If a dog bites another person or animal in Texas, the owner is almost always liable for the animal’s actions. This is typically true even if the dog has no history of aggression toward other people or animals. Of course, the facts of the case will determine who is liable in a dog bite case and whether anyone has to pay out of pocket for damages a canine might cause.
A dog’s owner or guardian is responsible for making sure that the animal behaves properly when out in public. A dog’s owner is also responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep a dog from harming someone who has permission to approach or spend time on your property. However, a bite victim may be liable for their own injuries if actions were taken to provoke the animal into biting. For instance, if someone grabbed your dog’s tail, it’s unlikely that you would be liable for what the dog did in response.
Various sources may cover damages
If the defendant has a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, that policy may cover costs related to dog bite injuries a victim may incur. However, if the total damages exceed coverage limits, the dog’s owner or handler may be liable for personally paying any remaining balance. A dog bite victim may file a claim for medical bills, lost wages and punitive damages if the facts of the case support it.
If a dog hurts you, you are encouraged to seek treatment and take legal action promptly. Texas law gives you two years from the date of a dog bite incident to file a lawsuit in your case. Medical records, witness statements and other evidence may be used to obtain a favorable resolution.