Experience Matters

Who is liable for injuries caused by an aggressive dog in Texas?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Personal Injury

Some dogs are aggressive because their human handlers want them to be. Dogs who work on farms to protect livestock and canines acquired as home guardians are often very wary of unusual people and strange animals.

Other animals are typically complacent because they live as pets, but they could become aggressive in a variety of scenarios. A small child might make them anxious. An encounter with another dog or human in a public space might remind them of a prior incident that led to injuries. Even typically gentle animals can become aggressive with minimal warning.

A dog that attacks a human can cause severe lacerations, disfiguring scars, major infections, broken bones and even fatal injuries. Who is typically liable for the damages caused by an aggressive dog in Texas?

Owners are sometimes liable for animal actions

Texas has animal liability laws that give pet owners the benefit of the doubt. Specifically, Texas has a one-bite statute. An owner is theoretically liable for an animal’s conduct when it has been aggressive before or displayed warning signs of instability and aggression.

A dog that has bitten a human before or that an owner has struggled to control because it becomes aggressive is an animal that an owner has to monitor and restrain carefully. However, if a typically gentle and kind dog snaps with little warning and bites a child, the owner may not be liable in that scenario.

Even when the owner is liable, they typically do not have to pay for the expenses of a dog bite incident directly. Instead, homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance can cover the costs related to an incident involving an aggressive dog.

It is frequently necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain sufficient compensation from an insurance company after a Texas dog bite incident. Evidence ranging from an owner’s statements to warning signs posted in a yard could strengthen the claim that an owner knew their dog was dangerous.

Discussing an animal’s history with a skilled legal team after identifying its owner is a key element of a successful personal injury lawsuit related to a dog bite attack. People who understand state rules can potentially hold an animal’s owner accountable for their harm.