Irving Dog Bite Lawyer | Irving Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Irving Dog Attack Attorney
Dallas 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 Arlington located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 1301 S. Bowen Road, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76013, (817) 264-4500 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Irving Definitely Can Reduce Irving 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 Irving, 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 Irving Area include:
Wuf Pet Resort & Spa
PETS and THEIR PEOPLE
PetSmart Las Colinas
Wagging Tail Dog Park
Villages of Bear Creek Park
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 Irving 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 Irving 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 Irving dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Irving 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, Irving has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Irving 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 Irving or Dallas County, you should contact a local Irving 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 Irving residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Irving dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call an Irving 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
Dallas County Dangerous Dog Laws
Sec. 6-1. - 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:
Animal means a warm-blooded animal.
Cat means a domestic feline (Felis catus) of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Dog means a domestic canine (Canis familiaris) of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Domestic animal means dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and any other species of animal which is sold or retained as a household pet, but shall not include skunks, nonhuman primates, and any other species of wild, exotic or carnivorous animal that may be further restricted in this chapter.
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.
Impoundment means quarantining an animal in a designated detention site which is under the supervision of the county health officer or his representative.
Owner means any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity who has the right of property in an animal, or who harbors any animal, or allows an animal to remain about its premises for a period of ten days.
Person means any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity.
Quarantine means strict confinement under restraint by closed cage or paddock or in any other manner approved by the state department of health or its designee on the private premises of the owner or at a facility approved by the state department of health or its designee for a period of at least ten days or more as prescribed by the county health officer.
Rabies means an acute viral disease of man and animal affecting the central nervous system and usually transmitted by an animal.
Rabies vaccination means the vaccination of a dog, cat or other domestic animal with a modified live virus rabies vaccine which shall be administered only by or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
Running at large means pertaining to any animal off the premises of the owner and not under the physical, visible or audible control of the owner or his authorized representative. An animal intruding upon the property of another person other than the owner shall be termed "running at large."
Stray means any animal that is allowed to run free with no physical restraint beyond the premises of the owner or for which there is no identifiable owner.
Veterinarian means a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the state.
Vicious animal means any animal that commits an unprovoked attack upon a person on public or private property, or that attacks, threatens to attack or terrorizes a person on public property or in a public place.
Wild animal means all species of animals which exist in a natural unconfined state and are not usually domesticated.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 1, 10-4-1982)
Cross reference— Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 6-2. - Penalties for violation of chapter.
(a) Violation of dog and cat vaccination requirements. An owner commits an offense if he fails or refuses to have each dog and cat he owns vaccinated against rabies, and such animal is required to be vaccinated under the provisions of article III, division 2 of this chapter. An offense under this subsection is a class C misdemeanor.
(b) Violation of animal quarantine requirements. An owner commits an offense if he fails or refuses to quarantine or present for quarantine any animal which is required to be placed in quarantine under the provisions of article III, division 4 of this chapter. An offense under this section is a class C misdemeanor.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 8, 10-4-1982)
Sec. 6-3. - Fees; licenses; permits.
The county health officer, with the consent and approval of the commissioners court shall establish a schedule of fees for impoundment or quarantine which are on file in the county health and human services department.
(Ord. No. 82-1598, § 7.2, 10-4-1982)
Secs. 6-4—6-30. - Reserved.
For purposes of this section, a person learns he is the owner of a dangerous animal when:
(1) The owner knows of an attack described in the section 6-1 definition of "dangerous animal;" or
(2) The owner is notified by the animal services manager that the animal is a dangerous animal; or
(3) The owner is notified by the court that the dog is a dangerous dog; or
(4) The owner is notified by the court that, after appeal, the court has upheld the animal services manager's determination that the animal is a dangerous animal.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
(a) The animal services manager may receive a report concerning a dangerous animal. Such report and supporting witness statements shall be in writing and sworn to on a form prescribed by the animal services manager.
(b) The animal services manager shall investigate all reports filed under this section and may issue sworn reports based on the animal services manager's investigation or observation.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
The Irving Municipal Court may determine that a dog is a dangerous dog under subsection (a). The animal services manager may declare that an animal, including a dog, is a dangerous animal under subsection (b). Regarding a dangerous dog incident, the animal services manager has discretion to proceed, under either subsection (a) or (b).
(a) Municipal court.
(1) The Irving Municipal Court may determine that a dog is a dangerous dog in compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 822.0422. The animal services manager may file a sworn report describing a dangerous dog incident with the court. The sworn report shall present probable cause that the dog described in the report committed an attack described in section 6-1, "dangerous animal."
(2) The animal services manager shall furnish written notice to the owner of the animal, as identified in the complaint, to inform the owner that a dangerous dog report has been filed with the court. The notice to the owner shall require the owner to deliver the animal immediately to the animal services manager upon receiving the notice, provided that the animal services manager may, in his discretion, accept proof that the animal is impounded with a licensed veterinarian according to the terms of subsection 6-13(b). The notice to the owner shall have attached to it a copy of sections 6-30.1 through 6-31.2. The notice to the owner shall also contain a statement that the owner will be notified by the court of the date and time for the hearing.
(3) Notice to the owner by the animal services manager shall be provided as required by subsection (b)(3).
(4) If the owner fails to deliver the dog as required by subsection (b)(2), the court shall order the animal services manager to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The animal services manager shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions at the owner's expense until the court orders the disposition of the dog. The court shall determine, after notice and hearing as provided in section 6-30.4, whether the dog is a dangerous dog.
(b) Animal services manager.
(1) The animal services manager may determine that an animal is a dangerous animal after investigation of a dangerous animal incident. The animal services manager shall furnish written notice to the owner of the animal as identified in the complaint to inform the owner that a dangerous animal report has been received. The owner will have five (5) calendar days from the date the owner is notified to provide the animal services manager information regarding the report. The animal services manager may consider additional information from other sources in the course of the investigation.
(2) If, after investigating a dangerous animal report, the animal services manager finds that the animal is a dangerous animal, the animal services manager shall provide notice to the owner of that fact. The notice to the owner shall also contain a statement that the owner has a right to appeal and shall have attached to it a copy of sections 6-30.1 through 6-31.2
(3) Notice to the owner shall be mailed certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner's last known mailing address, or delivered in person by the animal services manager. If the notice is mailed to the owner and the United States Postal Service returns the notice as "refused" or "unclaimed," the validity of the notice is not affected, and the notice is considered as delivered. If the notice is given by mail, the date of notice is the date of delivery. If the date of delivery is not known, then notice given by mail is deemed to be delivered three (3) days after the date it is placed in a mail receptacle of the United States Postal Service. Notice that is delivered in person is deemed received on the date of in-hand delivery or on the date that the notice is left firmly affixed on or near the front door of each building on the property at the owner's address.
(4) An owner, not later than ten (10) calendar days after the date the owner is notified that an animal owned by him is a dangerous animal, may appeal the determination of the animal services manager to the Irving Municipal Court. An owner may appeal the decision of the municipal court to a county court-at-law, in the same manner as an appeal of a civil case.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
(a) Not later than fifteen (15) calendar days after a person learns that he is the owner of a dangerous animal, the owner shall, in accordance with the order of the court or determination of the animal services manager:
(1) Remove the dangerous animal from within the city limits. In which case, the owner must provide, in writing, the destination address of where the animal is to reside and proof to the animal services manager that the owner has alerted the agency responsible for animal services in the destination area prior to the animal being released from the animal services facility; or
(2) Humanely euthanize the dangerous animal; or
(3) Register and establish compliance with all of the following requirements of this section, at the owner's expense, to the animal services manager before the animal is released from the animal services facility or other state approved quarantine facility.
a. Register. Register the dangerous animal with the animal services manager and maintain current registration at all times;
b. Secure. Restrain the animal in a secure enclosure inspected and approved by the animal services manager;
c. Insure. Acquire and maintain liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars and no cents ($250,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous animal and provide proof of the required liability insurance coverage to the animal services manager. The owner shall notify the animal services manager immediately if a lapse in insurance coverage occurs or if the coverage ceases or is reduced at any time for any reason. The owner shall include in the policy provisions requiring the insurance provider to provide notice to the animal services manager not less than thirty (30) days prior to cancellation or any material change in coverage, and naming the City of Irving Animal Services as a certificate holder;
d. Microchip. Microchip and register the dangerous animal for its life with a national registry, and present proof to the animal services manager. The cost shall be at the owner's expense. The owner of the dangerous animal shall microchip the animal by implanting a microchip identification device on the animal within seven (7) calendar days after being notified by the animal services manager or the court that such animal is dangerous or within forty-eight (48) hours of an unsuccessful appeal;
e. Sterilize. Present proof to the animal services manager that the animal has been sterilized so as to prevent reproduction;
f. Compliance. Comply with all applicable regulations, requirements, and restrictions on dangerous animals; and
g. Extensions. Obtain written extension from the animal services manager to complete the registration requirements, if necessary. All requests for extension shall be in writing and, if granted by the animal services manager, shall total no more than thirty (30) additional days.
(b) No stay of microchip requirement. An appeal of a dangerous dog determination by the court under subsection 6-30.3(a) or of a dangerous animal declaration by the animal services manager under subsection 6-30.3(b) shall not act to stay the requirements of subsection (a) except regarding implantation of a microchip as noted in subsection (a)(4).
(c) Delivery required-dangerous. The owner of a dangerous animal shall deliver the animal to the animal services manager immediately upon learning that the animal is a dangerous animal, if the animal is not already impounded.
(d) Delivery required-out of compliance. The owner of a dangerous animal who falls out of compliance with an owner's requirement of subsection (a) shall deliver the animal to the animal services manager immediately.
(e) Seizure warrant. The court may issue a warrant to seize the subject animal at any time the court finds that probable cause of violation or non-compliance exists, including any time otherwise allowed for voluntary compliance. If, on application of the animal services manager, the court finds, after notice and hearing as provided by section 6-30.4, that the owner of a dangerous animal has failed to comply with or has fallen out of compliance with an owner's requirement of subsection (a), the court shall order the animal services manager to seize the animal and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
An owner of a dangerous animal shall not permit a dangerous animal to be outside the secure enclosure unless the animal is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash, no longer than six (6) feet in length, and a capable person is in immediate physical control of the leash. Such animal shall not be leashed to any inanimate object such as a tree, post, building, or other object. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
(a) If a person is found guilty of an offense under subsection 6-30.8(a) or 6-30.8(c), the court may order the animal services manager to impound and destroy the animal immediately in addition to other penalties in this section.
(b) The animal services manager may obtain a search and seizure warrant if the owner of a registered dangerous animal falls out of compliance with the owner's requirements of subsection 6-30.5(e). The animal will remain impounded until proof as required by subsection 6-30.5(e) has been satisfied and is approved by the animal services manager or the animal is destroyed.
(c) If impoundment of a dangerous animal is being attempted away from the premises of the owner and the impoundment cannot be made with safety, the animal may be destroyed without notice to the owner or harborer.
(d) A dangerous animal impounded pursuant to this section and not reclaimed by its owner under the requirements of this section within ten (10) calendar days from the date of notice of impoundment shall be deemed abandoned and, at the discretion of the animal services manager, euthanized in a humane manner.
(e) In addition to criminal prosecution, a person who commits an offense under this section is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00). An attorney having civil jurisdiction for a municipality where the offense occurred may file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the penalty. Penalties collected under this subsection shall be retained by the municipality.
(Ord. No. 8934, § 4, 4-4-08)
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 Irving 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 Irving 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 Irving or Dallas County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Irving 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 Irving Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of an Irving 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 Irving area or Dallas County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Irving Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the DFW Humane Society. The DFW Humane Society may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Irving dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Irving and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Central Texas, including Addison, Arlington, Balch Springs, Bedford, Cedar Hill, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Coppell, Dallas, Dalrock, Dalworthington Gardens, DeSoto, Duncanville, Espanita, Euless, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Grapevine, Highland Park, Hurst, Grand Prairie, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Mesquite, North Richland Hills, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sowers, Sunnyvale, Trinity Mills, University Park, Wilmer and other communities in Dallas County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Dallas County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.