Garland Dog Bite Lawyer

We have all heard that dogs are man’s best friend, which is usually true. Dogs are loyal, loving companions and provide invaluable work as service dogs, police dogs, search and rescue, and more. However, while dogs are great, they can also be dangerous. Descended from wolves, dogs have the ability to inflict serious physical harm—especially when their victims are children. Dog attacks can result in painful injuries, scarring, disfigurement, and even death. 

While some dogs are more prone to aggression and attack due to their breed, it is dog owners who are careless and negligent with their animal that are ultimately responsible for the bad acts of their pet. Bad dog owners may fail to secure their pets, fail to appropriately control them when on leashes, or fail to take appropriate precautions once they notice the dog has a tendency for aggression towards humans or other animals. Furthermore, these owners may fail to get proper healthcare for their pets, resulting in potential rabies exposure if their dog bites. 

When an unruly canine attacks you or a loved one, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help pursuing legal action. A Garland dog bite lawyer at McCraw Law Group could explain how Texas’s unique approach to dog bites might impact your claim. 

One Free Bite Rule

You may have heard that Texas allows dogs “one free bite” before holding their owners liable for injuries. That is not true. Indeed, Texas does not have a civil statute that explicitly holds the owner responsible for injuries from dog bites. However, Texas courts have decided that there are two situations where owners are liable—when they know their dog is a dangerous dog and negligence.

Having a dangerous dog is about more than just whether or not the dog has actually bitten another person—knowledge that the dog is aggressive and has exhibit behaviors of aggression towards humans may put a dog owner on notice of the dangerous propensities of their dog. Suppose an owner knows or should have known their pet is potentially dangerous, but they continue to allow the dog to roam off-leash, unrestrained in areas where they know other people will be present. In that situation, the dog owner may be liable for any resulting injuries after a dog attack. The best way to demonstrate that the owner knew the dog was aggressive is to show a prior history of attacks or bites. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code § 822.005, one can also demonstrate aggressiveness by proving that the dog previously behaved in a threatening manner that made someone fear an attack. 

However, the law does not require a history of aggression to hold an owner liable. If owners are negligent, the victims may be able to recover. Failing to observe leash laws is one type of negligence. A skilled attorney who handles dog bites in Garland could evaluate a specific case to see if there was negligence or a prior history of aggression. 

Criminal Charges Following Dog Attacks

In addition to civil penalties, owners whose dogs attack people may face criminal charges. Although, criminal cases are unusual since they require criminal negligence or knowledge that the dog is dangerous—a higher standard than civil negligence because the punishment includes potential confinement. Other factors like provocation, location, and severity of the bite will also be considered when determining if the negligence rises to a criminal level. 

A proactive Garland lawyer could investigate whether the state brought criminal charges in a dog bite case as a criminal conviction could help bolster a potential civil suit. 

Location Is Key to a Potential Dog Bite Case

Where the dog bite happened can be critical to a case’s outcome. The owners may not be liable for damages if the injured party was trespassing when they were bitten. Trespassers are not just people who are on the property for nefarious reasons. Anyone without permission or a legal reason to be on the property is a trespasser. 

While roving packs of dogs attacking strangers make primetime news headlines, most dog bites involve owners and pets that a victim knows. Often, a dog owner will carry a homeowner’s insurance policy that provides coverage for injuries associated with animal attacks. A seasoned Garland dog bite attorney works directly with the dog owner and their insurer to reduce the interpersonal contact between them and the victim of a dog attack. 

Meet With a Garland Dog Bite Attorney at Our Firm

Dog bites can be very complicated, and the variation of local ordinances and rules regarding ownership and control of pets across different cities and counties often creates confusing hurdles for a victim to clear. It can also be challenging to forecast future medical expenses as many dog bites require future plastic surgery to fix disfigurement and scarring. A Garland dog bite lawyer at McCraw Law Group knows how to navigate this challenging legal terrain. Schedule a consultation to meet with one today.

McCraw Law Group

McCraw Law Group N/a
McKinney Office
5900 S Lake Forest Dr.
Suite 450
TX 75070
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(972) 854-7900
Amarillo Office
2950 Duniven Cir
TX 79109
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(806) 342-5900
Denton Office
903 N. Elm Street,
Suite 103
TX 76201
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(940) 808-0405
Wylie Office
101 Calloway St
TX 75098
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Frisco Office
9555 Lebanon Rd
Suite 601
TX 75035
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(972) 842-4537