Dog attacks can happen when you least expect it, such as while visiting a relative or walking down a neighborhood street. They can cause significant injuries, including lacerations, puncture wounds, degloving, face and neck injuries, permanent scarring or disfigurement, and wrongful death. A dog attack can also cause emotional injuries. If a dog bites you or a loved one, learn Texas’ dog bite laws to understand your rights against the pet owner.
Severe Dog bites and dog attack injuries in Dallas, Texas, lead to major injuries, primarily to children caught around a dangerous dog. Dallas dog owners must follow city and state ordinances regarding dangerous and even ordinary dogs.
Dogs have shared their lives with humans for more than 12,000 years and that coexistence has contributed substantially to humans’ quality of life. In the United States, there are more than 53 million dogs sharing the human-canine bond, more dogs per capita than in any other country in the world. Unfortunately, a few dogs do not live up to their image as mankind’s best friend. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, an estimated 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with an estimated 800,000 requiring medical attention. Children account for approximately half of all dog bite victims with the elderly being the second most common group of victims.
At least one individual in the United States seeks emergency medical attention for a dog bite every minute. That is over 500,000 serious dog attacks per year. An estimated 800,000 dog bites require at least some medical attention each year. Well over 200 million dollars are spent treating dog bite injuries each year.
Of the 800,000 attacks each year, approximately 44,000 dog attacks result in facial injuries, amounting to roughly 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent of all hospital emergency room visits. The statistics show that male patients slightly outnumber female patients. Unfortunately, 60 percent of the dog bite victims are children, severe injuries occurring almost exclusively in children under 10 years old. 77 percent of injuries are to the face, though with mail carriers a vast majority of their injuries (97 percent) involve their lower extremities. The average hospital stay for a dog bite victim who is severely injured is 4.2 days.
Direct costs of dog bite injuries are high, including the cost of medical care, insurance costs, workmen’s compensation claims, lost wages, and sick-leave associated business costs, among others.
Almost half of all dog bites are provoked, regardless of whether the victim is a child or an adult. What constitutes provocation for a dog can be very different from what a human would consider provocation.
The U.S. Postal Service released its dog attack national rankings. Texas ranks #2 on the states list of dog attacks with 404 incidents. The city list includes three Texas cities in the top 9 – Houston at #1 with 57 incidents, Dallas at #3 with 44 incidents, and San Antonio at #9 with 32 incidents in Calendar Year 2022 (full lists below).
Overall, more than 5,300 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail last year. Aggressive dog behavior is a common safety concern USPS employees face. To keep its workers safe, the organization is providing important information on how dog owners can be good stewards for safe mail delivery as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaignIf you have been mauled in a severe dog attack injury, you might be entitled to compensation from the owner. The Law Firm of Aaron Herbert has may years of experience handling cases like this and can help you hold the dog owner accountable for their careless actions.
TTexas has fatalities from dog attacks every year. Most deaths involve infants, toddlers and the elderly – the most vulnerable populations in dog attacks. Texas is often at the top of the list in the number of dog bite deaths in the country. One report spanning eight years found 34 deaths related to dog attacks in Texas. This was more than in any other state for the same years. The breed most often involved in fatal dog bite incidents is the pit bull. Pit bulls were responsible for 26 of the deaths in the study (76%), followed by Rottweilers with 5 deaths (15%). Most of the deceased (68%) were children under the age of 12. More than half (52%) were 2 years old or younger. Family dogs accounted for 53% of fatal attacks. The counties with the most fatal attacks in Texas were Harris, Bexar and Montgomery. Texas has many municipal laws in place controlling the ownership of dogs, but the state itself has a law in place that prohibits the passing of breed-specific regulations. Cities such as Fort Worth, San Antonio and Garland have worked around the restriction to implement laws targeted at preventing new fatal attacks and holding liable dog owners accountable. Texas also has laws restricting the ownership of dangerous dogs. An owner will need to take additional measures to secure a dangerous dog in Texas.
Texas has an overarching one-bite law. This law can make it difficult to hold pet owners responsible for attacks. It requires the victim to prove the dog has bitten another person in the past or the owner had reason to know of the dog’s vicious propensities. Otherwise, the victim may not have a case against the owner for damages. In random attacks or as the pet’s first victim, you might not have a case. It may also be possible, however, to file a claim against the dog owner on the grounds of negligence. If a pet owner failed to keep a dangerous dog inside the house, for example, and it attacked you in the street, you may have grounds against the owner for negligence. Other parties, such as household members, landowners or trainers, could also be liable. A negligence-based dog bite claim requires proof of the defendant’s lack of ordinary care in preventing the attack.
Holding a pet owner or someone else liable for your dog bite injury will take a preponderance of the evidence: enough evidence to establish the defendant is more likely than not responsible for your injuries. Start gathering evidence for your case right away. Take pictures of the dog, your injuries and the scene where the attack occurred. If you notice anything important, such as no leash or a broken fence, take photos of it as well. Go to the hospital for dog bite injury treatment and keep copies of your medical records.
Contact the homeowners insurance company of the pet owner to file a damage claim. If you have serious injuries or the insurance company is making it difficult to settle your claim for a reasonable amount, work with an attorney for assistance bringing your case. A dog bite injury lawyer in Texas can help you explore your options and protect your legal rights. A lawyer can make it easier to hold a pet owner accountable for a dog attack in Texas.
lding a pet owner or someone else liable for your dog bite injury will take a preponderance of the evidence: enough evidence to establish the defendant is more likely than not responsible for your injuries. Start gathering evidence for your case right away. Take pictures of the dog, your injuries and the scene where the attack occurred. If you notice anything important, such as no leash or a broken fence, take photos of it as well. Go to the hospital for dog bite injury treatment and keep copies of your medical records. Contact the homeowners insurance company of the pet owner to file a damage claim. If you have serious injuries or the insurance company is making it difficult to settle your claim for a reasonable amount, work with an attorney for assistance bringing your case. A dog bite injury lawyer in Texas can help you explore your options and protect your legal rights. A lawyer can make it easier to hold a pet owner accountable for a dog attack in Texas.