Edinburg Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
While dogs are known to be the best friends of humans, it is essential to remember that they are animals with animal instincts. Dogs can be overly protective and entirely unpredictable, which is how most dog bites occur.
Fortunately, Texas’s dog bite law can protect you or your children if you were bitten by someone else’s dog. Texas follows the “one bite rule” when it comes to determining liability for dog bites.
In order to sue the dog owner and seek compensation, you must prove that the owner was negligent or strictly liable for the attack. Contact our Edinburg dog bite attorney Raul A. Guajardo to discuss your particular situation and help you hold the dog owner responsible for the injuries and damages.
Children and Dog Bite Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all nonfatal dog bite injuries occur among children under the age of 14. Children are more vulnerable to dog bites than adults for various reasons:
- Children do not know how to behave around dogs;
- Dogs can be provoked by a child’s unpredictable behavior and loud noise; and
- Dogs are more likely to bite children due to their smaller size compared to adults.
The most common injuries suffered by children and adults who were bitten or attacked by dogs are:
- Crush injuries
- Fractured bones
- Loss of limb
- Sprains and strains
What is the Texas Dog Bite Law?
Depending on the circumstances of a dog bite, the injured party could bring a claim against the dog owner based on their negligence or Texas’s one bite rule to recover damages for their injury.
In most dog bite claims, the injured person must prove that:
- The owner of the dog was aware of the dog’s viciousness or aggressiveness or its history of dog bites in the past; and
- The owner of the dog was negligent when the dog bite occurred and failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog bite.
Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.005, a dog owner can be charged with a felony if they fail to restrain the dog with criminal negligence and the dog attacks another person unprovoked while off the owner’s property.
Strict Liability and Comparative Negligence
In fact, dog owners in Texas can be held liable for not only bites but also other injuries caused by their dog. Texas’s strict liability law is applicable to cases where the dog was classified as “vicious” or “dangerous.”
In Texas, a dog may be classified as dangerous or vicious when it has bitten another person before. When the strict liability rule applies, the new victim of the dog bite is not required to prove that the owner was negligent or failed to use reasonable care to secure the animal.
The injured party must simply demonstrate evidence that the dog was classified as vicious or dangerous before the incident occurred. However, if the dog owner can show proof that the victim’s negligence contributed to the injury, the victim’s compensation can be reduced.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001, Texas follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, also known as proportionate responsibility. It means that if an injured person is deemed partially at fault for their injury, their damages will be reduced by the percentage of their own negligence.
Do not hesitate to contact a dog bite attorney if you or your child was bitten or attacked by a dog in Edinburg or other parts of Texas. Schedule a consultation with our Edinburg dog bite attorney at the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, PLLC, to get a case review. Call at (956)-318-3200.