If you or your pet were recently bitten by a dog that is not yours while in the Houston area, it is important to consider your legal options. No matter the level of severity, an experienced Houston, TX dog bite lawyer can advocate for you and work to obtain compensation for your losses, including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you believe the bite was due to the negligence of the owner of the dog who bit you, consider contacting John K. Zaid & Associates to request a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
The “one bite” rule
The principle of strict liability says that owners are liable if their dog (sometimes other pet species are included) bites or attacks another person or pet. In the state of Texas, the state does not utilize the principle of strict liability with regards to dog or other animal bites.
Instead, Texas follows the “one-bite” rule. The rule states that it must be proved that the attacking dog has a propensity for violent behavior. Likewise, it must be proved that the owner of the violent dog was aware of the dog’s aggressive nature, but neglected to take proper precautions to prevent unwanted contact with passersby or neighbors.
These qualities pose particularly difficult challenges in collection of evidence proving the dog to be aggressive and the owner to be negligent. An attorney that has expertise representing victims of dog bites will be able to evaluate your unique situation and help create a plan for taking action.
Proving a Dog is Aggressive
It is notoriously difficult to prove a dog is aggressive, but there are several promising methods of obtaining evidence through these methods:
Authorities and legal professionals can collect information about an animal that is suspected to have bitten someone from neighbors. By interviewing the people who frequent the area and asking them questions regarding the behavior of the dog, we may be able to form a picture of the likelihood of the animal attacking another person or animal. Through this process, we may hear about other incidents that were not reported that are telling of the aggressive behaviors of the dog.
Authorities can request medical records regarding the accused animal which may contain notes or information about the behavioral tendencies of the animal. By speaking with a veterinarian that has examined or treated the dog, we can further develop a behavioral profile. They may have documented past incidents from previous or current owners that the owner has not disclosed.
The property where the dog resides may have posted signs warning visitors and passersby of the animal. Dog warning signs may imply that the dog has aggressive tendencies. For example, if the animal has become free from the enclosure due the negligence of the residing dog owner, this may help further the likelihood of the success of your case.
When a pet dog is allowed to roam freely, there is a risk of incidents happening where a person or another pet animal is bitten. Whether the animal has a history of aggression or not, if it can be concluded that it was knowingly allowed to roam freely in an area with pedestrian traffic, this may further prove negligence of the owner.
Despite the challenges of proving aggression of a pet dog posed by dog bite cases, there are proven methods for finding the necessary evidence. Our firm has experience in the area of Dog Bite and can help provide you with clarity and direction throughout your recovery. The sooner you know your rights, the sooner one of our experienced attorneys can begin investigating the best course of action for your unique situation and work to protect them. Contact the offices of John K. Zaid & Associates today to request a free case evaluation.