No matter the size or breed, a poorly trained and uncontained dog can cause serious and sometimes life-altering injuries to any person it feels is intruding on its territory or threatening it in some other way. Fortunately, if you were recently injured by someone else’s dog, you may have grounds to pursue civil compensation from that person for their negligent failure to keep their pet under control.
That said, achieving a positive result from a civil claim built around dog attack injuries can be a lot more complicated than you might expect, particularly if you try to go through the legal process without a seasoned personal injury attorney’s guidance. With an Austin dog bite lawyer on your side, you could stand a much better chance of filing a compelling claim and obtaining the restitution you deserve.
Many states have something called a “one bite rule” for dog bite litigation, under which someone whose dog has bitten or attacked another person before can be held strictly liable for any injuries their dog causes through a subsequent bite or attack. While Texas does not have a “one bite rule” codified anywhere in state law, court precedent has established a fairly similar approach that courts hearing dog attack cases usually follow.
In practice, this means someone who can prove a dog owner was reasonably aware that their dog had aggressive tendencies can almost always hold that owner financially liable for injuries and losses stemming from a bite injury. In these situations, claims will be based on the notion that the dog owner should have taken more substantial precautions to ensure their pet could not get loose and hurt anyone. As an Austin dog bite attorney could explain, though, it is also possible to hold a dog owner liable for a bite even if their dog had never attacked anyone before. For example, if the injured plaintiff can prove the owner recklessly or carelessly failed to control their dog by walking it off a leash or not fixing a hole in their backyard fence through which the dog escaped, establishing liability might be easy.
A comprehensive dog bite lawsuit or settlement can seek compensation for both the economic and non-economic repercussions of the incident, including losses that have not happened yet at the time of filing but can be expected to affect the plaintiff in the future. For example, beyond just bills for emergency medical care immediately after a bite, it could be possible to seek recovery for expected future medical expenses like follow-up appointments, physical or cognitive therapy, and prescription pain medications.
However, even if a dog bite causes permanent and debilitating injuries, virtually all prospective plaintiffs are still subject to the two-year filing deadline set by Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003. Because of this, it can be vital after any kind of dog attack to contact a seasoned Austin lawyer sooner rather than later.
Domesticated dogs are still wild animals at heart, and that unfortunately means they can be extremely dangerous if not kept under control by their owners. Even worse, holding a negligent dog owner liable for their misconduct after an attack can be prohibitively difficult for anyone to handle alone.
Having an Austin dog bite lawyer help you through the legal process can make all the difference in whether that process has a favorable resolution. Schedule your initial consultation by calling today.