A dog bite can have lasting physical and emotional effects, which is why Texas allows victims of dog bites and attacks to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered.
However, the process for obtaining compensation is not always straightforward as the law surrounding these types of cases can be complex. With decades of experience representing injury victims throughout Texas, our attorneys can help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve. We are well-versed in the laws surrounding these types of cases and are experienced litigators and negotiators. Having recovered millions in compensation for our clients, we can help you maximize your claim for compensation. Contact our Weatherford dog bite lawyers today for a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case and how we can help you. We work only on contingency, which means we do not charge legal fees unless we obtain compensation for you.
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Dedicated to Representing Dog Bite Victims
As trusted personal injury lawyers in Weatherford, we know firsthand the many devastating injuries that dog bites can cause, such as:
- Permanent pain
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Bone fractures
- Fear and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Because we know many of these injuries can have lasting effects, we are committed to helping dog bite victims fight for the compensation they need to cover the damages they have suffered because of their injuries.
Our attorneys have recovered some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Texas and are trusted within the legal community. All of our partners have been selected as leading attorneys in the state, having been named as Texas Super Lawyers by Thomas Reuters Service and received 10/10 AVVO Ratings. We are members of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and are committed to defending the rights of those who have been injured because of another’s negligence.
By contacting our Weatherford dog bite attorneys, you can trust that your case is in capable hands and that we will dedicate our resources and time to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Call (877) 920-9009 today to schedule a free consultation.
Texas Dog Bite Laws
Although there is no single dog bite statute in Texas, there are several court rulings and other laws that govern dig bite injury cases in the state.
Texas One Bite Rule
Texas adheres to the common law of strict liability, or a one bite rule, established in Marshall v. Ranne, 511 SW 2d 255 (Tex: Supreme Court 1974).
This doctrine allows a victim to recover compensation for a dog bite or attack if:
- The dog previously bit another person or acted like it wanted to.
- The dog’s owner, harborer or keeper was aware of the dog’s previous behavior.
The dog bite victim must be able to prove both requirements or he or she cannot file a case based on strict liability and will not be able to recover compensation.
It is difficult to recover compensation under the one bite rule, which is why Texas dog bite victims also have the option of filing a negligence claim.
Negligence in a Dog Bite Claim
If the dog bite victim can prove that his or her injury was caused by the negligence of the dog’s owner or another individual responsible for the animal, he or she may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Negligence is a lack of care that a reasonable and careful person would exercise in similar circumstances.
In a negligence case, there is no need to prove that the dog has bitten or acted like it would bite another person. Instead, the victim must be able to prove:
- The individual owned or possessed the animal
- The individual had a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the animal from causing harm to others
- The individual did not fulfill that duty
- The individual’s failure to fulfill his or her duty caused the victim’s injury
Negligence Per Se
An individual can also be held liable for harm caused by a dog while the individual was violating an animal control law. This is known as negligence per se.
This could apply to a dog’s owner or another individual who violated the Parker County leash law or allowed an animal to run at large. The leash law requires that all dogs be contained within the owner’s property or on a leash at all times.
An animal is considered to be running at large if it not restrained by a leash, chain or other physical restraint that is strong enough to control the animal while it is off the property of the owner. It also applies if the dog is not under immediate control of the owner or another individual and responsive to that person’s commands.
Weatherford Dangerous Dog Law
One important law that a dog owner can be held liable for violating is the dangerous dog law, which details the appropriate procedures for dealing with animals that are dangerous or represent a danger to the public health and safety.
This law defines a dangerous dog as one that while outside of its enclosure:
- Makes an unprovoked attack causing bodily harm to a person
- Commits unprovoked attacks that make a person believe the dog will attack and cause injury
- Has killed or seriously injured a domestic animal without being provoked
- Is trained, harbored or kept for fighting or used for fighting purposes
- Is known to carry or be susceptible to the rabies virus
- Is determined by an Animal Control Officer to be a danger to people or other animals based on the temperament, condition, training or observed behavior of the dog
Individuals who own dangerous dogs must register the dogs with the Animal Control Authority and keep them in a secure enclosure or on a leash at all times. A secure enclosure is fenced in area or structure that is:
- Capable of preventing entry of the public and children
- Capable of preventing the dog from leaving the property
- Clearly marked with a notice that the area contains a dangerous dog
- Adequately lit, ventilated and maintained in a sanitary condition
- Contains at least two square feet of space per pound weight of the dog
Contact a Weatherford dog bite lawyer to find out if you have a case.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite?
Under the laws and statutes explained above, a dog’s owner can be held liable for any injuries or harm his or her dog causes to another individual. There are also some circumstances in which other individuals could potentially also be held liable for a dog bite. These individuals include:
- A harborer or keeper – This includes anyone who has care, custody or control of the dog but is not the dog’s owner. This can include a groomer, kennel owner or dog walker.
- Property owner – If the dog was on someone else’s property at the time of the attack and the property owner failed to remove it from the property, the property owner could potentially be held liable. Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of those on the property.
- Landlord – Similarly, landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of those on the property. If the landlord was aware of a potentially dangerous dog on the property or that was owned by a resident, he or she may be held liable for a dog bite that occurs in the shared space on the property.
Because every case is different, it is important that you discuss the details of your dog bite with a trusted dog bite lawyer in Weatherford to determine who should be held liable for your injuries.
Dog Bite Compensation
Because injuries from a dog bite can have severe consequences for the victim, compensation from a dog bite claim or lawsuit is important. This monetary award can help you cover many of the damages you have incurred because of your injury, such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
With decades of experience representing injury victims, our Weatherford dog bite attorneys have seen the devastating effects of dog bite injuries, which can leave a victim with permanent physical scarring and disfigurement as well as lasting emotional damage. We understand the toll these injuries can have on your life and we are committed to helping you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, including a dog bite lawsuit. If you miss this strict deadline, known as a statute of limitations, you will not be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.
Because of this you should contact our trusted Weatherford dog bite lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our attorneys will need time to investigate your case and gather the necessary evidence before we can file a lawsuit on your behalf. We may also need to negotiate with the insurance company, as many dog bite cases are first filed as insurance claims with the dog owner’s insurance company. All of these things take time, so you should not wait to contact our lawyers today.
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Contact Our Weatherford Dog Bite Lawyers
To recover the compensation you deserve after a dog bite, do not wait to contact our dog bite attorneys in Weatherford for a free, no obligation consultation. We will review the details of your injury to determine if you have a case. If you do, we will fight to help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and will not charge legal fees or other attorneys’ costs unless we obtain compensation for you.