New Braunfels Dog Bite Lawyer

While most dogs are friendly and well-behaved, others are dangerous, and the difference is not always immediately apparent. Dogs are often unpredictable, and their owners have a duty to control them. When dog owners breach this duty, they can be held liable. If you were injured in a dog attack, you may be suffering from physical pain and emotional distress from the frightening incident.

Sometimes, the dog belongs to a friend or neighbor, making the incident all the more difficult to address. These challenges emphasize the importance of speaking to a New Braunfels dog bite lawyer. A personal injury attorney can take an objective view and explain the range of possible results, allowing you to make an informed choice about how best to move forward.

Regulation of Dogs

Both city and state laws impose duties on dog owners to keep others safe from harm. New Braunfels, Texas – Code of Ordinances § 6-51(a) provides that dogs must be kept restrained and not allowed to roam outside their owner’s property lines. When not confined to the property, the dog must be on a leash or lead, under its owner’s control, and responsive to their commands. State law empowers local animal authorities to designate dogs as dangerous, thereby imposing strict requirements on their owners. In Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.041, a “dangerous dog” is defined as one that, while outside of a safe enclosure, either attacks and causes injury or acts in such a way that causes a person to reasonably believe they will be attacked. Once a dog is designated as dangerous, Tex. Health & Safety § 822.042 requires the owner to register the dog, keep the dog retrained at all times, and maintain liability insurance. Dog attacks, either by “dangerous dogs” or those not so designated, can form the basis of criminal liability.

Because Texas follows the law of negligence per se, violation of these state and local laws may be used by a New Braunfels dog bite attorney to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner.

Proving Dog Bite Liability

While statute establishes civil liability for dog bites, courts have long followed the “one-bite” rule, which imposes strict liability on a dog owner who knows or should know their dog is dangerous. After a dog has bitten someone once, its owner is on notice that the dog is prone to attack. The owner then has an absolute duty to prevent the dog from biting again. If the dog does bite again, its owners may be held strictly liable, meaning they are liable for the attack regardless of any safety measures taken to avoid it.

The standard when owners do not have reason to believe their dog is dangerous is the same negligence standard applied to other types of cases—the injured person must prove the owner had a duty of care and that they breached their duty of care, causing injury and resulting damages. This is a fact-intensive analysis requiring a New Braunfels lawyer to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite.

Negligence cases are sometimes more easily proven through negligence per se. When a negligent party violates a public safety statute—such as a leash law—and injury results, the injured person can prove duty and breach simply by proving the statute was violated.

Damages in Dog Bite Cases

A person found liable for a dog bite will generally owe the injured person compensatory damages. These are intended to compensate the injured person for their losses. They are comprised of economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover specific financial losses, like medical bills, costs of care, and lost wages. Noneconomic damages cover the intangible aspects of the injury, like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life. It is important to keep records of all medical care and treatment; this will assist a New Braunfels lawyer when determining the appropriate amount of damages in a dog bite case.

Dog Bite Attorney in New Braunfels

A dog attack can cause severe injuries and trauma. Even if you have always loved dogs, after a bite, you might find yourself afraid in their presence. The time after such an incident can be painful and confusing, with no easy answers in sight. By calling a New Braunfels dog bite lawyer, you can begin to take the power back into your own hands. Our legal team can thoroughly review your case and clearly lay out your options. Call today for an initial consultation.

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