Texas does not have laws that outline how to deal with dog bite cases. Instead, the state relies on common law to dictate how and when these cases proceed. This makes it difficult to get the compensation you need to pay for your medical care, any necessary plastic surgery, lost wages, and other damages.
If you or a family member suffered injuries because of a dog attack, the personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can analyze your case and help you understand if you have any legal recourse against the dog’s owner. In some cases, we may be able to help you pursue compensation to help you pay for your medical care and other damages. If we believe you have a viable case, we can file a claim and fight for the fair settlement you deserve.
We offer complimentary case reviews to all dog bite victims and handle these claims on a contingency basis. Call 713-850-8600 to speak to a dog bite lawyer in Pearland today.
Claims Based on the One Bite Rule and Vicious Propensities
There are two ways we may be able to hold the dog owner liable for their dog’s actions. The first is under the common law that applies in Texas, sometimes called the “one bite rule.”
To win a claim under this rule, we need to show the owner or handler of the dog knew the dog had vicious propensities. This is where the name of the rule comes from. In effect, the dog gets one free bite. Unless we can show the dog previously acted in a vicious manner, we cannot win a claim based on this law.
We need to collect all possible evidence about your bite incident and the dog’s past behavior. We have to show:
- The dog previously attacked someone;
- It acted in a threatening way, with clear intent to attack;
- It was not provoked into either attack; and
- The owner or handler knew about the dog’s history.
In many cases, even if we are able to meet this burden of proof, the dog’s owner will dispute the past account or claim you provoked the dog. If this occurs, we will need to identify additional witnesses to both attacks, making it even harder to pursue a winning claim based on the common law.
Dog Bite Claims Based on Owner Negligence
The other way we can win compensation for dog bite victims is by filing a negligence claim against the dog’s owner. This is possible by filing a claim based on their homeowner’s insurance policy—or filing a lawsuit against them. In most cases, the owner or handler acted negligently by ignoring local leash laws and allowing the dog to roam free. In Pearland, dogs must remain in a fenced area or their owner must maintain physical control at all times.
To win a personal injury claim based on the owner’s negligence, we must provide evidence to prove:
- The dog belonged to them, or was in their care at the time of the bite;
- There are local leash laws, other statutes, or common sense measures that should have prevented the attack;
- They ignored the laws or acted in an unreasonable and careless way; and
- Their behavior allowed the attack to occur and you suffered injuries and other damages as a result.
Winning a dog bite claim based on negligence is often an easier route to compensation. If you allow us to handle your case, we conduct a full investigation into the incident. We identify how the attack occurred and determine if other elements contributed to the incident. We will collect all available evidence showing the dog’s owner acted negligently and build a strong case for liability. Then, we can document your damages and come up with a fair value for your claim. Only then will we file an insurance claim and attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
The Role of a Dog Bite Lawyer in Pearland, Texas
Texas dog bite cases are more complicated than in many other states, primarily because of the one bite rule. It is difficult to win a payout, especially if you are not sure how to prove the dog owner’s liability.
We know what is necessary to win a dog bite claim and can explain your options for compensation. We can help you understand the high burden of proof in these cases and offer advice on how to build the strongest possible claim. If we go to bat for you, you do not need to worry about any legal complexities. We will navigate the process for you and fight for the full payout you deserve.
Because serious dog bite injuries often require multiple plastic surgeries and other future care, it is paramount that you understand the full range of your injury-related expenses before pursuing compensation. We can help you recover reimbursement for your current and future medical costs, as well as your missed wages, reduced earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If a loved one died in a fatal dog attack, we can help you recover wrongful death damages.
It is our goal to ensure our clients do not face any unnecessary stress and worry during the claims process. We provide the support and communication you need to keep you up-to-date, but we also allow you to focus on your physical recovery while we take care of the legal hurdles.
Discuss Your Case With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Pearland Today
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, we can help you determine if you are eligible for compensation after a dog bite incident. If so, we can pursue a claim on your behalf, fighting for the money you need to pay for your medical care and cover other losses you suffered.
We offer free case reviews to all Pearland dog bite victims. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. You owe us nothing until we recover compensation for you. Call our office today at 713-850-8600 to get started.