Texas, like several other states, follows the one bite rule. Under the one bite rule, a dog owner is not liable the first time his dog bites someone.
If have been attacked by a dog, this rule may seem unfair. However, you may still have legal recourse in Texas. First of all, there are three exceptions to the one bite rule:
- The dog owner knew that the dog had the potential to bite. Dogs may have the potential to bite if they show any of the following signs:
- The dog exhibits non-social behavior.
- The dog is “Stand-offish” in manner when interacting with others.
- The dog has a habit of forcefully jumping up or against a person.
- The dog attempts to mount its owner or other dogs.
- The dog growls or bears its teeth.
- The dog tends to stiffen in response to touch or eye contact.
- Dog gets aggressive if anyone approaches his food, toys, or owner.
- The dog has bitten before.
- The dog has harmed a person in any way.
- The dog owner was negligent or encouraged the dog to bite. The owner is responsible for the dog bite if he “sics” his dog on you. In addition, the owner may be held liable if the dog was mistreated because mistreated dogs are more likely to bite.
- The dog owner violated an animal control law. Dallas requires that all dogs be restrained. A dog that is not on a leash or in an enclosure is violating the law, so the owner can be held liable if the dog attacks.
There is another way to get accountability. Lillian’s Law holds dog owners criminally responsible if the dog causes serious bodily injury in an unprovoked attack. The dog owner can be charged with a third-degree felony which is punishable with two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000. If the victim dies, the dog owner may be charged with a second-degree felony.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Texas, the best thing to do is to contact a Dallas premises liability attorney. Your Texas dog bite lawyer will be able to determine if the owner can be held liable for the dog attack. To learn more, contact the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 and ask to schedule a free consultation.