Dog attack cases are often preventable, and pet owners must follow laws to decrease the probability of these events. It is vital to understand laws pertaining to dogs and being a pet owner, and it is important to consider the liabilities that are presented by the choice to have a dog and fail to protect visitors. When a visitor or party that has a legal reason for being on the property is attacked by the owner’s dog, the pet owner faces liabilities based on these failures.
The Victim’s Legal Right to Be on the Property
When managing a dog attack case, the most prevailing element is the victim’s right to be on the property where the dog attacked them. This is different if the dog was roaming around the neighborhood and attacked someone away from the pet owner’s property. However, when it comes to a dog attack that happened on the pet owner’s property, the victim must have a legitimate reason for being on the property.
When a pet owner becomes a defendant in a lawsuit, this is a vital element the defense will examine. If the victim was guilty of trespassing, they cannot get compensation because they didn’t have a valid reason for being on the property. Under the circumstances, the victim must be having been invited onto the property by the owner or on the property as a part of their job duties.
If the victim’s job required to be on the property, they must show the court that they were either a utility worker, emergency services, a public servant, or law enforcement. They must also prove that they were on duty when the dog attack happened.
For example, a law enforcement officer that was off duty cannot enter a private citizen’s property. A service provider that was hired to complete tasks for the homeowner cannot enter the home without permission from the homeowner. Victims that were injured in a dog attack get more information from Uvalle Law Firm now.
Did the Dog Have a History of Previous Attacks?
When starting a dog attack case, the attorney will search public records to determine if there was a previous history of attacks by the same animal. While Texas doesn’t have a strict liability ruling for dog attacks, the victim can seek damages if the dog has several attacks on their history and the pet owner failed to protect others from the dog. It will present the pet owner as negligent if they knew their dog was likely to attack others but didn’t make any efforts to prevent a new attack.
Where Was the Dog Located?
The location of the dog during the attack plays a role in how the case is managed, too. Texas has leash laws that require pet owners to place their dogs on leashes whenever they allow the dogs outside the home. If the dogs are outside the home and not on a leash, the pet owner can allow the dogs to run around in their yard as long as there is an outdoor enclosure that prevents the dog from roaming freely around the neighborhood.
According to these laws, if the dog owner fails to keep their dog inside their own yard and the dog attacks a human, the pet owner is liable. When reporting the dog attack, it is vital for the victim to describe the location where the dog was when he or she attacked the victim. If the dog is anywhere beyond the property lines of the pet owner’s property, the pet owner is liable if the dog attacked the victim.
Was the Victim Guilty of Animal Abuse?
Animal abuse is a crime, and victims that abused or provoked the animal prior to the attack could lose a portion of their monetary award if not all of it. When the dog is captured and evaluated, animal control will determine if the dog was injured, too.
Eyewitnesses that saw the dog attack can corroborate whether the dog attacked on its own without cause or the victim hit the dog or abused it in any way prior to the attack. This is vital to the dog attack case, and the pet owner won’t be held liable for a dog reacting to abuse.
Was the Dog Vaccinated for Rabies?
The state of Texas requires all pet owners to havetheir dogs vaccinated for the rabies virus. If a dog attacks a human, and the human contracts rabies, the pet owner is at fault. When investigating a dog attack, the animal control officer must determine if the dog was vaccinated. Any unvaccinated dog that attacks a human must enter a 12-day quarantine with a licensed vet. The vet reviews the dog for signs of rabies or aggressive behavior.
How Was the Dog Attack Reported?
Victims of dog attacks have two options for reporting the dog attack. They can either contact animal control and inform them of where the dog is located after the attack, or the victim can seek medical assistance. When seeking medical assistance, the dog will report the dog attack to the animal control officer. Dogs are obligated to report the dog and identify the pet owner whenever possible when a dog attacks a human, and the victim identifies the dog as their attacker.
Victims who were injured in dog attacks have a legal avenue to seek compensation from the pet owner. When building the case, the victim must acquire evidence that shows the dog attacked them without a just cause and they were on the property by permission or as a part of their job duties. They must prove that the victim didn’t provoke or abuse the dog.
Animal control officers manage dog attack reports and contact the pet owner to determine if the pet was vaccinated. They must also make vital distinctions about the dog and determine if the dog is a risk to the public. Victims who sustained injuries in a dog attack need an attorney to help them present their case to the court.