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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Everything There Is to Know About Texas Dog Bite Laws

When it comes to Texas dog bite laws, there's more to it than meets the eye. It's not just a matter of pointing fingers at the dog owner. The process involves a comprehensive legal framework designed to protect dog bite victims and hold dog owners accountable.

Texas law places a significant responsibility on dog owners to prevent their pets from causing harm to others. This includes keeping the pet on a leash in public areas, ensuring the property is secure, and taking action if the dog displays aggressive behavior. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like Can you sue for a dog bite in Texas?

Still, accidents do happen, and the results can be painful for the victim. If the plaintiff manages to prove the dog owner guilty, their insurance company will have to pay out a hefty amount for the dog attack.

Can a Dog Bite Victim Hold the Dog Owner Liable for Damages?

If a dog bite victim can prove that the owner was negligent in handling or restraining their dog, they may have a successful case.

Negligence includes not keeping the dog on a leash, failing to secure the property, or allowing the dangerous dog to roam freely, posing a risk to others. A qualified attorney can determine if the dog's owner knew the pet's aggressiveness prior to the dog bite incident.

Liability isn't limited to just physical injuries. It extends to emotional injuries, trauma, and even phobias that result from a dog attack. The fear of another attack, the anxiety around dogs, and the emotional scars can linger long after physical wounds have healed.

Texas' dog-bite law takes into account not just the physical scars but also the emotional and psychological toll on the victim. In cases where dog attack injuries are severe, the victim may receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.

What Is the One-bite Rule?

What Is the One-bite Rule?

In the Lone Star State, dog bites are governed by a combination of statutes and common law principles. Texas is one of the few states that doesn't have a specific dog bite statute.

Instead, it adheres to the "one-bite rule," which means that a dog's owner may be held liable if the pet has bitten someone before or if the owner was aware of the dog's vicious propensities.

It also considers if the attack occurred without instigation from the other party. In this context, Texas law emphasizes that an owner must take measures to prevent dog attacks, especially if they're aware of their dog's aggressive tendencies.

Insurance companies may offer settlements to dog bite victims. Consulting with experienced Houston animal attack attorneys is essential in such situations to ensure plaintiffs recover fair compensation and adequate for their serious injuries in the personal injury case.

Immediate Medical Treatment Is Necessary for Dog Bites

No matter how small it may seem, a dog bite is not to be taken lightly. The consequences of it can go beyond physical pain, and immediate medical treatment is crucial.

Even seemingly minor bites can lead to infections, complications, and long-lasting consequences if not addressed right away.

Infection Risk

One of the primary concerns after a dog bite is the risk of infection. A dog's mouth contains a multitude of bacteria, some of which can be harmful when introduced into the human body. Infections can set in within hours or days after the bite, and if left untreated, they can lead to severe complications.


This is another significant concern with dog bites, as this infectious bacterium can travel through their saliva.

Tetanus is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects the nervous system. Getting a tetanus shot after a dog bite is often necessary, even if the victim has the vaccine already.


Although rabies is relatively rare in domestic dogs, it's a consideration in dog bite cases. If the dog's rabies vaccination status is unknown, medical professionals may recommend rabies post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent disease development.

Treatment for Wound Cleaning and Closure

Medical treatment includes thorough wound cleaning and, if necessary, wound closure. Proper care minimizes the risk of infection and ensures optimal healing. In some cases, stitches may be required to close the dog bite wound and reduce scarring.

Statute of Limitation for Dog Bite Claims in Texas

Dog bite claims are subject to a statute of limitations in Texas, which is essentially a legal deadline for filing a claim. The statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances and the type of claim. Under Texas dog bite and animal control law, the general statute of limitations is two years.

In some cases, a dog bite claim may involve landlord liability. If the dog's owner is a tenant in a rental property, the landlord may also be held responsible for the dog's actions.

Certain circumstances may extend or modify the deadline. Plaintiffs need to consult with an attorney to understand how specific factors work. The victim's age, discovery of the injury, or the involvement of a government entity may affect the timeline for filing a claim.

Average Dog Bite Payout in Texas

Average Dog Bite Payout in Texas

There is no fixed or predetermined amount for dog bite settlements, as each case is unique. While the state average in 2022 was $64,555, multiple factors influence the amount.

Severe injuries that need extensive medical treatment and may lead to permanent scarring or disability typically result in higher compensation.

If the dog bite victim had to take time off work due to their injuries, the compensation may include reimbursement for lost wages. This can vary depending on the victim's occupation, the length of time off work, and their income.

The dog owner's homeowner's insurance or renter's policy may play a role in determining the potential payout. These policies cover liability for dog bite injuries, and the limits of coverage can affect the final settlement. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions such as How long does a construction accident lawsuit take in Texas?

Final Words

Texas dog bite laws safeguard victims and ensure dog owners are responsible for their pets' actions. Understanding legal deadlines and the role of counsel is crucial for dog bite victims wishing to protect their rights and secure the compensation they deserve.

Boasting "We Go to War for You," Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys offers free consultation sessions to clients. The knowledgeable advisors from this law firm can help dog bite victims determine fault and recover damages from the at-fault party.


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