Bitten By A Dog?

Contact Us
Free Case Evaluation

dog bite lawyer

Many times, dog bite victims are not only confused emotionally, but are also hurting physically. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need help, and there are certain things you must do to protect and preserve your dog bite injury claim. At Barrus Injury Lawyers, our San Antonio Texas dog bite lawyers are here to help you through this difficult time, and to answer your important and urgent questions.

Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets restrained or on a leash, especially when their dogs are around other people. This responsibility also means that owners can be held accountable if their dogs bite.

If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, call the Barrus Injury Lawyers to speak with one of our San Antonio dog bite attorneys. Our Texas dog attack lawyers are dedicated to holding dog owners accountable, and we’ll do everything we can to get you the maximum value for your claim.

Why It is Important to Hire a Lawyer after a Dog Bite

One of the things you must do in the immediate aftermath of a dog attack is to call a lawyer. You want a dog bite injury lawyer involved in your case ASAP because the services they provide will be invaluable during this time.

Gather Evidence to Bolster Your Dog Bite Case

In the wake of the attack, the dog owner may start making false claims to undermine your lawsuit. For example, they may claim that you were provoking their dog before the attack or threatening them in some way. The dog owner may also state that they had no idea their pet was capable of such an attack.

Your dog attack lawyer can help you push back against those claims. They can investigate the dog in question and highlight previous instances hinting at its vicious tendencies. They can also collect video evidence and witness testimony to prove that the attack was unprovoked.

Secure Proper Compensation in Your Case

Whether you are planning to take your case to court or negotiate a settlement, the assistance of your dog bite injury lawyer will prove vital.

With your doctor, your lawyer can help determine the damages in your case. Then, with that number in hand, your lawyer can negotiate with the other side until they get a favorable offer. If no such offer emerges, you can go to court knowing exactly how much you should receive based on the losses you have suffered.

Buy You Recovery Time

With medical bills piling up, you may feel the need to rush through your recovery so you can file your lawsuit. However, jeopardizing your health like that is not necessary. Partner with a dog bite law firm and have them handle your case. Let them make the necessary preparations to jump in later when you have fully recovered.

How Common Are Dog Bites in Texas?

You should never assume your safety around someone else’s dog. If something happens to provoke the dog while you are nearby, you may end up getting attacked.

Per the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually. Around 800,000 of those dog bite victims require medical attention at some point.

The Lone Star State also often finishes near the top of dog bite-related deaths yearly. The numbers only get more troubling as you continue to dig deeper. For instance, about half of the victims are children. Next to kids, the elderly are most likely to be victimized by dogs. When you consider who the victims typically are in dog attacks, it is not difficult to see why so many of them need to go to the hospital.

Whether you or someone else in your family was attacked by a dog, taking action quickly is a must. Call a dog bite injury attorney and start working on your lawsuit.

Understanding Texas Dog Bite Laws

Do you have a dog bite case on your hands? Answering that question should be your priority as you sort through the aftermath. To get some clarity on the matter, let’s discuss some of the most important aspects of Texas’ dog bite laws.

The Responsibility of the Dog Owner

You must keep your dog on a leash if you take it to the park or other public space. It does not matter how well-behaved you think your pet is; you must always control them with a leash. According to Texas law, failing to secure your dog while in a public space makes you liable. The victim can sue you for negligence because you did not secure your pet.

The Role of Provocation

A pet owner staring down a potential lawsuit may claim that you provoked their dog. They may claim that you were teasing or abusing their dog, eventually leading to an attack. You may have seen it as playing, but the pet owner may describe it as something else now that you are suing them.

Provocation in these cases is not limited to teasing or abuse. A pet owner may also claim that you provoked the dog attack because you were trespassing on their property. However, their dog was protecting their property, so the attack was justified.

The Element of Invitation

If the dog owner claims you were trespassing on their property when the attack occurred, you can counter that claim by mentioning that they invited you.

Save the text message they sent you when they invited you and use that as evidence that you were not trespassing. Do not worry if that text message does not exist. Your dog bite attorney can still speak to witnesses who can confirm that they invited you to the property.

Is There a “One Bite” Rule in Texas?

Texas does follow the so-called “One Bite Rule,” but this title is really somewhat misleading. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a dog’s owner isn’t liable if the dog has never bitten someone before…in other words, they really don’t get “one free bite” before the owner can be held liable.

In the case Marshall v. Ranne, the Texas Supreme Court applied the Restatement of Torts, Section 509, which sets forth the doctrine that is often called the “one free bite rule.” The doctrine basically sets forth a two-part test that needs to be met before an animal’s owner can be held liable for biting or attacking someone. The injured person must show both:

The animal had a propensity to harm another (either because it had bitten someone before, or acted in an aggressive manner, like it was going to bite someone), AND the defendant (owner) was aware of the previous aggressive conduct. If either of the two conditions aren’t met, it will be difficult to hold the animal’s owner liable under a theory of negligence.

Exceptions to the “One Free Bite” Rule

There are several exceptions to the “one free bite” rule, and depending on the facts of your case, there could be other ways to hold the owner of a dog accountable for your injuries.

  • Negligence Per Se: For example, if the animal’s owner was in violation of animal control laws, such as leash laws, or owning an illegal animal (like a tiger), etc. the owner may be held liable under a “negligence per se” theory because it’s presumed that they are negligence because they were breaking the law at the time of the attack.
  • Vicious Animal Exception: Under the “one free bite” theory outlined above, all an injured person needs to prove is that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous propensities. There are certain breeds of dogs, such as Pit Bulls, where the owner of such an animal is automatically put on notice of the dog’s dangerous propensities, and therefore they knew or should have known of the possibility that the dog would bite someone. Owners of these animals will have a difficult time relying on the fact that the dog hadn’t bitten anyone as a defense strategy.

Hiring a dog bite lawyer is even more important because the “one bite” rule applies in Texas. Your lawyer can start investigating records related to the dog that attacked you. If a previous incident hinted at the dog’s dangerous tendencies, your lawyer would uncover that.

Notably, a previous instance where the dog bit someone is not exactly necessary to discredit a defense based on the “one bite” rule. A previous incident where the dog acted aggressively towards another person may already suffice for discrediting that tactic.

How Much Is My Dog Bite Claim Worth?

The value of your dog bite claim depends on the economic and non-economic losses you sustained.

Economic losses account for your monetary losses. These may include your medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property. If you had to undergo surgery following the attack, your dog bite claim’s value would increase.

Non-economic losses should compensate you for the losses that you cannot quantify. Common examples of non-economic losses include mental anguish, lost opportunities, and loss of enjoyment of life. The courts use special methods to calculate the non-economic losses in personal injury lawsuits.

Once you have combined your economic and non-economic losses, you should have a good idea of how much compensation you should receive.

Who Is Liable to Pay My Medical Bills After a Dog Bite?

The owner of an animal, and in some cases the guardian or keeper of an animal who bites you is liable to pay for your medical bills and other damages (or their homeowner’s insurance will) as long as you’re able to meet the two part test outlined above in the “Does Texas Have a “One Free Bite” Rule?” section.

Does It Matter If I Was On The Dog Owner’s Property?

Being on a dog owner’s property doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have a case. It just depends on the circumstances. For example, if your child was invited to a birthday party at another child’s home, and the homeowner’s dog bites your child, you would likely have a case.

What To Do Immediately Following a Dog Attack

After a dog bite, or other animal attack, it’s important to:

  • Seek immediate medical attention (even if you don’t have health insurance)

  • Call 911 or Animal Control Services to report the incident

  • Collect and write down information about the dog, its owner (name, address, phone, etc.)

  • Contact an experienced dog bite injury attorney as soon as you can (waiting could ruin your case)

  • Get pictures of the dog that bit you

  • Photograph and document your wounds (daily if possible)

Often times this is hard for injured victims because they are hurt, and are likely in shock at what happened. This often causes people to delay, allowing important evidence to slip away, get lost, or even destroyed. Sometimes the dog is moved to a family member’s house, and the owner will claim it wasn’t their dog, etc.

Don’t risk your case by failing to handle your case quickly from the start. You should be focused on getting better, and we’ll focus on gathering evidence for your case. After all, we don’t charge any fee upfront, and you never pay us a penny until we get you a recovery – that is our No Fee Guarantee to you.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Texas?

Immediate action is warranted if you want to pursue a dog bite lawsuit in Texas. That is because the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the Lone Star State is at only two years. More specifically, you have two years to file the lawsuit from the day the incident occurred.

File your lawsuit on time unless you want them to dismiss it in court. Once you present your lawsuit, the defense can point out that the time limit has passed, and that will be it for you. Do not expect to receive any compensation at that point.

This is another reason you should hire a lawyer. They can organize and file your lawsuit while you continue to recover.

Dog Bite Law Firm

Our first priority is to make sure you get better. We understand that dealing with dog bite injuries can be difficult, and financially burdensome – this is why we do everything we can to make sure you get the help you need.

Our San Antonio dog bite lawyers can help make arrangements for your medical care, and if you can’t make it to our office for a free consultation, we can come to you.

Some of the cities in Bexar County which our dog bite law firm serves include: San Antonio, Kirby, Leon Valley, Converse, Live Oak, Universal City, Schertz, New Braunfels, Pleasanton, Seguin, Canyon Lake, Hondo, San Marcos, Kyle, Kerryville and Lockhart.

Common Dog Bite Injury Questions

Do You Have A Case?

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE DOG BITE INJURY GUIDE

Our free book will teach you the most common mistakes people make that destroy their Texas accident and injury claims, as well as the critical steps you must take to protect and preserve your claim after an accident.

    Free Book Download!

    Principal Office

    Barrus Law Group, PLLC
    2511 N Loop 1604 W Suite 301
    San Antonio, TX 78258
    injury lawyer logo
    best San Antonio
    SABA lawyer logo
    Texas lawyer badge
    expertise BLG
    lawyer award logo
    Barrus Injury Lawyers
    expertise in personal injury law
    accident lawyer in San Antonio
    2022 top lawyer award