Texas' "One Bite" Rule for Dog Attacks

Written by: Christopher@maydayhoustonlaw.com

What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Dog in Houston

Chances are that a good percentage of the people in your neighborhood own at least one dog. For the most part, canines are friendly, good-natured pets that can be a great addition to any family. But dogs can also be a liability, and they can attack, causing irreparable harm.

At the Mayday Law Office PLLC, we represent individuals who have been injured by a dog bite in Houston and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable legal team can help you understand your rights and work with you to obtain compensation for your injuries. If you were hurt in a dog attack, contact our office at (281) 741-1162 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation.  

Texas Laws Regarding Dog Bites

If a dog attacks you, Texas law may allow you to obtain compensation from the dog owner or the owner of the property where the dog is located. In general, the state follows a “one bite” rule meaning that a dog owner can be held liable for their injuries if their dog previously bit someone or had vicious tendencies that they were aware of. 

In essence, if a dog has never attacked someone before or shown signs of aggressive behavior, then the owner may not be held liable under this theory. It is not to say that the owner of the dog cannot be held liable under another theory, such as negligence or negligence per se.

What Is a Dangerous Dog?

In Texas, under certain circumstances, a person may face both civil and criminal penalties if their dog attacks someone. Health and Safety Code 822.005 imposes criminal consequences if a person negligently fails to secure their dog and the dog commits an unprovoked injury causing great bodily injury while not on their property or the owner knows that they have a “dangerous dog” and it attacks.

A dangerous dog is one that makes an unprovoked attack on a person other than in a secure enclosure resulting in a person believing that the dog will cause bodily injury or resulting in actual bodily injury. 

What Is Considered a Secure Enclosure? 

Dog owners are required to exercise due care in restraining their animals to help prevent an attack. The state says that “dangerous dogs,” in particular, must be kept in a secure enclosure.

A secure enclosure is one that is:

  • Locked
  • Capable of preventing entry from others, including children;
  • Capable of keeping the dog enclosed;
  • Marked with a sign indicating that there is a “dangerous dog;” and 
  • Within requirements established by local law.

A “beware of dog” sign is generally insufficient for it to be considered a secure enclosure. Whether or not the dog attack occurred at a dog park, business, or in your neighbor’s yard, you should still consult with an attorney to determine your legal options. 

What to Do If You Were Bit by a Dog 

If you were bit by a dog in Houston or the surrounding areas, you need to consult with a dog bite lawyer. Dog bites can be serious, causing infection, disfigurement, and nerve damage. Many times, the people most severely injured in dog attacks are children. An attorney can help ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve.

Were You Injured in a Dog Attack? Contact Our Office. 

If you were injured in a dog attack, contact our office at (281) 741-1162 to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to get started. Se habla español.

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If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you deserve to have an experienced injury lawyer on your side. Reach out to Mayday Law Office today to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.

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