Many people believe dogs are a “man’s best friend,” but they also have the potential to be violent toward people they don’t recognize. If a dog chooses to attack someone, it could cause them to suffer severe injuries. Large animals can tear ligaments, shatter bones, and cause permanent scarring. Even a bite from a small pet could result in skin lacerations, soft tissue damage, and infections.
Pursuing civil compensation for an animal attack is more complicated than a typical personal injury case, so it’s best to get help from a League City dog bite lawyer. With an experienced personal injury attorney by your side, you will be much more successful in negotiating for a fair settlement than if you decide to pursue your case alone.
Legal Precedent for Dog Bite Claims in League City
Unlike the civil codes in many other states, the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code does not explicitly address dog bites as a specialized form of personal injury case. Instead, the current legal guidelines for animal attack claims stem from the 1974 Texas Supreme Court case Marshall v. Ranne, in which the Court ruled that the state would follow a negligence-based system for dog bite cases.
In practice, this means a dog is not assumed to be dangerous until it first bites someone. Further, a dog owner is not strictly liable if their pet bit you unless they knew it was dangerous. If the owner didn’t know it was dangerous before it attacked you, you must prove that they were legally negligent receive compensation in your claim.
Legal negligence in these cases typically entails a failure to keep a dog restrained or contained in a yard, resulting in an attack. At Haines Law, we have extensive experience handling negligence-based claims and can help you prove liability after your dog bite.
Potential Obstacles to Obtaining Just Compensation
There are two statutory defenses to liability for a dog bite in League City. First, an owner can argue that they didn’t restrain their dog because they were earnestly unaware of their pet’s aggressive tendencies. The owner might also argue that you were trespassing on their property at the time of the attack. If the opposing party makes that kind of allegation, it could hinder your chances of recovering compensation in a settlement.
Even if you believe negligence or strict liability is clear, you should act quickly after the attack to initiate settlement negotiations with the opposing party’s insurance company. Settlement negotiations can be contentious, and if it becomes evident that you won’t be able to reach an agreement, our attorneys can help you bring the dog bite claim to court. In this scenario, we would need to file the case before the two-year statutory deadline set by Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §16.003.
Speak with a League City Dog Bite Attorney Today
Dog owners are not automatically liable for their pet’s actions in every situation, which is why retaining an attorney is vital to effectively demanding and obtaining a settlement for your losses.
Whether negligence or strict liability governs your case, you should seek assistance from a League City dog bite lawyer. Call us today to set up a meeting with a legal professional and start discussing your options.