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Dog Bites Are The Worst: An Overview of Texas Law on Dog Attacks

Ever been bitten by a dog? It is not very much fun. The personal injury lawyers at Guest and Gray Law Firm are keenly aware of this fact. Over the years, Guest and Gray Law Firm has helped victims of dog bites recover top dollar against negligent dog owners.

For the most part, dogs are man’s best friend. Not like those useless cats that just lay around the house and look at you in disgust. Dogs are sweet and caring and love you unconditionally. However, dogs have it in their system the capacity to become dangerous. Certain breeds more-so than others. Pit Bulls, Bull Dogs, and Rottweilers are some of the main dog breeds that people associate with a dangerous capacity to injure people.

However, in Texas, you really cannot just use a dog’s breed as a means of proving your dog bite case. It must be dog specific. This is a good and bad thing. Texas does not have a statute that covers civil liability for dog bites. Rather, in  Marshall v. Ranne, 511 SW 2d 255 (Tex. S.C. 1974) the Texas Supreme Court adopted the view of dog bite law contained in the Restatement of Torts section 509.  That means Texas is a “negligence” or  “one bite rule” when it comes to dog bites. In order to recover damages for a dog bite, the injured person must show that:

  • the dog’s owner knew the dog had bitten someone before or had acted aggressively in the past, or
  • the dog’s owner was negligent in controlling the dog or preventing the bite from occurring, and that negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

A known dangerous tendency must have some evidentiary support: if the dog has attacked other people before, lunged at people, nipped at them, and other actions of that nature would put the dog owner on notice that this was a dog with known propensity for violence towards humans for purposes of proving dog owner negligence.So, a key factual inquiry into each dog bite case is “what is this dogs history towards violence?” If they have even one instance of aggression towards people, that is probably enough to put the dog owner on notice.

It also has to be humans. Just because the dog has been violent with other animals, does not mean that it has known propensity for violence towards humans. It just means that they don’t like other animals. Yes, there are actually cases on point for this.

Dog bites are incredibly common and happen in many different settings. They can happen while jogging in the park or on a road. They can happen while visiting family or friends. Dog bites occur on average about 4.7 million times a year resulting in about 800,000 injuries requiring medical treatment. In Texas, since 2005, there have been 57 fatal dog bites and, in 2018 alone, there have been at least 3 known fatal dog attacks. Texas leads the nation in dog bite fatalities over that span.

GuestandGrayLogoGuest and Gray is the experienced dog bite firm in the Rockwall, Forney, Terrell and Kaufman area. We have handled countless dog bite cases and recovered millions for our personal injury clients. So, if you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in the Rockwall, Forney, Terrell and other East Texas areas, you need to call the experienced dog bite team at Guest and Gray. We will start working on your case from day one to secure the highest possible recovery for your case. Dog bites are particularly dangerous and must be treated right away. It takes a long time for your body to recover from dog bites due to the puncture wounds from dog bites and the bacteria that their mouths and paws can contain. We need to secure any and all evidence as quickly as possible. So, when you are injured by a dog, get the treatment you need and let Guest and Gray handle the rest. Don’t Wait! Call Today! (972) 564-4644.

The call is free and we don’t get paid unless you win. It is risk free. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you.


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