Dog Bite Injuries
Dog Bite Injuries In San Antonio, TX
Have you suffered a dog bite in San Antonio, Texas? You may be able to seek compensation from the dog’s owner, a company, or even a landlord. The funds you obtain can help pay for medical expenses and missed income. An expert San Antonio dog bite attorney can assist you in fighting to get all the compensation that is rightfully yours. To talk about your dog bite injury case, contact the Law Offices Of J. Robert Davis. We have extensive experience, a successful track record, and the financial resources to face off with the insurance company on your behalf. For a free consultation, call (210) 525-9220.
State Of Texas Dangerous Dog Law
In Title 10 Chapter 822 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the state has outlined the low standards that must be observed. These rules apply only to “dangerous dogs.” A “dangerous dog” is defined as a dog that has made an unprovoked attack on a person causing bodily injury outside of a qualified enclosure, or; the dog performs unprovoked actions other than from inside a qualified enclosure that cause a person to believe that the dog will attack and inflict bodily injury on him or her. Texas law requires that any dog that has shown to be dangerous be registered with local animal control and kept on a leash or in confinement. The owner must register the dog with animal control and securely restrain it at all times, as required by Texas Health & Safety Code 822.041(2). Once an owner discovers their dog is vicious, they are responsible for notifying animal control and restraining the dog. Otherwise, they may face both civil and criminal penalties.
The flaws in the Texas legislation are numerous. If the owner is unaware of a previous assault or qualifying acts of aggressiveness that make someone think an attack is probable, the law does not apply. As a result, a person may own any sort of dog he chooses on his property and claim a lack of awareness that the animal was aggressive or had harmed anyone. This is true even if the dog is a pit bull trained in order to fight. Furthermore, because the law only applies to “dangerous dogs,” there is no need for proactive restraint until dogs have attacked someone. The State statute merely codifies the State common law One Free Bite Rule.
How To Prove Your Dog Bite Case In Texas
Under Texas law, your dog bite damage compensation is based on your ability to demonstrate the owner’s liability. This implies demonstrating that the owner was aware or should have been aware that the dog might bite within the scope of the one-bite rule in Texas. The following components must be proved in order to show a dog owner’s negligence in an attack:
- The dog was in the defendant’s possession or control at the time of the biting. To establish responsibility, you must first show that the individual against whom you’re bringing a claim is in fact the owner of the animal at the time of injury. This may or may not be the dog’s owner, depending on a variety of factors.
- The defendant was irresponsible. To hold a dog owner accountable for a bite, it is necessary to show that the dog’s owner was aware that the dog might bite but did not take action to prevent another attack. Failing to use a leash, keep the animal in check, or to mend a hole in the fence are all examples of negligence.
- The defendant’s negligence was the immediate cause of the dog bite. You’ll also need to show that the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s carelessness. In other words, if the owner had done what a “reasonable and prudent” person would do in the same situation, then there would be no bite.
- You were the victim of a crime. Finally, you’ll need evidence of substantial harm in the dog attack. Physical discomfort, suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and perhaps – as is typical in dog assaults – emotional/psychological trauma are all examples of true losses.
Prepare for the defendant to try typical dog bite defenses, such as claiming that you provoked the conflict, were trespassing, or that the owner was unaware of his or her dog’s viciousness. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that even if you were partly at fault, you may still be eligible for compensation. Fighting these charges can aid in maximizing your recovery. Our San Antonio dog bite attorney can assist you with this and make sure to hold the negligent parties accountable for your injuries.
Negligence vs Strict Liability In Texas Dog Bite Cases
If you’ve been harmed by a dog bite in Texas, you may be eligible for compensation. Generally, you have two options when it comes to establishing a dog bite claim. Negligence or strict liability can both be used as the basis of your case.
If the owner’s negligence triggered the attack, he or she may be held accountable for dog bite injuries. When someone is negligent, it means that they have neglected to do something required of them by law, regulation, or other authority.
- A person has and breaches a duty of care to others, and
- That breach causes an injury
Owners have a duty to prevent their dog from harming others if they do not control it, keep them in a fenced yard, or leash them. They may be considered negligent if they fail to control their dog, keep them in a fenced yard, or tether them. The owner can be held liable and responsible for damages when their negligence is a key factor in an accident or attack.
Owners can be held responsible for injuries caused by their dog. Strict liability implies that responsibility is assumed regardless of the efforts to manage and keep others safe by dog owners. The burden of proof lies with the victim, not the owner. Instead, they must only prove:
- They were injured because of a dog bite or attack, and
- The dog’s owner knew – or should have known – about the dog’s history or propensity to be vicious.
If a dog has previously been violent or attacked someone, the owner is held accountable for future assaults. It’s vital to note that if you provoked the dog or made your injuries worse in any way, your chances of obtaining compensation may be reduced. If the dog bite victim is a minor child, these exceptions wouldn’t apply.
Damages Available in Dog Bite Cases
Bites from dogs can cause a lot of damage. Many medical procedures are needed to treat severe injuries. Some injuries are so extreme that workers must miss time at work due to them. Others result in disabilities or emotional scars that prevent people from performing the same tasks again. Fortunately, dog owners may be held personally responsible for these (and other) expenses if they file a dog bite claim. You could be eligible for compensation for the following items if you pursue a dog bite lawsuit:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
- Chronic pain
- Suffering, and more
Contact Our San Antonio Dog Bite Attorney Today
In the scenario of a dog bite or attack, pet owners are frequently uncooperative. Ownership might dispute responsibility for the incident, attempt to shift blame to the victim or even try to flee town to avoid responsibility. Many pet owners believe that a lawsuit will result in their pet’s euthanization. But, in fact, most dog bite claims are settled prior to trial during pre-trial settlement discussions. They don’t go to court and don’t result in any other than the pet owner having to pay what he or she is legally owed in damages.
Don’t attempt to negotiate a dog bite claim on your own. The insurance company of the pet owner might try to reject your claim or offer you considerably less than you are entitled to. The owner may try to lessen his or her responsibility by claiming that you caused the attack. Before accepting a low-ball settlement for significant or irreversible injuries, talk with a San Antonio dog bite attorney. At the Law Offices Of J. Robert Davis, we’re more than happy to go over your rights and potential legal options at no charge or obligation. Call our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.