The Sun Times Network reports that a San Antonio dog bit off the tip of a woman’s finger earlier this month. The incident occurred west of downtown, on El Paso Street. The woman was walking, when the unprovoked dog lunged at her. She attempted to use her hands as a shield from the attack, and the dog got a piece of her finger. Dog attacks are frightening, physical injuries can be severe and psychological damage can leave long lasting scars. If you have been injured by a dog bite, you have important legal rights. Please contact an experienced San Antonio dog bite attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Texas Dog Bite Law: The One Bite Rule
When it comes to dog bite injury liability, Texas, and many other states, operate under a system known as the ‘one bite’ rule. The rule is also sometimes referred to as the ‘one free bite’ rule. This is because dog owners are not held liable for dog bite injuries unless they had reason to expect that their dog posed a safety risk. Essentially, the first bite is ‘free’ and from that point forward, the dog owner would be legally expected to be aware that their dog has the potential to injure a human. If another bite injury occurs, the owner will be held liable under Texas common law. But, the name ‘one bite’ is a misnomer. The reality is much more complicated, and dog owners can still be held liable even if a dog has never actually bitten anyone in the past.
The One Bite Rule is a Misnomer
The name is misleading, because in reality, liability is enforced on the dog owner whenever the owner ‘should have known’ that the dog posed a safety risk. Clearly, biting is an unquestionably aggressive action by a dog. Therefore, if you can show that a dog has bitten someone else in the past, then that owner should have known about their dog’s dangerous tendencies. But, there are many other ways to prove past aggression by a dog that go beyond biting. Other acts of prior aggression can be used to prove that the dog owner should have known about the safety risk. Some common examples include:
- Jumping on people;
- Aggressive barking;
- Fighting with other dogs;
- Being trained for dog fighting;
- or, any other type of threatening behavior towards a person.
Proving that a dog owner should have known about a dog’s dangerous potential can get complicated in many cases. It is not always clear cut. If you have been injured by a dog, the services of an experienced San Antonio dog bite attorney are critical.
Contact An Experienced San Antonio Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite injuries deserve full and fair compensation. In Texas, proving and recovering damages can sometimes be a challenge. It is important to ensure that all Texas citizens, especially our most vulnerable, are protected from dangerous dogs. Pet owners have a legal obligation to make sure that their animals do not cause harm to others. If you have been injured by a dog in San Antonio, please contact the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos. Our legal team has extensive experience working hard for Texas dog bite victims, and initial legal consultations are free of charge.