What are the Dog Bite Laws in Texas?

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There are dog bite laws in Texas that provide guidance on handling animal bites and explaining the ties between liability and injuries. These laws help the victims to know what to do, and the animal owner to know what to expect. If you were bitten by a dog, then you may have major concerns over your health and may even have ongoing medical treatment.

Get more information here on what your options are for resolution and how you can make meaningful steps towards opening or closing a case for a dog bite.

Can You Sue Someone Because Their Dog Bit You?

While Texas doesn’t explicitly have a “one bite law,” they do refer to a tort for reference, which is the foundation for more one bite rules. That means that they use Texas S.C. 1974, which is a section of the law that refers back to the case of Marshall v Ranne. Ultimately it boils down to the owner of the dog being liable only if:

  • The owner knew it had an aggressive past or had bitten, or attempted to bite, someone previously.
  • The owner did not control the dog, such as not restraining it properly.

But, what if you were that first bite? Well, then you may not have a case. You may also not have a case if the dog could feel threatened in any way. For example, if you had a power tool in your hand that made a loud and intrusive sound, then you probably don’t have a case as the dog likely felt threatened by the noise-making tool in your hand. Additionally, if you were entering your neighbor’s property or something similar, then you may not have a case. A dog bite attorney in Houston, Texas can help you figure out if you have a case.

Is Safety Restraint Part of Dog Ownership?

Pet and dog ownership are difficult subjects to approach because while there are clear lines of negligence, there are not requirements for being a good “pet parent.” Many counties throughout Texas have restrictions on living conditions and how many animals can be in an enclosed area. However, no one requires that pet owners take their dogs out for walks daily to curb aggressive behaviors.

The best resource you can look toward as a dog owner is the AKC or the American Kennel Club. They provide insight into what does make a good dog owner, what to do in response to aggressive behaviors and training techniques to avoid aggression. Their basic tips for dog ownership, including containment suggestions. They give the advice to provide adequate fencing to contain the dog or to leash it whenever it is outside. This advice is specifically for the protection of others.

Unfortunately, you can’t push this information onto your neighbors who have unruly animals. Safety restraint, however, is a part of public safety, which spans beyond dog ownership. If a dog walker is not properly handling or restraining the animals, then they may be liable rather than the owner. It all comes down to the situation, and when anyone has their dog in a public setting, they should be on a leash and under close watch for unacceptable or aggressive behavior.

A Houston Injury Lawyer Can Provide Some Guidance on Dog Bite Laws in Texas

Let’s look at a quick example. Say that your neighbor has an annoying dog who has previously attacked another dog’s on the street. Then one day, it bites a serviceperson who arrived at their home. Even though that bite happened on their property, that bite goes on record, and all bites that follow after can give way to a lawsuit.

There’s also the complexity that comes up with taking legal action against a neighbor or someone within your community. Always talk to your attorney about the realistic possibility of fully recovering your medical expenses. An attorney can help you understand the role of homeowners insurance policies involved when it come to dog bites, law enforcement involvement, and more.

Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston?

Some law firms in Houston, Texas offer a free consultation. Reaching out to the McDonald Worley law offices in Houston, TX, is often the first step in understanding different options for resolving your brush with a dog.

Contacting McDonald Worley is the start of your personal injury case. Working with our attorneys will give you a clear depiction of whether you have a case, and how far you might have to take your case. With dog bite cases, it’s always a question of liability and if there is someone to hold responsible at all. When you explain your case, we’ll help you determine if the owner was in the wrong and if you have the beginnings of a personal injury case.