We love our dogs here in Austin but the experience of being attacked by a dog can be a terrifying. In many cases, dog bites can leave the victim with serious and lasting mental and physical scars. While these are traumatizing enough for adults, consider what it must be like when a small child is the attack victim. In these situations, a dog attack can easily result in fatality. In many states, the law maintains that the owner will be held legally and financially responsible for any unprovoked attacks. However, in some places, a dog is allowed to bite someone once under the assumption that the owner was previously unaware of its aggressive tendencies.  Of course certain breeds tend to be more prone to bites, but that is not always the case.  We have represented victims of many different breeds, including the more friendly toy breeds such as Chihuahua, poodles, and Labradors.  However, the more common dog bites occur from pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, german shepherds, and great danes.  It makes logical sense that the bigger the dog, the bigger the bite; so those cases tend to attract more attention; but we have seen small toy breeds cause significant injuries, especially with young children who are left unattended, even for a few minutes.

As an Austin dog owner, it’s important to reduce the chances that your pet may attack an innocent person:

  • Have your pet neutered or spayed to eliminate hormone-induced aggression
  • Don’t encourage rough or vicious play in your canine
  • Enroll your dog in obedience classes as soon as you get them
  • Don’t allow children to be left with a dog unattended
  • Keep the dog fenced in or leashed at all times

Some additional advice:

  • If you see an unfamiliar dog, leave him be
  • Don’t bother dogs when they’re sleeping, eating or tending their young
  • Do not leave children alone with a dog, even the family dog
  • Avoid aggressive behavior toward dogs, including looking them in the eye and running from it
  • Be motionless if attacked or threatened by a dog
  • Should a dog knock you over, curl up and protect your head with your arms

Attacked by an Animal in Austin?

In the event of a dog attack, it’s important to seek medical assistance immediately. Afterward, attempt to identify the dog’s owner. To find out if a local Austin animal was in fact listed as a dangerous dog, go to the City of Austin website found on this link: City of Austin, Dangerous Dogs in Austin. You can also see the City’s definitions of what constitutes a dangerous dog, a vicious dog, and what an owner of such a dog must have done to comply with the law. If you or a loved one are the unfortunate victim of a dog attack, please contact our personal injury law firm right away. Starting the claims process as soon as possible can help you receive reimbursement for medical costs and physical and psychological damages. Many people are reluctant to “sue” their neighbor; for more information, see my blog, “When clients say, I don’t want to sue anyone”.


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The submission of information to Funk & Associates (“The Firm”) or one of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship, and the receipt of said information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  This website presents general information which is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such.  Contacting Funk & Associates does not, and should not, prohibit you in any way from seeking legal advice regarding this or any other matter.  This Firm makes no representations, material or implied, of any statute of limitations which may or may not exist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sue someone for killing your pet?
If your pet is killed by someone, you can sue. However, the question is, Should you sue? And, will you prevail if you do file a lawsuit? This depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

If someone’s dog jumps on me, can I sue them?
Dogs are excitable and often times unpredictable. If a dog jumps on you, it could be for a variety of reasons, obviously the bigger the dog, the more dangerous it is when they jump. In terms of suing a dog owner for their dog jumping on you, that really depends. If the dog jumps on you, and you are neither harmed in any way, or do not mind the dog jumping, there really is no reason to file a lawsuit.

However, if a dog jumps on you and causes bodily injury to you, or someone else, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit if you have been damaged. What does that mean? Well, for example, if a dog jumps on you and you fell down and hurt yourself as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. For this reason, if you have been the victim of a dog jumping on you and causing injury, you should call Funk and Associates to discuss the situation in more detail. Funk and associates can explain your legal rights and discuss potential claims to compensate you if the dog caused injury.

My neighbor’s dog killed my cat. What are my options?
If your cat has been injured or killed by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Often times when a cat is attacked by a dog, there are expensive veterinary bills that result. These can mount up fast depending on the severity of the attack. If the cat dies, the emotional toll may also be heavy on the cat owner. However, cats, like other animals, are deemed property under Texas law, so the damages you may recover are different than if the dog had attacked you personally. This is why you should consult with a lawyer if your cat is killed by a dog.

Dog owners are responsible for their pets. If the dog is owned by someone and it is not a stray, you may be able to file a lawsuit or make a civil claim against the individual dog owner for the actions of their dog. A civil claim will allow you to collect compensation for vet bills, and the replacement value of your cat. In addition, a lawyer may be able to help you hold the dog owner accountable for the dog’s actions. A lawyer can advise you on all the appropriate damages for your particular case, so call Funk and Associates now if your pet has been injured or killed.

Who has liability in a dog attack?
In a dog attack, the dog owner ultimately has the liability for the attack. This is because dog owners are responsible for their pets.

What is the statute of limitations for dog bite claims?
A dog bite is a type of personal injury claim, therefore, the statute of limitations for a dog bite is two years from the date of the injury.

What damages can I recover if I am the victim of a dog bite?
If you are the victim of a dog bite you may recover all types of damages typically available to victims of other types of personal injuries. Some of these damages include:

– Past and future medical bills,
– Past and future pain and suffering and mental anguish,
– Physical impairment,
– Permanent scarring or disfigurement,
– Lost wages and lost earning capacity,
– Consequential Damages, and
– In some cases, even exemplary damages.

In order to know for sure what type of damages are available to your specific case, you need to speak directly to one of the personal injury lawyers at Funk and Associates. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, call Funk and Associates to discuss your case.

Do I need a lawyer for a dog bite?
If you are bitten by a dog and injured to the point that you need medical treatment, then you should always contact a personal injury lawyer regarding your rights. Dog bite and animal attack claims are not straight forward. There are medical providers, insurance companies, and more often than not, familial and friendly relationships at stake.

A personal injury lawyer can handle the claim from beginning to end and can take a lot of the stress, fear and anxiety out of the equation for the injured victim. Personal injury lawyers can investigate the dog’s bite history, speak to city and government agencies regarding freedom of information act requests and locate each potential avenue of recovery that may cover the incident.

If you are bitten by a dog and injured, you definitely need a lawyer to handle your case. Funk and Associates is very experienced in dog bite cases and can provide you a free consultation today.