Although dogs are considered man’s best friend, Texas dog bite cases are more common than many people realize. To be sure, the vast majority of dogs are friendly, but some dogs are trained by their owners to be vicious guard dogs. In other situations, owners abuse or neglect their animals, resulting in the animal developing anti-social behavior towards humans. Regardless of the cause, sometimes dogs but people, often without provocation.
Unlike other states, Texas does not have a specific dog-bite statute. Instead, courts apply general principles of negligence when reviewing most Texas dog bite claims. However, there are situations where an animal owner will be subject to strict liability.
Texas Dog Bite Cases Brought under the Theory of Negligence
Most Texas dog bite cases alleged that the owner was negligent in some manner, and that the owner’s negligence resulted in their dog biting the accident victim. To establish liability against a dog owner in a negligence claim, the victim must be able to show that the owner either failed to use reasonable care to control the animal or prevent it from biting another person. For example, letting a dog run around in a yard without a fence may be a situation where the dog’s owner failed to use reasonable care.
Alternatively, a dog-bite victim can establish liability in a negligence case by showing that the owner knew the dog was dangerous or that it had attacked someone in the past. If the dog-bite victim was familiar with the dog before the bite, the victim may be able to establish this element. However, in a situation where a dog attacks a stranger, the victim may need to rely on other witness or reports.
Strict Liability Dog Bite Cases
In some cases, a Texas dog bite victim can recover for their injuries from an animal’s owner without proving that the owner was negligent. This is called strict liability. A dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries their animal causes if the animal is known to be vicious, dangerous or mischievous, and the bite is the result of the dog’s nature. Typically, a dog is considered dangerous if it has attacked someone in the past, regardless if that victim of that attack was seriously injured. If strict liability applies, the dog-bite victim does not need to prove that the owner was negligent or that the bite could have been avoided.
Have You Been the Victim of a Texas Dog Bite?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured by another’s dog, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a Texas dog bite lawsuit. At the San Antonio law firm of Carabin Shaw, we represent injury victims across Texas in all types of personal injury claims, including Texas dog bite cases. We provide all prospective clients with a free initial consultation in which we will explain how you can pursue a claim for compensation and how we can help. To learn more, call 800-862-1260 to schedule your free consultation today.
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