The Ins and Outs of Texas Dog Bite Laws

Reynolds and Reynolds Law Firm
Bloody Dog Bite on the HandFor many families in Texas, their dog is a valued family member. Most of us do not know what we would ever do without the love, comfort, and happiness that our four-legged friends bring to our households. However, dog bites can result in serious injuries and emotional trauma, prompting victims to seek recourse through legal avenues. Well, the laws vary by state, but we can certainly tell you what the law says in Texas! Whether you’re in Texas or searching for dog bite laws near you, here’s what you need to know about Texas dog bite laws.

Texas Dog Bite Law

Texas is a negligence, or one-bite-rule, state when it comes to dog bites. To recover damages, an injured person must show negligence on behalf of the dog owner. This means that if a dog owner does not handle their dog as any reasonably prudent or responsible person would, they would be liable for any injuries caused by their dog. One example would be if someone lets their dog off its leash in a leash-only park, and it bites you while you are cooking hot dogs, they would be liable. However, there a few different actions that the plaintiff must prove to file a negligence claim:

  • The defendant owned or possessed the animal
  • The defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the animal from harming others
  • That the defendant failed to meet that duty
  • Failure to meet that duty caused the plaintiff’s injury

However, it is essential to remember that strict liability rules apply in situations where the dog is known to be dangerous, and the bite resulted from the dog’s known nature. In this situation, strict liability means the victim would not have to demonstrate that the dog’s owner also failed to use reasonable care to restrain the dangerous dog. The injured party only has to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous.

To recover damages in this situation, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The dog previously bit or attempted to bite another person.
  • The owner is aware that the dog was dangerous.
  • If neither of these conditions is met, the victim cannot recover under this doctrine.

Statute of Limitations:

It’s crucial for dog bite victims to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim in Texas. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for initiating legal action, typically within two years from the date of the dog bite incident. Failing to file a claim within this timeframe may result in the forfeiture of the victim’s right to seek compensation.

Damages and Compensation:

Victims of dog bites in Texas can typically receive various types of compensation for their injuries and losses. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Additionally, in cases of severe or fatal dog attacks, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the dog owner for their negligence or recklessness.

Reynolds and Reynolds Is Here for You

If you or someone you know ever sustains an injury or dog bite, don’t hesitate to contact us. Reynolds & Reynolds will fight for your rights to recover full compensation for your injuries and to make the community safer.

Reynolds and Reynolds Law Firm is committed to improving the safety of the communities they serve, including Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Plano, Lewisville, and throughout Collin County and North Texas. To recover the compensation you deserve from your dog bite injury, you need to work with a law firm that knows how to review medical records, understands medical descriptions of the injuries, and follows the expert and legal requirements for linking the injury to negligence.

Contact us for a free consultation here or call (972) 684-5011 to speak with a local attorney today. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more information.