El Paso Dog Bite Lawyer

If you have been injured in a dog bite attack, the El Paso dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC can help you seek justice and compensation. For more than 30 years, our lawyers have fought for the rights of those injured in unprovoked pet attacks and other personal injury incidents. We are ready to put our experience to work for you.

You should never have to pay for medical expenses and other unexpected costs if someone else’s dog bites you. Nor should you have to suffer silently with the emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress that often comes after a vicious attack. Let us help you recover the money you need to get the treatment you deserve. Call us or reach out to our dog bite lawyers in El Paso online for a free consultation today.

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Michael J. Gopin
Legally reviewed by Michael J. Gopin

Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. It was two weeks after receiving his license, when he represented a person whose life had been forever changed after being blinded in a work-related incident...

What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?

If a family member, friend, neighbor, or stranger’s dog bit you, take the following steps right away to protect yourself:

  • Seek prompt medical attention and follow your doctor’s care plan: Ensuring your injuries are professionally assessed and treated immediately can significantly impact your recovery and the strength of your legal claim.
  • Attend all follow-up doctor’s appointments as scheduled: Consistent medical care not only aids in your healing process but also provides a documented trail of your injuries and recovery efforts.
  • Report the dog attack incident to the owner and your local authorities: This not only formalizes the incident but can also help prevent future attacks by the same animal.
  • Write down the owner’s contact and insurance information for reference: Having this information readily available will streamline the process when pursuing compensation for your injuries.
  • Take pictures of visible injuries and damage caused by the attack: Photographic evidence is compelling and can significantly bolster your case by visually documenting the extent of your injuries.
  • Keep all medical bills and other documentation of losses: Organizing these documents will provide a clear record of the financial impact the attack has had on your life.
  • Avoid discussing your case with the dog owner, their insurer, or their attorney: Engaging in discussions without legal representation can jeopardize your case and potential compensation.
  • Avoid sharing information about the attack online while your case is pending: Public posts can be used against you, potentially undermining your claim and affecting the outcome.
  • Contact a knowledgeable dog bite injury lawyer for legal help: A skilled attorney can navigate the complexities of your case, ensuring your rights are protected and you are fairly compensated.

Does Texas Have a Specific Dog Bite Law?

Unlike most states, Texas does not have a statute regarding liability for a dog bite or attack. However, the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in Marshall v. Ranne in 1974 established the “one-bite” rule for dog bite injury cases in Texas.

Under the one-bite rule, a dog owner is usually not liable for injuries their dog inflicts if the dog has never bitten anyone or acted aggressively in the past. However, if a dog has previously bitten someone or acted aggressively, its owner could be liable for any injuries the dog inflicts in a subsequent attack.

In other words, if a dog has previously bitten or attacked someone, its owner can be held civilly liable for failing to prevent future bites. Additionally, Texas dog owners can face criminal charges if they fail to properly restrain dogs that are known to be dangerous and those dogs injure or kill someone unprovoked.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dog Bite in El Paso?

Dog owners are not the only parties who could be liable for dog bite injuries in Texas. Any party responsible for harboring, handling, or controlling a dog may be liable if the dog causes bodily injury or death, whether via a bite or other harmful behavior. This means any of the following parties may be liable for a dog bite in El Paso:

  • Dog owners
  • Property owners
  • Landlords
  • Dog groomers
  • Vets and vet techs
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Animal shelters
  • Dog kennels
  • Boarding facilities
  • Pet stores

What Are the Most Common Injuries from Dog Bites?

The most common injuries from dog bites that our attorneys see in the cases we handle include:

  • Broken, torn, or punctured skin
  • Fractured or dislocated bones
  • Face and eye injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Avulsion or tearing-off injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Nerve and tissue damage
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Internal bleeding and organ rupture
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Other emotional and mental injuries
  • Fatal injuries and wrongful death

If I Was Bitten on Someone Else’s Property, Are They Liable?

In many cases, yes. If a property owner in Texas allows a dog on their premises and knows it is dangerous, they could be liable for resulting dog bite injuries. This is because property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors.

A plaintiff must demonstrate that a property owner was negligent or failed to take reasonable steps to restrain a dangerous dog or warn visitors of the potential hazard to hold them liable. In this case, a plaintiff could seek compensation for their losses by filing a claim with the appropriate homeowners’, renters’, or pet insurance policy. If these types of coverage are not available, a plaintiff may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent property owner.

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How Long Does a Dog Bite Claim Take?

No two injuries are alike, so there is no standard timeline for a dog bite case. The length of time will vary considerably based on multiple factors, including:

  • The nature and severity of your injuries
  • How long your injuries take to heal
  • The costs of any medical care you need
  • The value of lost wages or earning potential
  • How promptly you file your claim with the insurer
  • Whether you work with an experienced lawyer
  • Your willingness to wait for the best offer

Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the attack to preserve your right to collect compensation from the at-fault party.

What Evidence Do I Need in a Dog Bite Case?

Because Texas follows the one-bite rule, an injury victim must demonstrate that the owner of the dog that attacked them knew their dog was dangerous and failed to take reasonable steps to control it or prevent it from biting anyone. Depending on the circumstances, the following types of evidence can support a dog bite case:

  • Reports of previous dog bites or attacks
  • Photos or video footage of injuries from the dog attack
  • Photos of the location where the attack occurred
  • Statements from witnesses who saw the bite attack occur
  • Paperwork proving who the dog’s legal owner is
  • Documentation of the dog’s breed-specific characteristics
  • Medical bills detailing the extent of your dog bite injuries
  • Expert opinions regarding the impacts on your life and career
  • Specific language from any relevant insurance policies
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Mr. Marshall had a premises liability accident in an El Paso restaurant where he took a pretty hard hit to his shoulder. Thanks to the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, he was able to get in a timely matter a settlement that was beyond his expectations!

"I was badly injured in an accident and the insurance was refusing to pay.

Michael Gopin settled my case and got my car fixed, medical bills paid and I got a great settlement too. The staff was caring and attentive to me. I couldn’t be happier. Go see Michael Gopin.”

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He and his staff quickly took care of my issues and settled case. I am beyond happy with their services.”


Cruz was involved in a terrible car accident and his car was totaled after the traumatic event. With the help of the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC., fate sided with him and the following legal processes went in his favor.

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John and his son were involved in a traumatic car accident. Thanks to The Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC., the Shamley Family had the support they needed to turn this painful experience into one of hope and triumph.

Related Practice Areas We Handle

Accidents can happen in a number of different ways. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer in El Paso, Texas as soon as possible. Contact our law office today to set up a free consultation.

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    In El Paso, all property owners are responsible for maintaining their property and...

  • Car Accident

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how responsible and cautious you are behind the...

  • Trucking Accident

    In El Paso, many of the city's highways are often crowded with 18-wheelers and other big...

  • Workers’ Compensation

    El Paso work accident lawyer Michael J. Gopin handles cases involving serious injuries...

Contact an El Paso Dog Bite Lawyer for Help

A dog bite attack can be a traumatic experience and could leave you with life-altering physical and emotional injuries. If a dog bit you in El Paso, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC for help. We can help you seek the compensation and accountability you deserve. Contact our El Paso dog bite attorneys by phone or online for a free consultation.

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