Chris Pettit & Associates, P.C. Personal Injury Attorneys
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Dog bites and owner negligence under premises liability law

Pets are a huge part of Texans' lives and, in many households, dogs are considered members of the family. Animals can enrich people's lives, offer love and support to those who live with them and even security for their owners, as they are generally loyal companions. However, pets are usually considered the property of their owners and, as such, when those pets cause harm, their owners can be held liable for the losses created by their animal friends.

Harm caused by a person's property is addressed through premises liability law and, in Texas, dog owners can be held liable for their animals' bites and attacks if certain conditions are met. First, if the victim of a dog bite or attack can prove that the dog's owner knew that the animal was dangerous, then the victim may be able to prevail and be compensated for their losses.

Second, a dog bite victim may be awarded damages if they can show that the dog's owner was negligent at the time the incident occurred. For example, if a dog owner allowed their pet to roam free without supervision and, during that period of time, the dog attacked a person outside of the owner's property lines then the owner may be found negligent.

In Texas, dog owners must abide by leash laws, which generally require pets to be restrained by leashes when out in public. The failure of a dog owner to follow leash laws could be evidence of negligence and create liability for them if the dog bit someone. Evidence of a dog owner's failure to maintain control over their pet may be sufficient to allow a dog bite victim to secure an award of damages against the owner.

Just like slippery floors, cracked parking lots and inadequately lit aisles, dog bites can be premises liability matters, as victims suffer when animal owners are negligent. To learn more about premises liability and animal attack laws in Texas, please contact a personal injury attorney.

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