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Is a Dog Owner Always Liable for a Bite in Texas?

  • Being bitten by a dog would be a terrifying and traumatic experience for anyone, and when it happens to you, you might have no idea what to do next. You certainly can’t bring a claim against the dog for your damages, but can you bring a claim against the dog’s owner?

    It seems reasonable that the owner should have had the animal under their control at all times. Continue reading  to learn more about Texas dog bite laws, and when you can file a civil lawsuit against the dog’s owner.


    The One-Bite Rule

    In Texas, the dog’s owner is not immediately liable for any damage caused by their dog. States that adhere to this law follow what’s known as strict liability. Texas follows the one-bite rule. Simply put, a dog who has never bitten someone is considered a first-time offender, and the owner is not held liable.

    There are several factors where a dog owner in Texas could be held not liable for a first-time bite:

    • The dog has never shown a propensity for aggression or violence before it attacked you.
    • The dog has never bitten someone before.
    • The dog’s owner had no reason to believe that it would become vicious.

    In these cases, the dog’s owner could be issued a warning. In cases where the dog has bitten someone before, or the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, the dog could be classified as dangerous, and the dog’s owner could be subject to criminal charges, in addition to your civil claim against them.


    Dog Owner Liability

    Just because the dog’s owner can’t be held liable for the first bite, doesn’t mean they won’t be for repeated bites. If you are bitten by a dog that has been deemed dangerous by the state, you have every right to seek recovery for your damages from the dog’s owner. With the assistance of a highly trained attorney, you can seek out the compensation you deserve.  


    Contact a Texas Dog Bite Lawyer

    If you’ve been bitten by a dog and aren’t sure what your next move should be, reach out to an experienced Dallas dog bite lawyer at Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP. We are proud to offer free case reviews to dog bite victims across the state.

    You can schedule yours by calling 214-522-9404, or by visiting our website for more information.