Texas’ One Bite Rule: What Does It Mean to Your Dallas Dog Bite Case?

Texas, like several other states, follows the one bite rule. Under the one bite rule, a dog owner is not liable the first time his dog bites someone.

If have been attacked by a dog, this rule may seem unfair. However, you may still have legal recourse in Texas. First of all, there are three exceptions to the one bite rule:

  1. The dog owner knew that the dog had the potential to bite. Dogs may have the potential to bite if they show any of the following signs:
    • The dog exhibits non-social behavior.
    • The dog is “Stand-offish” in manner when interacting with others.
    • The dog has a habit of forcefully jumping up or against a person.
    • The dog attempts to mount its owner or other dogs.
    • The dog growls or bears its teeth.
    • The dog tends to stiffen in response to touch or eye contact.
    • Dog gets aggressive if anyone approaches his food, toys, or owner.
    • The dog has bitten before.
    • The dog has harmed a person in any way.
  2. The dog owner was negligent or encouraged the dog to bite. The owner is responsible for the dog bite if he “sics” his dog on you. In addition, the owner may be held liable if the dog was mistreated because mistreated dogs are more likely to bite.
  3. The dog owner violated an animal control law. Dallas requires that all dogs be restrained. A dog that is not on a leash or in an enclosure is violating the law, so the owner can be held liable if the dog attacks.

There is another way to get accountability. Lillian’s Law holds dog owners criminally responsible if the dog causes serious bodily injury in an unprovoked attack. The dog owner can be charged with a third-degree felony which is punishable with two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000. If the victim dies, the dog owner may be charged with a second-degree felony.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Texas, the best thing to do is to contact a Dallas premises liability attorney. Your Texas dog bite lawyer will be able to determine if the owner can be held liable for the dog attack. To learn more, contact the Rasansky Law Firm at (214) 617-1886 and ask to schedule a free consultation.



2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201

Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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