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When can I hold a dog owner liable if their dog bites me?

When can I hold a dog owner liable if their dog bites me?

| Feb 16, 2021 | Uncategorized |

If a dog ever bites you, chances are the owner will say that their dog has never bitten anyone before. In Texas, that may because they are genuinely surprised, or it may be an attempt to reduce their liability.

The Texas one-bite rule

Texas, along with some other states, has a one-bite rule. You usually need to show that the owner knew the dog was aggressive to claim they are liable for the injury. If you can prove that the dog bit someone before, that would show the owner knew their pet could bite someone.

That does not mean you have no chance of pursuing a successful claim against a dog’s owner without proof of a previous bite. You might be able to claim the owner was negligent. Some breeds of dogs are known to be highly aggressive. Some individual dogs of all breed act very aggressively. You could claim the owner should have known and was negligent if they did not take sufficient preventative action.

For instance, every day, you walk past a house, and the dog throws itself at the fence, teeth bared. It usually is on a chain, or the gate is locked, preventing it from reaching you. If the day it attacks you because the entrance is unlocked and the dog is unchained, you could argue the owner showed negligence by allowing the dog to escape. You might claim that the usual chain and locked gate are evidence that the owner knew about the danger.

Each dog bite or attack needs to be looked at on an individual basis. An attorney can help you find the best way to hold an owner responsible for the injuries their dog caused you. There may be criminal as well as civil options available.