Attacked by a Neighbor's Dog? Here Are Your Rights in Texas

 

If you're in need of immediate assistance with your case, contact the Anderson Law Firm in Fort Worth today at 817-294-1900.

If you were attacked by a neighbor's dog, I want to say I'm sorry to hear it. Dog attacks - no matter how big or small - can be extremely frightening.

As a Texas dog bite lawyer, I want you to know that you DO have rights as a dog bite victim. If you were hurt as a result of the attack, Texas law allows you to recover compensation for any medical bills related to the incident, as well as money for lost wages, damages, pain and suffering. 

Texas Dog Bite Law

If you've been bitten by a neighbor's dog, it's important that you know your rights. 

The One Bite Rule

There's a common misunderstanding about a "law" in Texas called the One Bite Rule. Some lawyers might tell you that unless the dog that bit you has hurt someone in the past, then you can't file a claim.

This is false. As long as you can establish negligence, (meaning you can prove that the dog's owner didn't protect you from their dog), you have a good case.

It's a Dog Owner's Responsibility to Protect You 

Every dog owner, by law, has a duty to protect others from their animal. When I say protect, I mean they're supposed to keep their dog securely contained, restrain their dog on a leash while on walks, and so on. This isn't just for dangerous or aggressive dogs either - all dog owners are required to take these precautions!

If you were attacked by a dog that escaped from your neighbor's house or yard, you could have a strong claim. 

To learn more on this topic, read my article about Lillian's Law.

Establishing Negligence

So, do you have a strong dog bite case? That depends on whether or not you can establish negligence against the dog's owner. Yes, Texas law protects dog bite victims, but only if you can prove that the owner did something that enabled the attack. 

An example of negligence is if your neighbor left their front door open and their dog escaped and bit you. Your neighbor wasn't diligent in keeping their dog secured, and you were hurt in the process - that's negligence. 

Should You File a Claim Against Your Neighbor? 

A common concern I hear at my firm is that dog bite victims don't want to file a claim against their neighbor because they feel uncomfortable suing someone they know. While this is definitely understandable, there are a few things you should know about making a claim for a dog bite. 

First, dog bite claims are filed through the dogs owner's homeowner's insurance, so their rates won't go up after making a claim. 

Second, this is the reason your neighbor has insurance in the first place - to use it when needed!

Last, if you've been hurt due to someone else's negligence, you don't deserve to suffer or to front any of the costs for your own medical bills. However, the Texas justice system isn't set up to compensate victims unless they make a claim. 

A Lawyer Can Help

(Want more information? Download my free book "How to Make a Successful Dog Bite Injury Claim In Texas" here.) 

A lot of dog bite victims hire lawyers to help the claims process go smoothly. Unlike most attorneys, our personal injury lawyers charge nothing upfront - we only get paid at the end of your case once you've been fairly compensated. 

To speak to a lawyer right away, call 817-294-1900. 

Not everyone who's been bit by a dog needs a lawyer. Not sure if hiring a lawyer is right for you? Check out my helpful article to help you make the choice. 

 

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas