Do You Know the Laws About Dog Bites in Texas?

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by Texas Christian Injury Lawyer, Tim O’Hare

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Each day in the U.S., an estimated 1,000 people require emergency care as the result of a dog bite injury. In some tragic cases, those injuries result in the victim’s death. Last year, there were 39 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States. Fifteen of these deaths were children 8-years-old and younger, including eight babies. Twenty-four adults died in 2017 as a result of dog bites, and 18 of those were adults over 50.  

In April, a Dallas woman was mauled by four dogs near Fair Park, leaving her with serious injuries. Those four dogs, including two pit bulls, were euthanized.

Texas does not have an existing dog bite statute, but adheres to the “one bite rule,” meaning a dog bite victim can sue for compensation from the dog’s owner, harborer or keeper only if the dog previously bit a person or acted as if it wanted to, or if the defendant was aware of the dog’s previous conduct. There  are some exceptions to this rule.

Like other personal injury cases, dog bites can be the result of negligence on the part of the owner. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, contact a Dallas personal injury attorney who has the knowledge and understanding of Texas dog bite laws to ensure you receive all due compensation for your pain and suffering.

It may be common sense, but here are a few guidelines you should follow — and teach your children — to avoid being the victim of a vicious dog bite attack.

  • Never treat a dog unkindly.
  • Don’t bother a dog who is busy (eating, drinking, etc.)
  • Never approach a dog you don’t know.
  • Remain calm around dogs.
  • If a stray dog approaches you, stay calm and quiet.

Although much of an individual dog’s aggressiveness is due to how it is trained by its owner, some dog breeds are simply more dangerous than others, often due to size and strength. Here are the 10 most dangerous dog breeds.

Pit Bull — Attacks by Pit Bulls account for the most deaths by dog attack in the United States and the highest percentage of unprovoked dog bites.
Rottweiler — The bite of a Rottweiler is extremely powerful, at 1,180 to 1,460 newtons (the measurement of force).
German Shepherd — The bite of a German Shepherd has a force over 1,060 newtons. German Shepherds had the second highest death rate in 2017, killing four people.
Doberman Pinscher — The sheer size and strength of Doberman Pinschers makes them a potentially dangerous dog breed.
Bull Mastiff — Extremely large and intimidating dogs, Bull Mastiffs can weigh as much as 130 pounds.
Husky — Athletic and energetic dogs intended to be working dogs rather than social dogs.
Malamute — These dogs are often known to attack smaller animals as well as humans.
Wolf Hybrid — Any dog that has been directly crossbred with a wolf is considered a wolf hybrid (although all dogs are descendants of wolves). Wolf hybrids can be skittish and unpredictable, and in many states, it is illegal to own a wolf hybrid.
Boxers — Descendants of hunting dogs, Boxers have strong jaws and powerful bites. They are also known as a very protective breed, which can be a good thing in some cases, but can also turn very dangerous.
Great Dane — Often considered “gentle giants,” the sheer size of a Great Dane also makes them potentially very dangerous. A full-grown male can weigh as much as 200 pounds.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare know how to deal with dog bites and other dangerous animal cases and will work to maximize your recovery. Laws protecting dog bite victims can be challenging, so you need an experienced attorney who understands the laws specific to your case. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, don’t fight the legal battle alone. Contact one of the the best personal injury lawyers in Dallas according to DMagazine at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will fight hard for you to make sure you receive the financial recovery you deserve.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation

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