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How Are Dog Bite And Premises Liability Cases Connected?

Posted on 07/11/22

Dogs have powerful jaws that can inflict significant injuries on individuals. In many cases, dog bite incidents occur on the dog owner’s property. This means that dog bite claims often overlap with premises liability claims when it comes to victims’ recovery of compensation. Here, we want to discuss Texas dog bite laws as well as how a case could move forward when the incident occurs on the dog owner’s property.

Texas’ Dog Bite Laws

Many states around the country have a strict liability system in place when it comes to dog bites, which means dog owners are responsible for paying compensation to a dog bite victim regardless of whether or not their dog has ever bitten anyone before, so long as the victim was in a public location or lawfully on private property.

However, Texas operates under a system known as a “one bite rule.” This means that the dog owner can only be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal if the dog has bitten somebody before or is known to be dangerous. If the dog has not previously bitten anyone, then the victim is responsible for proving that the dog was vicious if they want to recover compensation through a civil claim.

Premises Liability Claim Overlap

All property owners, including homeowners, have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for those who have a right to be there. Typically, we see that this includes ensuring that stairs and walkways are properly maintained, that there are no obvious hazards present that could cause harm, that there is adequate lighting, etc.

This can get tricky when it comes to dog bites and attacks, particularly when considering the one-bite rule mentioned above. If a dog has not previously bitten anyone or is not known to be aggressive, it could be challenging to hold the dog’s owner responsible, even if the incident happens on their property.

However, a property or homeowner’s actions could constitute negligence per se (negligence in and of itself caused by a statute violation) if they have violated state, county, or city law, and this violation led to the dog bite. For example, it may be the case that a county or city where the incident occurs has a leash law in place. The person in possession of the dog could be held liable if the dog was off-leash when the bite occurred. This means that the bite victim would have to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the individual allegedly responsible in order to try and recover compensation through the civil court process.

Working With a Premises Liability Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been bitten and injured by a dog on another individual’s property, you need to reach out to a skilled Laredo premises liability attorney immediately. Dog bite injury cases can become complicated, and you need a lawyer by your side who can fully investigate every aspect of the claim and explore all avenues of compensation. You need a lawyer familiar with the dog bite laws in Texas as well as premises liability claims. Your lawyer will work diligently to recover the compensation you need and will not hesitate to take your case to trial if necessary.