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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26605
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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My leashed Bichon Frise little dog & I were attacked by a big

Customer Question

My leashed Bichon Frise little dog & I were attacked by a big dog who escaped from a neighbor's house, May 2012. It was viscious to watch. ER vet cost $1,000 due to ripped neck needing drain & stitches. Vet said he was a very lucky dog. Perp dog owners followed me to ER. Harassed me in vet waiting room saying I caused my dog to bleed because we walked home. Blamed me for attack?! I got bit & have a bill. We all had to be on house arrest to make sure no rabies. My dogs' shots were up to date. They never said they were sorry. Refused to pay any part of bill even to this day. They had lots of excuses, accusations & drama. We have not talked or had contact since then.
Original Civil small claims court date June 6, 2013. Postponed. Defense pregnant.
Rescheduled 3 Sept 2013. They have hired an attorney. I don't have $$ for one. I have the vet records, bill & my bill. I have bleeding pictures before & after surgery. I have my pictures of bite mark & skiffs from intercepting perp dog trying to prevent attack. What's a "mom" to do to prevent an attack? Screaming didn't scare or deter the dog. Defense is arrogant & irresponsible in their behavior.
WHAT can I do to WIN this case? WHAT research do I ned to do to have on hand? WHAT to say, the truth obviously & what not to say (keep cool). I think their attorney may know laws, etc. that I obviously don't to intimidate me & persuade the judge. THEY obviously are at fault. But I know obvious is not good enough sometimes. My dog was sitting quietly looking the other way, as I was. It came out of nowhere. They claimed no $ to pay my bill but $$ for attorney??!!
My quiet friendly Bichon has not been the same. I can't take him anywhere without him barking loudly. He's glued to me. He needs socialization therapy. We all do. That costs $$.
I am asking $7K for bills, increased back injury as I was already in pain mngt & going to bio-feedback & too upset to work for several days. I was in shock about what I saw.

Pls help & thank you. XXXXX XXX-XXX-XXXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you, but I believe I have information which you will find helpful.

In Texas, if an individual decides to keep a dangerous dog on their property they may do so but they are liable for any damage that the vicious dog creates.

Dog bite recovery in Texas can fall under Strict Liability, Negligence, or Negligence Per Se. The most powerful and important category of recovery for plaintiffs to understand is Strict Liability recovery. Strict Liability recovery is essentially IF a property owner has reason to know of the dangerous propensities of the dog they will be responsible for any damage that it causes.

The legal elements are:
1) the animal is of a vicious, dangerous or mischievous nature (most dogs that are biting people fall into this category);
2) the owner or keeper had actual or constructive knowledge (they knew or should have known) of such characteristics, tendencies or traits; and,
3) the injury or damage resulted from such dangerous propensities.

As a plaintiff, you should be able to find an attorney to take your case on a contingency fee basis. That means you wold not have to pay anything upfront for the attorney. You may want to look into that before the next court date.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well I liked legal elements.
I was hoping how I cud be independent of an attorney. A case to reference & judgement, if penalty for bad behavior
( can't think of word). How to estimate pain, suffering,
Stress. I guess I can go to a legal library &
Research. I need to be prepared for what defense att
Will say & go after.
My case has those 3 elements w
" beware of dog" signs posted, ripped blinds
Replaced w curtain, according to My view point.
I do have objective vet records & pics.
Anything else would be helpful & appreciated.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Pat for following up with me.

If you can show reckless or intentional misdeeds on the part of the owner, you may be able to make a case for punitive damages. Otherwise, to collect for your stress or suffering, you would need to make a case for negligent infliction of emotional distress. That means that the other dog owner had to have acted in such a reckless manner that your shock and pain was a foreseeable consequence.

That is because, while your dog is like a member of your family to you, the law sees a pet as your personal property, like a car, and for damage to personal property you are entitled to dollar for dollar damage. That means the dog's vet bills and other damages directly related to its care. You are not entitled to pain and suffering for the dog's injuries. That would only be recoverable for your injuries.

For that reason, since you said your back was injured, you are almost better suing for yourself and your injuries and treating the dog's injuries as you would the damage t your car if it were in an accident and you suffered a back injury.

In any event, here are some cases relating to dog bites which may be helpful:

Marshall v. Ranne, 511 SW2d 255 (Tex. 1974).
Villareal v. Elizondo, 831 SW2d 474 (Tex.App.—Corpus Christi 1992, no writ).
Wells v. Burns, 480 SW2d 31 (Tex.App.—El Paso 1972, no writ).
Powers v. Palacios, 794 SW2d 493 (Tex.App.—Corpus Christi 1990), rev’d on other grounds, 813 SW2d 489 (Tex. 1991).
Moore v. McKay, 55 SW2d 865 (Tex.Civ.App. 1933, no writ)

Also be aware, the defendant's homeowner's insurance may pay for the damages to you and your dog.

I hope this is helpful.

Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26605
Experience: 30 years experience representing clients.
Loren and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Hello Pat,

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going.
Did I answer your question?
Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "JudgeLaw" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser):

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, Pat, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please do rate me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My pleasure to do so. I will inform U of court outcome.


Legal questions always come up. I didn't know about this sight.

I informed my friends of this sight, answer & they were impressed.

I will ask for you as now U know my level of inquiry.


Thanks again. Pat Wood

Major, USAF NC (Retired)



Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Pat.

Yes, do keep me posted on your progress in this case.

I do hope it goes well for you.

Thank you.


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