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When Is an Animal’s Owner Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries?

 Posted on June 23, 2021 in Dog Bites

Carrolton dog bite lawyer

There are many situations where a person may be injured through no fault of their own, and in these cases, a victim will want to determine whether someone else was responsible for the harm they have suffered. Dog bites often fall into this category, and because they can inflict serious harm on a person, a victim may look to recover compensation from the dog’s owner. However, it is important to understand the situations where an owner will be liable for injuries inflicted by their animal. By working with a personal injury attorney, a person can determine their best legal options for holding a dog’s owner responsible for their injuries and damages.

Liability for Dog Bite Injuries in Texas

Texas uses what is sometimes called the “one bite free” rule when it comes to dog bites. That is, the state’s laws allow a dog’s owner to be held liable if they knew that their dog was dangerous and the dog attacked someone without being provoked and inflicted serious bodily injuries or caused wrongful death

While the unofficial term “one bite free” implies that a dog’s owner cannot be held liable the first time a dog bites someone, this is not always the case. An owner can be held liable for any dog bite that occurs because of criminal negligence in which the owner failed to secure the dog and the animal attacked someone unprovoked in a location other than the owner’s personal property (including a vehicle or boat). Criminal negligence involves the failure to perceive and address a substantial and unjustifiable risk that affects other people. Even if a dog had not previously bitten someone, an owner may be found to be criminally negligent if they allowed the animal to run free without supervision, especially if it was a dangerous breed such as a pit bull or rottweiler.

Dog bites can result in multiple types of severe injuries that can cause severe pain, disabilities, or disfigurement. These may include:

  • Lacerations from a dog’s teeth or claws that can cause severe blood loss

  • Puncture wounds that damage muscles, ligaments, or tendons

  • Broken or crushed bones caused by a dog’s strong jaws

  • Nerve damage that may result in partial or total paralysis

  • Fall injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, bone fractures, sprains, or dislocated joints

  • PTSD and other forms of emotional trauma

Contact Our Irving Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you have been attacked by a dog, Attorney Jerry D. Andrews can evaluate your case and determine whether you can hold the dog’s owner liable for their negligence. He will fight to make sure you are fully compensated for all of the ways your injuries have affected you and your family. Contact our Carrollton dog bite lawyer at 214-221-5800 to arrange a free consultation today.


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