Dog Bite Owner Liability Laws
Have you been injured by a dog that attacked you? One of your main concerns is likely getting the proper monetary recovery so that you can pay for medical bills and all other expenses that resulted from this incident. We want to take a look at the state’s laws regarding dog bite injuries so that you know which route to pursue and how to handle your case.
Under Texas’ comparative negligence law, the dog’s owner or their attorney can argue that you share some blame for the accident. If you are found partially at fault for the injuries you suffered, you may be able to still get compensation. Your damage award, however, will be reduced by the percentage that the attack was allegedly your fault.
Deadlines for Filing Your Claim
Under Texas law, there is a statute of limitations set in place that establishes a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a dog bite. The state allows two years to file this kind of lawsuit which begins on the date the animal attack took place. If you do not file within this time, the court will dismiss your case and you will not be heard.
Texas’ One Bite Rule
There is no actual Texas statute that covers liability for dog bite cases. In Marshall v. Ranne, 511 SW 2d 255, though, the Texas Supreme Court adopted the dog bite law in the Restatement of Torts § 509. With this, Texas established that it is a “one bite rule” state for dog bites.
For a person to recover damages, they will have to show the following:
- That the dog’s owner knew that the dog had bitten someone at a prior time or acted in an alarmingly aggressive manner in the past.
- That the dog’s owner acted negligently in controlling the dog or preventing it from attacking, and that as a result, the plaintiff suffered injuries.
In order to recover damages under Texas law, you must be able to show that the dog’s owner was aware that the dog was aggressive. This may not be an easy factor to prove, which is why our firm is here to help!