Denton Dog Bite Lawyer | Denton Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Denton Dog Attack Attorney
Denton 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 Denton located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 1301 South Bowen Road, Suite 200, Arlington, Texas 76013, (817) 264-4920for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Denton Definitely Can Reduce Denton 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 Denton, 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 Denton Area include:
Man's Best Friend
5615 Rufe Snow Drive
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
A+ Dog Obedience School
1001 Parvin Street
Denton, TX 76205
Wiggly Field Dog Park
1400 Ryan Road
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 Denton 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 an Denton 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 an Denton dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Denton 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, Denton has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Denton 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 Denton or Denton County, you should contact a local Denton 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 Denton residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Denton dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call an Denton 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 A General Provisions; Dogs That Attack Persons or Are a Danger to Persons;
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
Denton County Dangerous Dog Laws
Sec. 6-33. - Purpose and scope.
(a)The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the city by providing for the disposition of animals determined to be dangerous.
(b) The administrative procedures of this article shall apply to any animal required to be restrained in accordance with this article which, while running at large or while restrained in a public place, has bitten or attacked a person or, while running at large, has bitten or attacked another animal and for which a complaint has been filed in accordance with this article.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-34. - Filing the complaint.
(a)To invoke the provisions of this article, a written complaint shall be filed with the animal control center within two (2) business days of the date the person or animal was attacked or bitten, on a form provided by the city which shall give notice of the penalty for the filing or signing of a false complaint as provided in this article.
(b)The complaint shall be signed by the victim of the bite or attack, or the owner of the animal attacked or bitten, as applicable. If the person required to sign the complaint is a minor or is incapacitated, the complaint shall be signed by the persons parent, guardian or legal representative.
(c)The complaint shall contain the following information:
(1)The name, address and telephone number of the person attacked or bitten or the owner of the animal attacked or bitten;
(2)The facts and circumstances of the incident, including the date, time and location; a description of the animal complained of; and if known, the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the animal complained of, and of any witness; and
(3)A statement that the animal complained of, while running at large or while restrained in a public place, made an unprovoked attack on a person or animal in violation of this article.
(d)The complaint shall be accompanied by a written statement from a physician or veterinarian showing that the person or animal attacked or bitten was examined or treated within forty-eight (48) hours of the incident and stating the nature and extent of any injuries suffered.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-35. - Making a false complaint.
It shall be unlawful for any person to file or sign the written complaint required by this ordinance when the person knows that the complaint contains false information.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-36. - Investigation; determination of probable cause; order of impoundment.
(a)Upon receipt of a dangerous animal complaint, the animal control center shall immediately initiate an investigation to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the animal which is the subject of the complaint is dangerous.
(b)If the investigating animal control officer determines that there exists probable cause to believe the animal is dangerous, the animal control officer shall request an order of impoundment be issued by the chief of police or his designee.
(c)The order of impoundment shall include the facts set forth in the complaint, the duty of the owner to immediately impound the animal, and notification of the subsequent dangerous animal hearing.
(d)Upon receipt of an order of impoundment, the owner of the subject animal shall immediately impound the animal at the animal control center or a licensed veterinary clinic or approved animal kennel within the incorporated limits of the city.
(e)If the owner of an animal subject to impoundment refuses or fails to immediately impound the animal as required, an animal control officer may obtain a warrant from a magistrate, seize the animal, and transport it to the animal control center.
(f)The owner or harborer will bear any and all costs for the impoundment required by this section.
(g)Any owner, harborer, or other person having possession of or responsibility for any animal which is subject to an investigation under this article shall immediately notify the animal control center if such animal escapes or becomes or appears to become sick or dies. In case of death of the animal under investigation, the person shall immediately surrender the carcass to the animal control center for diagnostic purposes.
(h)It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse or fail to impound an animal subject to this article, or harbor, hide or secret an animal subject to this article, for the purpose of preventing its impoundment.
(i)It shall be unlawful for any person to transport, or secure the transport, of an animal subject to this article to any location outside the incorporated limits of the city if the person has knowledge that the animal is the subject of an investigation under this article.
(j)Nothing in this section shall preclude an animal control officer from immediately impounding an animal that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the citizens of the city.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-37. - Determination hearing.
(a)The jurisdiction for a dangerous animal determination hearing under this article shall be assigned to the municipal court of the city.
(b)The owner of an animal subject to a dangerous animal determination hearing under this article shall be notified, in writing, of the date, time and location of the hearing within five (5) days after the impoundment of the animal.
(c)The determination hearing shall be held within ten (10) days after impoundment of the animal.
(d)The hearing shall be held before a magistrate of the municipal court of the city. The magistrate shall consider evidence provided by any interested party in making his determination.
(e)If the magistrate determines that the animal which is the subject of the hearing is a danger to the community, the magistrate will issue an order as to the disposition of the animal and any conditions that may be placed upon the owner for the continued possession of the animal.
(f)Nothing in this section precludes the owner of an animal which is the subject of the hearing from waiving his right to a determination hearing. If a person waives the right to a hearing, the animal will be assumed to be dangerous and the owner shall immediately authorize the destruction of the animal. If the animal is impounded at the animal control center, the owner shall release the animal to the center for destruction. If the animal is impounded at a veterinary clinic or an animal kennel, the owner shall have the animal destroyed by a licensed veterinarian immediately and provide documentation of the destruction to the animal control center.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-38. - Disposition of a dangerous animal.
(a)If, in accordance with this article, a magistrate determines that an animal is dangerous, the magistrate shall issue an order of disposition for the animal. The magistrate may order the destruction of the animal or place special conditions on the owner for the continued maintenance of the animal.
(b)If an order of disposition contains special conditions, such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that the owner:
(1)Register the animal as a dangerous animal with the animal control authority for the area in which the animal is kept;
(2)Restrain the animal at all times in a secure enclosure when the owner or harborer is not present;
(3)Display signs of a permanent nature at the property lines located on the front and rear of the property and on the secure enclosure of the animal; and
(4)Obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous animal causing bodily injury to a person.
(c)For the purposes of this section, "secure enclosure" means a locked structure capable of preventing the entry of any part of the body of a human, including children, and capable of preventing the escape, release, or protrusion of any part of the body of the animal. The enclosure shall have secure sides and a floor either attached to the sides or with the sides embedded no less than twelve inches in a concrete border surrounding the base of the enclosure. The concrete border shall be no less than four inches wide and no closer than six feet to any property line. An enclosure shall be adequately lighted and ventilated and must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
(d)For the purposes of this section, "on a leash" means secured on the owner's property by a leash no longer than four feet in length, held by a person of sufficient strength to restrain the animal, and muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent the animal from biting any person or any other animal.
(e)For the purposes of this section, "register" means to:
(1)Provide the animal control center with the name, address and telephone number of the person owning or harboring a dangerous animal;
(2)Provide the animal control center with the name, general description and two color photographs, one depicting a frontal view and one depicting a side view, of the dangerous animal;
(3)Provide the animal control center with a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued for the dangerous animal by a licensed veterinarian;
(4)Provide a copy of a current liability insurance policy as prescribed by subsection (b)(3) of this section;
(5)Agree to inspections by animal control officers of the dangerous animal and the premises on which the dangerous animal is kept at any reasonable times to insure compliance with the provisions of this article; and
(6)Pay a dangerous animal permit fee as authorized by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(f)For the purpose of this section, "signs" shall mean a sign, at least eight inches by twelve inches, of a permanent nature stating "BEWARE OF DANGEROUS ANIMAL" in red lettering on a white background. The lettering shall be no less than two inches in height and made of a reflective material that is visible in low-light situations or at night. The owner of a dangerous animal shall renew the registration at least annually and submit payment of fees as authorized by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(g)The owner shall immediately notify the animal control center of any change in status of a dangerous animal, including relocation, transfer of ownership, escape, or death. In the event that the dangerous animal is moved to another location within the city, the animal control center shall inspect the new location to insure compliance with this section. If ownership of the dangerous animal is transferred to another person, that person shall be subject to all requirements of this section. If the dangerous animal is moved to a location outside the incorporated limits of the city, the owner shall inform the animal control center of the new location of the animal. The animal control center shall forward a copy of the magistrate's order of disposition to the local animal control authority of the jurisdiction into which the animal is being moved.
(h)A person commits an offense if he knowingly, intentionally, or negligently fails to perform any act required by this section. Each day in which a person is in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense under this section. An offense under this section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars.
(i)Upon notification that a violation of this section has occurred, an animal control officer shall immediately impound the animal and the disposition of the animal shall be determined by a magistrate of the municipal court of the city.
(j)If an owner of an animal deemed to be dangerous is unable to comply with the conditions set forth in this section, the owner shall have the animal humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian or by releasing the animal to the animal control center. If the animal is destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the owner shall provide certification from the veterinarian that such destruction was performed.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
Sec. 6-39. - Impoundment; redemption.
(a)The owner of an animal impounded at the animal control center under the provisions of this article and subsequently determined not to be a dangerous animal under the provisions of this article may redeem the animal by complying with the provisions of section 6-17, of this article, including the payment of fees authorized by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(b)The owner of an animal impounded under the provisions of this article and subsequently determined to be a dangerous animal shall, prior to the release of the animal from any facility, provide proof to the animal control center that he has complied with all conditions contained in the order of determination and pay all fees as authorized by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(c)If an animal impounded under this article is determined not to be dangerous, the owner shall be notified that the animal is eligible for redemption and the terms of redemption. The owner shall redeem the animal within ninety-six (96) hours after receiving such notice. If the owner fails to redeem the animal within the required period, the animal shall become the property of the city and shall be euthanized by the animal control center.
(d)The owner of an animal that is determined to be dangerous under the provisions of this article shall notify the animal control center within ninety-six (96) hours of their intent to redeem the animal. The owner shall redeem the animal within thirty (30) days after notice that the animal is eligible for redemption. If the owner fails to redeem the animal within the required period, the animal shall become the property of the city and shall be euthanized by the animal control center. The owner shall pay the city impound and holding fees as authorized by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00)
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 an Denton 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 Denton 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 Denton or Denton County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Denton 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 Denton Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of an Denton 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 an Denton area or Denton County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Denton Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Denton SPCA. The Denton SPCA may be reached at:
1441 South Loop 228, Denton, TX 76205
Contact one of the experienced Denton dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Denton and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Central Texas, including Argyle, Allen, Aubrey, Bartonville, Bolivar, Carrollton, Celina, Colleyville, Copper Canyon, Corinth, Corral City, Cross Roads, Decatur, Denton, Dish, Double Oak, Era, Flower Mound, Frisco, Grapevine, Hackberry, Haslet, Hebron, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Justin, Keller, Krugerville, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lakewood Village, Lewisville, Lincoln Park, Little Elm, McKinney, New Fairview, Northlake, Oak Point, Pilot Point, Plano, Ponder, Prosper, Roanoke, Rosston, Sanger, Shady Shores, Southlake, The Colony, Trophy Club, Valley View and other communities in Denton County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Denton County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.