Dog Bite Attorneys

Since we have welcomed pets into our homes and our lives we often forget that they are still animals. Animal bites are serious injuries and can cause lasting trauma, both physically and emotionally.

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Dog Bite Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered serious bodily injury by a dog attack, you should contact a qualified personal injury attorney. Dog bite cases are very fact-specific require a thorough understanding of the law. When we receive a call about a dog bite, there are three things we look for before we can take the client’s case: liability, damages, and insurance.


Determining whether the dog owner was liable often depends on several factors, including whether the dog was restrained, whether the attack was unprovoked, whether the dog was known to have dangerous tendencies, and more.

The first step is to determine if the dog had any dangerous propensities or vicious or aggressive tendencies that are not normal to dogs in general? If so, then the dog’s owner can be liable if he or she had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities, and it would not matter what the dog owner did or did not do to immediately cause the attack.

If the dog did not have any dangerous propensities, we look at the conduct of the dog’s owner. Generally, a dog owner has a duty to use reasonable care to prevent its dog from injuring others. If the dog owner does not use the degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in handling the dog, and that caused the dog to attack, then the owner can be liable.

Negligence Per Se Cause of Action

Separate from the causes of action mentioned above, Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 488 sets out appropriate conduct for dog owners. The dog bite laws that create a negligence per se cause of action separate dog bite cases into two categories: (1) dogs that are not known to be dangerous, and (2) dogs that are known to be dangerous.

How to determine if a dog is dangerous

A dog is deemed to be dangerous in one of two ways. First, a dog can be “dangerous” if the dog makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure. Second, a dog can be “dangerous” if the dog commits unprovoked acts that cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person in the future.

Both known dangerous dogs and dogs not known to be dangerous

If the dog is not known to be dangerous, then the owner can only be held liable under the statute if the attack happens away from the owner’s home and if the owner acted with criminal negligence in failing to secure the dog. “Secure” means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to ensure a dog remains on the owner’s property, including confining the dog in an enclosure that is capable of preventing the escape or release of the dog.

Dogs known to be dangerous

If the dog is known the be dangerous, there is no criminal negligence requirement for how the dog escaped; in other words, if the dog is known to be dangerous and is escapes and attacks someone, it does not matter what steps the owner took to secure the dog; the owner is liable.

Second, if the dog it known to be dangerous, the location of the attack is broader. Then the owner can be held liable for an attack that happens even  at the owner’s home, so long as the attack does not happen in a “secure enclosure.”


Once liability has been established, we look at damages. Without damages (medical bills, scars, physical impairment), the law will not permit a recovery in a claim. Furthermore, if the injury from the dog attack is not severe, it could mean that it is not economical to hire a personal injury attorney to make a claim. The types of injuries we look for in dog bite cases are injuries that require stitches or injuries that permanently scar, disable, or kill a person.


The third and final factor we look for in a dog bite case is whether there is insurance. Even with clear liability on the part of the dog owner and even with severe damages, if the dog owner does not have either home owner’s or renter’s insurance, a recovery is almost impossible.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident regardless of where you live, we will be happy to evaluate your potential case through a free consultation.

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    The staff was great from the first time I entered the facility. I was always greeted with a smile and the phone conversations were pleasant. They kept me up to date and informed on the details of my case. - Carlicia B.

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    Our Team is Here to Help

    Below is a list of some of the most-frequently-asked questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

    • How and when do I pay for a personal injury attorney?

      Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay the attorney only if and when the attorney has successfully made a recovery in your case, either by settlement or by winning a jury trial. Our philosophy is that clients have enough to worry about, so clients at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman never pay us a dime out of their pockets directly; when you’re case is finished, the insurance company sends a check to our law firm, we take our percentage fee from that check, and send the remainder to the client.

      In the rare event we are unable to make a recovery on your case, you still don’t pay us a dime, and that even includes case costs, court costs, expert fees, and any advances. There is truly zero risk in hiring a personal injury law firm like Glasheen, Valles & Inderman.

    • What are dog bite cases?

      If an owner of an animal is negligent in failing to keep their dog secure, then they can be liable. There is no such thing in the law as “one free bite” anymore. If you or a loved one, especially a child, has been injured by an animal, it is important to contact an attorney to get an idea of the value of your claim, especially if the injuries required treatment at a hospital.

      Our firm has handled numerous animal attack cases over the years. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover the liability of a homeowner whose dog attacked someone. Therefore, there is usually a potential source of recovery for damages.

    • What about dog bites?

      Our firm has handled numerous animal attacks over the years, many involving recoveries of several hundred thousands of dollars. There is no such thing in the law as “one free bite” anymore. If an owner of an animal is negligent in failing to keep their dog secure, then they can be liable. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover the liability of a homeowner whose dog attacked someone. Therefore, there is usually a potential source of recovery for damages when a homeowner’s dog bites.

    • Why should I hire an attorney?

      Potential defendants are usually covered by insurance. The insurance companies are notified immediately when an accident occurs, and they usually hire attorneys and expert witnesses to investigate the claim. It is important that witnesses be interviewed as soon as possible and evidence be preserved. Witnesses will often be more difficult to locate or will have a poor memory if they are interviewed much later after the accident has occurred. Evidence such as machinery parts or skid marks on the highway will disappear unless preserved quickly. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will contact you and try to be friendly. You should not trust the statements that insurance adjusters make to you. They are not working for you and will sometimes make misleading statements in an effort to trick you into resolving your case. Insurance adjusters also might record your conversations with them and use your statements against you in order to try to save money for the insurance companies.

      The main thing we try to impress upon people is that it’s never too early to talk to an attorney, and it’s always too late. By that we mean that speaking with an attorney very soon after a crash or other accident in no way will harm you. Along the same lines, the longer you try to handle a claim on your own or delay hiring competent counsel, irreparable damage can be done in the form of recorded statements given to the insurance companies and evidence not being preserved. There is no risk or fee for speaking with an attorney and arranging an initial consultation.