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Texas Dog Bite Laws

two dogs playing with a toy

The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. To make matters worse, almost one out of five bites becomes infected. Dog bites also commonly leave victims with scarring and disfigurement that they will have to cope with for some degree for the rest of their lives. Although the emotional scars are unseen, many victims deal with them for quite some time. Dog bites can also cause nerve damage and inhibit normal function in the bite area.

Many dog bites require extensive medical care, have complications, and take a long time to heal. A well-versed Texas dog bite lawyer could help you if a dog bit you or someone you love. The dog’s owner or handler likely owes you compensation for your serious injuries. 

The One Bite Rule

Texas civil laws don’t specifically address dog bites. However, in 1974 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that there should be a “one bite rule.” Texas allows dog owners a free pass, so to speak, the first time their dog bites someone. After the first time, the dog owner should be aware that they need to take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If a dog bites someone a second time, the owner is legally responsible for their injuries. 

However, the injured individual must prove that the dog’s owner knew or should have known about their dog’s tendencies to bite prior to an attack. Evidence in support of this claim may consist of:

  • A previously recorded attack against a person or animal

  • A government entity categorized that the animal is dangerous

  • Local laws that may indicate members of a specific species to be per se dangerous, such as pit bulls

A skilled Texas dog bite attorney may be able to help those who sustain a dog bite gather proof that the owner violated their duty to keep their dangerous dog under control. Additionally, under Texas Health and Safety Code section 822.005, the dog’s owner could be charged with a felony depending on the circumstances.

It’s crucial to note that the law recognizes that dogs have a propensity to protect their own territory. If you are trespassing and don’t have permission to be on a property when a dog bites you, you likely won’t have much of a case. However, it is still beneficial to talk to a Texas dog bite lawyer to find out if you have a claim.

Contact Salam & Associates for a Free Consultation

Texas dog bite laws can often be complicated. A knowledgeable Texas dog bite lawyer is well-versed in these laws and how they apply to your case. Let them help you as you seek compensation for your serious injuries.

At Salam & Associates, our dog bite attorneys are licensed to practice in multiple jurisdictions, including New Mexico, Michigan, Texas, and D.C. Call us at 866-640-8998, contact us online via our website, or send an email to [email protected] to receive your no-cost, no-obligation case consultation. Reach out to us today.


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