A dog attack can result in serious injuries, and as a resident of Texas you can receive compensation from the dog owner if this happened to you. However, to receive compensation, you have to prove that the owner knew about the dog’s aggressive behavior and did nothing to prevent the attack. If the dog doesn’t have a history of attacking people, you may still recover damages only if the owner did something negligent that led to the accident.
A dog’s attack history
The state of Texas determines civil liability in a dog bite case based on the owner’s negligence. This means that an injured person could recover all available damages if the dog had attacked someone in the past or showed symptoms of aggressive behavior and the owner knew about it. The court considers that a person knows about their dog’s tendency to attack if the dog had previously bit another person or if the authorities had warned the owner that the dog was dangerous. If the owner knew about their dog’s problem, they have to compensate the victim for their medical expenses, lost wages and suffering.
The victim of a dog bite may also receive compensation if the owner had no way to know that their dog was dangerous or if it was the first time the dog attacked someone. In this case, the victim would have to prove that the owner was negligent and that their negligence gave way to the attack. For example, an owner may have to pay damages if the attack happened outside of their property because their dog escaped. In these cases, the owner is not liable for all damages, and they will only pay for the percentage they were at fault. If the court finds that the victim was more than 50% at fault for the accident, the owner won’t have to compensate the victim.
If the court finds that the owner did know about their dog’s dangerous behavior, the owner may also be subject to criminal penalties. In Texas, being negligent with a dangerous dog is a third-degree felony. An owner could be convicted of this felony if they knew that their dog was dangerous and the dog bit a person in a place other than the owner’s property without provocation. In this case, besides paying the victim’s damages, the owner may have to spend up to 10 years in jail and pay a fine of up to $10,000. Plus, pay a fine of $500 as they would also commit a Class C misdemeanor by letting their dangerous dog bite someone else.
Your right to compensation
If a dog bit you, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the dog owner. However, you must consider that you must file your claim no later than two years after the accident. If you file the claim afterward, you won’t get your rightful compensation. You must also consider that if the dog bit you on the owner’s property or you provoked the dog, the court might not award you with damages. However, if you believe that the owner was responsible for the attack, you have the right to take your case to court and fight back for the compensation you deserve.