The O’Hara Law Firm settled a lawsuit on behalf of an elderly woman who fell and fractured several bones as a result of a loose dog in an assisted living complex. A small dog escaped from an apartment and approached the elderly woman and her dog. The elderly woman had her dog on a leash as required by a local ordinance in Montgomery County, Texas. As the dogs interacted, the leash wrapped around the elderly woman’s legs and caused her to fall. She suffered a concussion, fractured her arm, and fractured her toes as a result of the fall. The elderly woman was transported to a local hospital for her injuries. The dog owner’s insurance provider paid the insurance policy limits to settle the lawsuit.
A Loose Dog is Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se is one of several legal claims that a victim may potentially bring against a dog owner. Negligence per se doctrine holds that a person is negligent if that person violates a statute or regulation that was designed to prevent the type of harm caused by the incident. Many counties in Texas have leash laws that require dog owners to restrain their dogs on a leash when they are in public. These laws are designed to prevent dogs from harming themselves and other animals and people.
In this case, the dog escaped from its apartment when the door was opened. The dog was in public without restraint when it caused the elderly woman to fall. The dog owner was liable for causing the elderly woman’s injuries under the negligence per se theory. The negligence per se theory does not require the dog to have exhibited aggressive behavior in the past or when it injures someone. The one-free-bite rule does not apply to negligence per se.
Unrestrained Dogs Can Injure Elderly Without Biting
The O’Hara Law Firm has represented several elderly clients who were injured by loose dogs that did not bite them. An elderly man in Houston was chased by a Dachshund that had escaped from his neighbor’s yard. The dog charged the man while he was in his front yard. The man instinctually ran away from the dog. Before the man could reach his front door, he fell. The fall caused the man to fracture his skull. The dog never bit the man, but it injured him by chasing him and causing him to fall. The case settled for the dog owner’s insurance policy limits.
Another elderly client, who was injured by a loose dog, currently has her case set for trial. The defendant woman allowed a friend of her son to keep his large dog in her backyard. The dog escaped from the yard and attacked a cat in the home where the elderly lady was staying. The police were notified and the defendant woman retrieved the large dog. A month or so later, the dog escaped again and attacked the elderly woman’s daughter’s dog in their front yard. The elderly woman attempted to help her daughter break up the fight and was pushed to the ground as a result. She broke her hip in the fall. After the lawsuit was filed, the defendant woman lied and claimed that she did not know the large dog was staying in her yard despite retrieving it earlier when it had escaped in the past. This case will proceed to trial because the woman refuses to pay for all of the elderly woman’s medical care and damages.
Do You Have a Dog Bite Claim?
The O’Hara Law Firm has a reputation among personal injury attorneys for successfully resolving dog bite claims. Numerous law firms refer dog bite victims to the O’Hara Law Firm. If you have been injured by a dog, contact the O’Hara Law Firm for a free consultation at 832-956-1138. The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. To learn more about dog bite claims, visit our dog bite page.