangerous dog. The injured party only has to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
To recover damages in this situation, the plaintiff must prove:
- The dog previously bit or attempted to bite another person.
- The owner is aware that the dog was dangerous.
- If neither of these conditions is met, the victim cannot recover under this doctrine.
Reynolds and Reynolds Is Here for You
If you or someone you know is injured/bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to contact us. Reynolds & Reynolds will fight for your rights to recover full compensation for your injuries and to make the community safer.
Reynolds and Reynolds Law Firm is committed to improving the safety of the communities they serve, including Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Plano, Lewisville, and throughout Collin County and North Texas.
To recover the compensation you deserve from your dog bite injury, you need to work with a law firm that knows how to review medical records, understands medical descriptions of the injuries, and follows the expert and legal requirements for linking the injury to negligence.
Contact us today for a consultation!