Legal Question in Personal Injury in Texas

my dog was involved in an incident, he was on a leash and a boy approached him, as he approached my dog jumped up and scratched him In the leg, breaking skin, what are my legal obligations involving medical bills as I am being threatened with legal action by the parents of the boy.

Asked on 9/09/17, 5:16 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Sounds like it was more than a "scratch" if there was a need for medical care. You should turn the claim over to your homeowners insurance and let them handle it.

Liability for a dog's conduct can be based upon a negligent failure to control the animal or upon a propensity for viciousness. Negligent failure to control claims are much more difficult for the victim to win and the victim's own negligence is a mitigating factor. It doesn't mean they wont bring a claim and you won't have to hire a lawyer to defend your if you don't have homeowner's insurance to provide one for you.

If you have homeowners, give it to them and let them handle it. If not, then you can either hire a lawyer now to get advice or wait until they actually sue you. If you wait, then you need to contact a lawyer immediately upon being sued because you may have as little as 22 days to file an answer and prevent a judgment being taken.

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Answered on 9/09/17, 6:09 am
Roger Merrill Merrill & Associates

The younger the boy, the more likely you will be found responsible. The boy, unlike you, did not know the dog's tendency, if any, to jump. It will be argued that you should have kept the leash tight to keep the dog from jumping. May be argued that you should have kept the dog's nails clipped so as to minimize any possible scratching. If you can't keep your dog from jumping, then there's an argument that you shouldn't let it get near children. Also argued you should have warned the boy to not get near the dog. There may be lots of dog lovers, but most people don't like other people's dogs jumping up on and scratching them and are quick to think poorly of owners for failing to properly train their dogs.

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Answered on 9/09/17, 7:58 am

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