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The Texas “One Bite Rule” and Your Rights

Texas provides legal protections to victims of dog bites and attacks in order to ensure dog owners are held accountable and that victims have the opportunity to recover compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Under Texas law, there are several protections for dog bite victims, including rules of negligence committed by dog owners who violate animal control laws, fail to stop dog attacks, and harbor a dog that has a record of attacks.

In addition to negligence, Texas also applies what is known as the “one bite rule,” which is commonly used in dog bite cases in absence of a specific dog bite statute. The one bite rule stems from a Texas Supreme Court case in which the court ruled that a one bite rule or negligence applies to these cases.

In dog bite cases, victims will have the right to recover financial compensation for their damages from a dog owner if they can prove either of the following:

  • The owner of the dog that injured a victim knew the dog was aggressive, or that it had bitten someone before; or
  • The owner of the dog failed in their legal obligation to use reasonable care and take measures to prevent a dog from attacking and biting a victim, who suffered injuries as a result.

The one bite rule can be applied to many cases, but dog bite victims have additional rights in the form of strict liability. The rule of strict liability can apply to cases in which the owner knew their dog was vicious and a danger to others. When this rule is used, victims do not need to prove that an owner was negligent in controlling their dog and preventing an attack, and will only need to establish that the dog was known to be a danger.

Our Austin dog bite attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC know that the legal elements and rules applied to dog bite cases can be difficult for victims to understand, which is why we take the time to fully walk clients through an explanation of their legal rights and explain how we can handle the complexities on their behalves while they focus on recovering from their injuries.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of a dog bite or attack, we encourage you to speak with a member of our legal team to evaluate your case and determine if you have the right to pursue a claim for compensation. Over the years, our attorneys have established themselves as bold and talented advocates for the injured, and we explore all avenues available to help our clients secure the maximum compensation in their case.

To discuss your case personally with an attorney from The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC during a FREE consultation, contact us today.

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