Bay City Dog Bite Lawyer | Bay City Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Bay City Dog Attack Attorney
Matagorda County Dog Bite Accident Attorney
Dangerous Dog Facts:
- An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
- Approximately 334,000 people are admitted to US emergency rooms annually with dog bite-associated injuries, and another 466,000 are seen in other medical settings;
- An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
- Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
- People more than 70 years old comprise 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed.
According to Zoonosis Control Division of the Texas Department of Health, domesticated dogs comprise most the dog bites in any given year. Even more shocking, Texas was the leader in dog bite fatalities in 2007, with seven fatalities stemming from dog bites that year alone. There is a regional Zoonosis office in Houston located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, HSR 6/5 South, 5425 Polk Street, Suite J, Texas 77023, (713) 67-3000 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Bay City Definitely Can Reduce Bay City Dog Bites
As so many things in life, dog bites can be reduced by what happens in the home. A dog is not always the one to blame in the instance of a dog attack or dog bite injury. Many owners use their dogs for illegal dog fights and these dogs are victimized every bit as much as the victims of their attacks, and they too are often severely injured or even killed in dog fighting rings as they fight for their lives. Negligent and abusive dog owners should be held liable for their actions. A decision to be a responsible dog is a personal decision and one that requires responsibility. There are many places in and around Bay City, Texas to have your dog trained for obedience. Dog owners are also able to take their dog to an area designated for dogs to play. Dog parks are there so that the owner can take their dog to an area where they can run around and play in an fenced-in and safe place. Dog parks are a responsible place to take your pet to ensure that when they are running off their leash that they will not run away from you and/or cause harm to a person or another animal. Some Dog Training Facilities and Dog Park locations in the General Bay City Area include:
Petco Animal Supplies
Millie Bush Dog Park
16101 Westheimer Parkway
Houston, TX 77077
Ervan Chew Dog Park
4502 Dunlavy Street
Houston, TX 77006
Dogs should be trained and any sense of aggressive behavior exhibited by a dog should be immediately attended to by the pet owner in order to avoid a future incident. What it boils down to is that if you or a loved one have been bitten, attacked, maimed, or killed by a dog or other animal, you should be entitled to some degree of compensation from the animal’s owner or handler. Contact one of the experienced Bay City dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Texas’s “One Bite” Rule & Dog Bite Claims Based on Negligence
Texas follows the arcane “one bite rule.” This means that a pet owner is liable when:
- the owner knew that the dog had bitten someone before or had a “dangerous propensity” for biting;
- the bite was caused by the negligence of the person handling the dog;
- the bite was caused by a violation of a leash law, prohibition against dogs trespassing or running at large, or a similar animal control law; or,
- the bite injury was caused intentionally by the owner or person handling the dog.
When it cannot be proved that the dog’s owner or handler knew of the dog’s propensity to bite, negligence can form the basis of a claim. An example of a negligence-based claim could occur when the owner of a dog whose breed is notorious for its violent propensities — such as a pit bull, Rottweiler, or German Shepherd — allows their dog to run loose in a children’s park or other public area without supervision. The dog’s owner will be held liable based on negligence if the dog bites a child in the park.
However, a person does not have to be the dog’s owner to be held liable for a bite victim’s injuries. A child bitten at a day care facility for dogs could, through the child’s parents, make a claim against the pet care center, even though the dog was owned by a third party who was absent at the time of the bite. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should contact a Bay City dog bite attorney to pursue your personal injury claims. Even if the dog has no prior history of aggression and has never bitten anyone before, Texas’s “one bite rule” may allow a Bay City dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Bay City Negligence Per Se Dog Bite Lawyer
When a statute or ordinance is violated and the violation leads to an injury, this is called negligence per se.
Negligence per se is frequently found in cases of dog bites, dog maulings, and dog attacks, often resulting from a violation of:
- leash laws;
- dog trespass laws; or,
- no “free-run” laws.
Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Bay City has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Bay City requires that all dogs over four months of age be licensed with the city officials. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog running loose in violation of the law of Bay City or Matagorda County, you should contact a local Bay City dog bite attorney immediately.
Lillian’s Law (H.B. 1355)
The so-called “Lillian Stiles Law,” sponsored by Senator Eliot Shapleigh and passed in 2007, increases the jail time for owners who fail to secure their dogs in a reasonable manner, resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another. Under the law, a dog owner will be charged with a third-degree felony if their dog causes serious bodily injury to a victim during an unprovoked attack. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2-10 years of prison time as well as a potential fine of up to $10,000. If the victim dies from an unprovoked dog attack, H.B. 1355 would impose a charge of second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Click here for more information on the passage of Lillian’s Law,
Texas still allows a dog to be chained up, which is not only bad policy, but also dangerous to children and others who are routinely attacked by dogs that have been chained. Lillian’s law helps protect Bay City residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Bay City dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Bay City dog bite lawyer today.
Some of Texas' Laws on Dog Bites
Some of the laws are found in the Texas Health & Safety Code, Title 10, Chapter 822 Regulation of Animals:
Subchapter D Dangerous Dogs;
- 822.041. Definitions;
- 822.042. Requirements for Owner of Dangerous Dog;
- 822.0421. Determination That Dog is Dangerous;
- 822.0422. Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities;
- 822.0423. Hearing;
- 822.043. Registration;
- 822.044. Attack by Dangerous Dog;
- 822.045. Violations;
- 822.046. Defense; and
- 822.047. Local Regulation of Dangerous Dogs
Sec. 14-1. - Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Cat means any live or dead animal of the felis catus species.
Currently vaccinated means vaccinated and satisfying the criteria in V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 826.001 et seq. and the rules of the state board of health.
Dog means any live or dead animal of the canis familiaris species.
Domestic animals means all species of animals commonly and universally accepted as being domesticated.
Harboring means the act of keeping and caring for an animal or of providing a premises to which the animal returns for food, shelter or care for a period of ten days or more.
Menacing fashion means the show by an animal of a disposition, determination or intent to attack or inflict injury or harm to a person.
Owner means any person, firm, corporation, organization or department possessing, harboring, keeping in or having in control or custody of an animal.
Pet animals means dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, and any other species of animals which are sold or retained as household pets. The term "pet animals" does not include skunks, nonhuman primates and any other species of wild, exotic or carnivorous animal that may be further restricted in this chapter.
Running at large means not completely confined within a building, wall or fence of sufficient strength or construction to restrain the animal, or when such animal is neither on a leash nor held in the hands of the owner or keeper or under direct supervision of the owner when not within the limits of the owner's private property. An animal confined within an automobile or other vehicle of its owner shall not be deemed running at large.
Stray animal means any animal for which there is no identifiable owner or harborer.
Vaccinate means to properly inject with a rabies vaccine licensed for use in that species by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by a veterinarian licensed by the state.
Vicious animal means any animal described in section 14-9.
Wild animals means all species of animals which commonly exist in a natural unconfined state and usually are not domesticated; this shall apply regardless of the state or duration of captivity.
(Code 1985, § 4-1; Code 2000, § 14-1)
Sec. 14-2. - Records.
It shall be the duty of the animal control officer, chief of police or other enforcing agency to maintain such records as deemed necessary to the enforcement of all provisions of this chapter and have those records available for display to the city council or any interested citizen of the city as public records.
(Code 1985, § 4-2; Code 2000, § 14-2)
Sec. 14-3. - Standing to complain.
Any person directly harmed or whose immediate relative is directly harmed, or any police officer of the city shall have standing to file a complaint under this chapter.
(Code 1985, § 4-3; Code 2000, § 14-3)
Sec. 14-4. - Interference with enforcement.
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, molest, hinder or prevent the animal control officer or his authorized representative in the discharge of their duties as prescribed in this chapter.
(Code 1985, § 4-4; Code 2000, § 14-4)
Sec. 14-5. - Prohibited animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to place or keep upon any premises situated within the corporate limits of the city:
(1) Any beehive, or any container or receptacle similar to a beehive, designed or used for the swarming or collecting of bees or for collecting the honeycomb or honey of bees; or
(2) Swine, except domesticated pot belly pigs.
(b) It shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to place or keep upon any premises situated within the corporate limits of the city any receptacle similar to a pigeon roost designed or used for roosting or collecting pigeons, unless the pigeons are completely penned.
(Code 1985, § 4-5; Code 2000, § 14-5)
Sec. 14-6. - Nuisance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to harbor any dog, cat or other pet animal or domestic animal or wild animal which by any long continued noise, cry, odor or other activity shall disturb the peace, comfort, sensibilities and/or property of any reasonable person. Such disturbance is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
(Code 1985, § 4-6; Code 2000, § 14-6)
Sec. 14-7. - Running at large.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or harborer of a dog, cat, domestic pet, horse, mule, cow, bull, steer, calf, sheep, goat, hog, fowl or other domestic or wild animal or livestock to allow the same to run at large on the streets, sidewalks, alleys, parks or other public places or upon another person's or business's private property.
(Code 1985, § 4-8; Code 2000, § 14-8)
State law reference— Authority to prohibit dogs and other animals from being at large, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 826.033.
Sec. 14-8. - Vicious animal.
(a) A vicious animal is:
(1) Any animal that has, on one previous occasion without provocation, attacked or bitten any person or other animal;
(2) Any animal which, when unprovoked, chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public or private property in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack such that the person reasonably believes that the animal will cause physical injury to that person;
(3) Any animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise threaten the safety of persons or otherwise domestic animals; or
(4) Any animal which a city-designated veterinarian has reason to believe has a dangerous disposition likely to be harmful to humans or other animals.
(b) Any vicious animal found running at large may be destroyed by a peace officer or animal warden in the interest of public safety.
(c) The municipal court, after a notice and hearing, may order any owner or person having care, control or custody or any vicious animal to take such animal permanently from the city, or the court may, upon making a finding that such animal is vicious or that it represents a clear and present danger or nuisance to the citizens or other animals in the community, order the animal to be euthanized (killed) in a humane manner. This animal must be removed immediately following receipt of such an order, even if an appeal is initiated.
(d) If the owner or person having care, custody or control of a vicious animal fails to remove such animal as provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, such animal may be impounded and/or destroyed.
(e) The owner or person having care, custody or control of a vicious animal must report the disposition and relocation of such animal to the chief of police in writing, within ten days after the expiration date for removal of such animal from the city. Each day thereafter such information is not provided shall constitute a separate offense.
(f) The chief of police or his deputy shall be authorized to obtain a search and seizure warrant if there is reason to believe that an animal ordered removed from the city for being vicious has not been so removed.
(Code 1985, §§ 4-1, 4-10; Code 2000, § 14-9)
State law reference— Dangerous dogs, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 822.001 et seq.
Secs. 14-12—14-40. - Reserved.
Family Bystander Mental Anguish Claims
Texas recognizes the right of bystanders to recover damages for mental anguish caused by witnessing an accident, with the following limitations: the bystander must be a parent or child of the victim and the victim must have been killed or severely injured in the animal attack or mauling. Therefore, if you have witnessed a close family member mauled or bitten by a dog, you may want to pursue legal action on behalf of the injury victim as well as your own claims for witnessing such a horrific event. Contact a Bay City dog bite lawyer today to discuss bystander and mental anguish claims.
Negligence Based on Failure to Stop an Attack
A Texas dog owner owes a duty to attempt to stop his dog from attacking a person after the attack has begun. This is a civil duty, meaning that the Bay City dog bite victim can sue for monetary damages if the dog owner does not attempt to stop the attack.
If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dangerous dog in Bay City or Matagorda County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Bay City dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
- Make every attempt to keep the animal in sight, find its owner, and obtain the owner’s contact information, preferably verified by their photo ID.
- Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
- Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
- Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
- Report the bite to the Bay City Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Bay City dog bite attorney, if necessary, and maintain copies of all medical records and other relevant evidence.
For more information on dog bites and their victims, visit DogsBite.org
Dog Bite Reporting:
If you would like to report a Bay City area or Matagorda County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Bay City Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Bay City SPCA. The Bay City SPCA may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Bay City dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Bay City and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southeastern Texas, including Allenhurst, Alvin, Angleton, Bay City, Blessing, Boling - Lago, Caney, Cedar Lane, Clemville, Clute, Danbury, Edna, El Campo, Elmaton, Freeport, Ganado, Lamar, Lake Jackson, Long Mott, Louise, Markham, Matagorda, Midfield, Mission Bend, Missouri City, Needville, Newgulf, Palacios, Pecan Grove, Port Lavaca, Refugio, Richmond, Rockport, Rosenberg, Sargent, Stafford, Sugar Land, Surfside Beach, Sweeny, Tidehaven, Van Vleck, Wadsworth, Weedhaven, West Columbia, Wharton and other communities in Matagorda County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Matagorda County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.