Compensation for Children
Children often have future medical needs as a result of dog attacks. Often, children will need future cosmetic surgery to reduce scarring or disfigurement. Attorney O’Hara helps parents understand the care their child may need in regard to future medical treatment. He can also help you find a medical provider if you have difficulty locating a medical provider that will treat you or your child.
Texas Dog Bite Law
Common Law – First Bite is Free
Texas follows the common law principle that a victim of a dog bite may recover compensation from the owner or keeper of a dog if: (1) the dog previously bit a person or showed aggression towards a person; and (2) the owner or keeper of the dog was aware of the dog’s conduct prior to biting the victim. This doctrine is grounds for recovery if both elements are met.
A victim may also pursue a claim against an owner or handler of a dog if the person was negligent, failed to use ordinary care. Even if the dog has never bitten before, an owner may be found responsible for the attack if the dog owner was negligent. An example of negligent behavior would be allowing a newly adopted dog to play with young children unsupervised. Under a negligence theory, it is not necessary to prove that the dog bit someone else in the past or exhibited aggressive behavior.
Texas Health and Safety Code has government procedures for declaring a dog a “dangerous dog.” A “dangerous dog” is a dog that makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept. If a dog is declared a “dangerous dog,” the owner must carry $100,000 of liability insurance, and it is easy for a victim to prove liability if the dog was already declared dangerous before the attack.
Counties and cities across Texas have their own laws regarding restraining and leashing pets. If a dog is unrestrained and bites someone in a jurisdiction that requires a dog to be leashed, the victim may sue the dog owner or person in charge of the dog under the theory of negligence per se. The dog owner violated a Texas statute that was designed to prevent harm to citizens from dogs roaming unrestrained.
Learn more about dog bites by clicking the links below: