The Kipness Law Firm, P.C


Q: What is the law in Texas regarding dog bites?

A: Texas requires persons that own or keep animals to use reasonable care to prevent the animal from causing injuries.  If the animal has a propensity for being aggressive or his wild animal, the person may be automatically liable for injuries caused by the animal.

Q: What types of compensation can I recover?

A: You can recover compensation for medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, and impairment.

Q: How can one establish liability for a dog bite?

A: Liability can be established by showing the owner violated a leash law, the animal was handled in a negligent manner, or the owner knew from prior experience that dog or animal could bite someone.  This is known as the one bite rule.

Q: What is the owner is found guilty in a criminal court for violating a law?

A: Violations of criminal laws do not guarantee compensation for dog bite injuries.

Q: How common are dog bites?

A: One study in 1990s showed there were 800,000 dog bites in a year that led to medical treatment.

Q: Will a dog automatically be put down if it bites someone?

A: No.  It depends on the conditions surrounding the dog bite, investigations by animal control and a court proceeding.

Q: Should I report a dog bite?

A: Yes.  The dog bite should be reported to local animal control or the police department.

Q: Should I take pictures?

A: Yes.  Photographs of your injuries or the accident scene will help support your claim.

Q: What should I do if bitten by a dog or animal?

A: Get prompt medical treatment, take photos of injuries and accident scene, obtain name, address, and phone number of all witnesses, report the bite to animal control or police, identify the animal’s owner and address where the bite occurred.

Q: If my injuries are minor, should I still contact an attorney?

A: Yes.  Even from minor bites, medical bills can be high due to the cost of healthcare.

Q: Will an insurance company always pay for my medical bills and compensate me?

A: No.  Insurance companies may delay payment or give you a low offer because they know you need compensation to pay for your medical bills and other damages.

Q: What is the dog owner does not have liability insurance?

A: Owners of property may be liable for dog bites on their presses and may have insurance.  Most homeowners or apartment complexes carry insurance, even if their tenants do not.  Some tenants may have insurance coverage for a dog bite if they have renter’s insurance.

Q: Does it matter where the dog bite took place?

A: No.  Dog owners may liable for bites on public or private property.

Q: Who actually pays for dog bite injuries?

A: Friends, neighbors, or family members typically do not pay for the injuries. Insurance companies that provide insurance to renters, homeowners, landlords usually will pay for damages.  

Q: Should I sign any papers sent to me by an insurance company who is handling my dog bite claim?

A: No.  You should consult the services of a dog bite attorney before signing any papers.

Q: If a person dies from a dog bit, can a claim still be pursued?

A: Yes, under a wrongful death statute a claim can be pursued by the parents, spouse, or children on behalf of the deceased.

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