Thousands of people suffer injuries from dog bites each year, which can cause immense physical and emotional pain and scarring. Unfortunately, the Texas dog bite law is lenient; the laws make it difficult to hold dog owners legally responsible for victims' losses and usually require the legal experience of a Houston dog bite lawyer to prove the case successfully.
The One-Bite Rule in Texas
Some states impose statutory strict liability for dog attacks, laws that make it easier for a victim to hold the owner responsible for any harm the dog inflicted. Texas isn't one of these states.
Instead, Texas follows the “one-bite rule,” a law that basically means that dogs are permitted a free bite before an owner can be held liable.
Under the one-bite rule, in order to hold the owner liable for the victim's injuries, one of the following circumstances must have occurred:
- the owner knew the dog previously bit someone or had a tendency of dangerous behavior;
- the owner's negligence caused the attack;
- the dog bite accident occurred as a result of a violation of a Texas animal control or dog bite law; or
- the owner intentionally caused the accident.
Proving Negligence for Texas Dog Bite Claims
If you've been bitten by a dog that doesn't have a history of attacks, you may still be able to pursue restitution under “negligence per se.” This area of Texas dog bite law allows dog bite victims to hold owners accountable for harm the dog inflicts if the owner was in violation of an animal control law.
Negligence per se is extremely important to victims of dog bites in Texas because it provides a legal avenue for compensation when the situation doesn't meet the one-bite law requirements.
However, in order to prove negligence, you'll have the arduous task of perusing municipal and county codes to locate a law that the owner violated. Contact a Houston dog bite lawyer who will be able to assess your accident quickly, determine liability and help push for the financial reimbursement you're legally entitled to receive.