The United States experiences approximately 4.5 million dog bite injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly 18% of these injuries are serious enough to require medical attention. For these dog bite victims, these injuries can result in costly medical procedures and long-term pain and suffering. Fortunately, in the state of Texas, a dog bite victim may recover compensation from the owner of the dog that bit them in certain circumstances.
Recovering damages under the one-bite rule
When it comes to dog bite injuries, some states follow strict liability laws, meaning the dog owner can be liable for injuries caused by the dog, even if they did not know of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
However, Texas follows the one-bite rule for dog bite injuries, which means that dog owners may only be liable for dog bite injuries caused by their dog if they had reason to believe the dog would injure someone. Generally, this means that:
- The dog had previously bitten another person and/or displayed aggressive tendencies
- The dog owner was aware of their dog’s previous behavior
Recovering damages under the theory of negligence
Even if there is no evidence of prior aggressive behavior, dog bite victims can still recover damages from the dog owner by proving that the dog owner was negligent. Dog owner negligence may include:
- Failure to properly control the dog
- Failure to properly restrain the dog (e.g., failure to use a leash)
- Failure to properly supervise the dog
- Violations of animal control laws/ordinances
If you are interested in recovering compensation for your dog bite injuries, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Your attorney can negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to get you the best offer possible or help you bring a lawsuit against the dog owner to recover the damages you deserve.