In Texas, when a dog attacks you, the owner of that dog can be held legally responsible for injuries and damages. Pretty straightforward, right? However, if the attack takes place on private property, like an apartment complex, the property owner may also be held liable. Things can get complicated in cases like these.
Since dog bite injury claims can be convoluted, we’re going to cover the laws and regulations that determine who is responsible for dog bite injuries in Texas. That way, you can get a good idea of how to proceed if you’ve been injured by someone’s loose, aggressive dog.
You should have a good grasp of who may be liable to make sure your dog bite claim has the best chances at getting you damages awarded for your medical bills and other expenses.
Texas Law Regarding Dog Bite Injuries:
For the dog owner, Texas uses a one-bite rule for liability when it comes to dog bite injuries. It hinges on negligence: A pet owner will only be held responsible for a dog bite injury if the dog had previously bitten someone or shown other signs of aggression, and if the owner failed to prevent a second or subsequent bite.
But on top of that, landlords have a certain responsibility to keep the properties that they own and manage reasonably safe for renters and visitors. If a dog attack takes place while on rented or leased property, the landlord may be held accountable along with the dog owner. A landlord or property owner isn’t responsible for incidents that take place inside apartments, but they are responsible for all common areas on the premises, such as hallways, lobbies, and courtyards.
You can make a claim against a landlord for a dog bite injury that:
- Takes place in a common area
- Shows evidence that the landlord knew or reasonably should have known that a violent or dangerous dog was staying on the property.
If the landlord knew about the aggressive dog but did nothing to remedy the situation (like evicting the tenant for breaking the building’s pet rules) the landlord or owner of the building could be held responsible for an attack.
In addition, a landlord may be held responsible for a dog bite injury that occurs as a result of the landlord’s failure to maintain safe premises.
If a property owner failed to repair a courtyard fence and a dog gained entry and attacked you, the landlord could be held responsible for failing to prevent a foreseeable injury. If the landlord did his or her part to prevent a dog attack (fixed the fence, but the dog broke through the repair) and it was the pet owner that didn’t follow the rules, the dog owner might be liable instead.
In some cases, both parties might be liable. It takes consideration from legal experts to determine who’s at fault in most cases. If you’ve suffered an injury from a dog attack, it’s important to get legal help ASAP.
Personal injury and apartment negligence attorneys can help you sort out the details. Without help from Texas condo and apartment negligence lawyers, you might have trouble getting compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and mental suffering that come with a dog bite injury.
It’s best to consult attorneys who can provide a risk-free case evaluation for your dog bite claim.