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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How to File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite in Texas - Schuerger Shunnarah  

Dog bites are more dangerous than many people think. Puncture wounds, broken bones, and serious infections are just a few of the hazards victims of a dog bite in Texas are exposed to. 

Regardless of the situation in which the accident happens, the medical treatment to heal from any of those injuries is expensive. No one wakes up one day and thinks a dog is going to bite them, so they are not financially prepared for it. 

Fortunately, personal injury laws help victims get money for medical care when this kind of accident happens. If the victim of a dog bite wants compensation, they need to sue the dog owner.

Filing a dog bite claim involves handling a lot of paperwork, gathering evidence, negotiating, and even going to trial. Hence, any dog bite victim looking for compensation needs help from a lawyer. 

Anyone looking forward to learning more about dog attacks and how to legally come back from them should keep reading this page. Here, they will understand the legal process needed to file a dog bite claim.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is one of the best personal injury law firms in the state. It works with an excellent team of lawyers experienced in this kind of legal feud. Victims only need to give it a call to get in touch with a professional attorney ready to put all their focus on their case. They can also help with how to file a lawsuit for slip and fall in Texas.

About Texas Dog Bite Laws

About Texas Dog Bite Laws

Before trying to get compensation after a dog attack, victims need to understand how Texas dog bite laws work. While the legal process to file a claim is the same as other personal injury cases, there are additional rules both parties need to take into account. 

The main difference between dog attacks and other personal injury accidents is the one-bite rule. This rule states that dog owners are not liable for damages after a dog attack if they don't have prior knowledge of their pet's aggressive tendencies. 

It's important to understand that the one-bite rule states that Texas dog owners are not liable if they didn't know that kind of aggressive behavior had happened before. That means they could get away with the accident even if their pet did bite another person if they prove they didn't know about it. 

Similar to what happens when talking about property liability insurance, the victim still needs to prove the dog owner's negligence. Legally, the problem itself is not that a dangerous dog attacked a person but that the dog's owner didn't restrain it from doing it. 

Failing to restrain the animal or not following leash laws are grounds for suing a dog owner after an accident. However, this only applies to cases where the victim didn't provoke the animal in any way. 

If the dog owner proves the victim provoked the animal into biting them, they will win the case. Because of how complex each dog bite case can get, it's important victims hire a qualified lawyer experienced in this kind of legal matter. They can also assist with how to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in Texas.

Exceptions to the One-Bite Rule 

The one-bite rule has some exceptions where the dog owner can still be liable if they didn't know about prior attacks. Texas has specific procedures to determine if a dog is legally vicious. They take into account prior threatening behavior and other tests. 

When the state declares a dangerous dog is vicious, its owner will be liable for any dog bite injuries it causes. That, of course, regardless of whether they knew of prior attacks or not. This is called strict liability.

Victims of a dog bite accident can still go over the one-bite rule if they prove the dog owner was negligent when restraining their pet. Violating leash laws or animal control regulations fall into this description. 

If the dog owner purposedly set their pet on the victim for it to bite them, they can be liable for it regardless of the one-bite rule. Very serious cases could even lead to criminal charges if the dog bite injury causes a severe health problem or death.  For more information, our dog bite lawyers in Dallas may be able to help.

What Can People Do After a Dog Bites Someone? - Guide to File Dog Bite Claims 

Victims in a dog bite case need to do what they can to get compensation for what happened. The process to do this could be overwhelming, but it's worth it when they get justice. 

This is what people need to do to sue a dog owner for a bite accident: 

Get Medical Treatment 

Dog bites are truly dangerous and could have deadly consequences. Victims need to get medical treatment before their injuries get worse and before trying to open a dog bite case. 

The statute of limitations for dog bite suits in Texas is two years from the day of the incident. Thanks to that, victims have more than enough time to get medical attention and gather evidence before filing the lawsuit. 

Regardless of that, going to the doctor actually helps the victim with the dog bite case. If someone wants to get compensation to cover medical expenses, they first need to prove they need that money.

Doctors could serve as expert witnesses in future cases to talk about how their patient's injuries must've come from a dangerous dog and how expensive it is to recover from them. Medical records are often evidence in personal injury claims. 

Ask the Dog Owner for Their Dog's History of Aggressive Tendencies 

Once the victim starts the investigation for the case, they should ask the dog owner if they had any aggressive behavior or history of attacks in the past. This is essential for the development of the case due to the one-bite rule.

However, victims in these kinds of cases shouldn't expect pet owners to be 100% honest about their little friend's history of dog bites. They should look for alternative ways to confirm what they say about the matter. 

If the animal did bite another person before the accident and the victim didn't provoke it, the case is served. That doesn't mean the plaintiff should relax, but it does increase their chances of winning.

Prove Negligence 

Proving negligence is essential when talking about dog bites. Sometimes, it's not that the animal is evil itself since, at the end of the day, it's only following its natural instincts. The problem comes when the dog owner fails to keep control of their pet. 

There are many ways to prove negligence, but the victim will need help from a dog bite attorney. If the pet owner violated any animal control laws or leash regulations, proof of that is essential. Witness statements, pictures, and videos are excellent places to start. 

The challenge of finding evidence for a dog bite accident lies in the circumstances in which everything happened. If the problem went down in a public space, there are probably dozens of people who witnessed what happened.

Ask a Dog Bite Attorney to File a Complaint 

Once dog bite victims have enough evidence to prove the owner of the pet was negligent, it's time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Doing this is the same as it is with other personal injury cases, but it's still important victims specifically hire a dog bite attorney to take care of the claim.

Dog bite victims can let their lawyer take care of all the paperwork. The complaint needs to include as many details as possible about the case. That includes when it happened, how it happened, information about the other party, and the evidence they have to support everything.

After the lawyer files the dog bite lawsuit, the court will assign a process server to the case. They will send a copy of the complaint to the defendant and wait for a response. When the defendant gives a formal answer, the server will tell the plaintiff.


Although Texas has a strict liability system for these cases, the defendant and plaintiff of a personal injury claim always have the opportunity to settle everything through mediation. Before this happens, they will go through the discovery phase. There, they will share evidence and information about the case.

If the victim needs to recover compensation at all costs but is scared they may not win the case, they should make a deal with the other party. They won't get as much money as they planned to, but they could still get enough for medical expenses. 

Although dog bites are often complex to prove, victims could skip this if they are sure they can prove the owner's negligence or the dog's aggressive tendencies. If they win the case, they can fully recover compensation for all the expenses related to the accident. 

Final Thoughts - Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer in Dallas Today! 

Final Thoughts - Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer in Dallas Today! 

Due to all the negligent owners in the state, there are more dangerous dogs in Texas than people may imagine. It's better to be cautious around animals, but in case an accident happens, civil liability lets people seek compensation through litigation. 

The case may be complex, but it's easier to recover damages with help from a professional lawyer. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is full of them. People can schedule a free case evaluation with one of this company's legal assistants today by giving it a call. 


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