What is Texas’ One Bite Rule?

You’ve more than likely heard the saying that dogs are man’s best friend. With their wagging tails and excessive kisses, it’s no surprise that for many people, dogs are loving companions. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes dogs bite – even without cause. Dog bites can result in physical and emotional trauma that can affect much of your life. That’s why dog owners should be held liable for any negligence. 

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites commonly result in the following injuries:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Lacerations
  • Facial injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Rabies
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Death

Sadly, dog bites are not uncommon. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 4.5 million Americans experience a dog bite annually. Luckily, dog bite victims may have recourse for their injuries. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Propensity to Bite

Under Texas’ “one bite rule,” dog owners are usually not held liable for injuries that their dog causes for the first time (the first bite) so long as they didn’t know that the dog had a propensity to bite or was in any way dangerous. 

However, if the dog bites another time after that, the owner could potentially be liable for any resulting injuries. This legal principal is based on the belief that while a dog’s owner may not have reason to believe their dog would attack anyone the first time, they would have a reason to believe that it could happen again. Dog owners may not be aware of their dog’s aggressive behavior until after the first time that an accident occurs and therefore should not be penalized.

Not an Absolute Defense

While the one bite rule can help to protect dog owners from liability for the first bite, it is not an absolute defense. There are still situations in which a dog owner could be held liable for their dog biting someone – even if they hadn’t done so before. 

Exceptions to the one bite rule include other instances in which the dog owner was negligent, such as premises liability. If an owner and their dog was trespassing on someone else’s property, or if the owner failed to take proper measures to secure their dog and their dog escapes, they could still be held liable. Additionally, if the owner knew of their dog’s dangerous propensity or if they violated local leash laws, the owner could be liable even if the dog hadn’t bit anyone before. 

The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Dallas Who Have Suffered a Dog Bite Injury

When you have suffered a dog bite injury, you are often faced with handling the financial ramifications that accompany it. You should not be held responsible for someone else’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to speak with a qualified Texas personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough help dog bite victims to get their lives and their livelihood back on track. We will fight for your rights. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.