When it comes to dog bites, Texas law differs from other states that have specific laws for these incidents. Many states have what’s known as a one-bite rule. This rule states that an owner can’t be held liable for a dog bite if the dog has no history of biting people. Since Texas does not follow a law like this, those who sustain injuries from a dog bite in the state need to follow general rules associated with personal injury claims.
What to Prove for a Dog Bite Claim
Since no law specifically governing dog bites in Texas, it’s best to look at previous cases in the state’s history. Surprisingly, a Texas case that’s significant for dog-bite claims didn’t involve a canine. Instead, a 1974 lawsuit filed by a person bitten by his neighbor’s hog is useful for understanding dog bite claims in Texas.
In Marshall v Ranne, the Defendant’s hog escaped onto land owned by the plaintiff. When the plaintiff encountered the hog, the animal bit him. The plaintiff appealed the case to the Texas Supreme Court. The Court ended up ruling in favor of the Defendant because the Plaintiff knew the hog was dangerous and failed to avoid contact with it. Since the hog had never bitten someone before, the Plaintiff was not held liable for damages. So, while there’s no Texas law specifically for dog bites, this case shows that a dog bite claim should prove negligence for success.
Negligence on the part of a dog owner includes the following:
- The owner knew that their dog has a history of aggression.
- The owner failed to control their dog or prevent the bite from happening.
Consult with a Texas Dog Bite Attorney
While it’s possible to speculate when a dog owner was negligent, it’s always best to speak with an attorney after suffering from a bite. Importantly, a person has two years from the date of their bite to make a personal injury a claim for the incident. A Texas dog bite attorney will examine a case, determine if negligence was a factor, and work to recover the losses caused by a dog bite.
For a free consultation, call Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629. We’re ready to hear your story and help you discover your options at no cost.