Laredo Dog Bite Lawyer | Laredo Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Laredo Dog Attack Attorney
Webb 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 Laredo located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 4601 S. First Street, Suite L, Laredo, Texas 79605, (325) 795-5857 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Laredo Definitely Can Reduce Laredo 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 Laredo, 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 Laredo Area include:
Texas K9 Obedience Training
429 Mesquite Lane A
Laredo, TX 78041
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 Laredo 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 Laredo 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 Laredo dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Laredo 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, Laredo has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Laredo 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 Laredo or Webb County, you should contact a local Laredo 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 Laredo residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Laredo dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Laredo 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
City of Laredo Dangerous dog Laws
(a) Seizure, impoundment, and euthanasia of a dog that has caused death or serious bodily injury to a person is governed by V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, subchapter A, § 822.002 et seq., as amended.
(b) The city adopts V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code § 822.0422, Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities, as it may be amended from time to time.
(1) A person may report an incident described by [as]:
a. A dog which makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
b. A dog which commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own, and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person, to a municipal court, a justice court, or a county court. The owner of the dog shall deliver the dog to the animal control authority not later than the fifth day after the date on which the owner receives notice that the report has been filed. The authority may provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders the disposition of the dog.
c. If the owner fails to deliver the dog as required by subsection b., the court shall order the animal control authority to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The authority shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders the disposition of the dog. The owner shall pay any cost incurred in seizing the dog.
d. The court shall determine, after notice and hearing as provided in V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, § 822.0423, whether the dog is a dangerous dog.
e. The court, after determining that the dog is a dangerous dog, may order the animal control authority to continue to impound the dangerous dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders disposition of the dog under [V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code] § 822.042 and the dog is returned to the owner or destroyed.
f. The owner shall pay any cost or fee assessed by the city related to the seizure, acceptance, impoundment, or destruction of the dog.
(Ord. No. 2010-O-029, § 1, 3-15-10)
Sec. 6-82. - Department determination as a dangerous dog.
(a) Upon receipt of a sworn, written complaint by any person of an incident described in which a dog:
(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
(b) The animal control authority may investigate the incident.
(c) If, after receipt of any sworn statements of any witnesses and investigation, the animal control authority determines the dog is a dangerous dog, it shall notify the owner of that fact in writing.
(d) An owner, not later than the fifteenth day after the date the owner is notified that a dog owned by the owner is a dangerous dog, may appeal the determination of the animal control authority to the municipal court. Appeal from the decision of the municipal court may be made in the same manner as for other cases appealed from municipal court.
(Ord. No. 2010-O-029, § 1, 3-15-10)
Sec. 6-83. - Requirements for ownership of a dangerous dog; noncompliance hearing.
(a) In addition to complying with the requirements of V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code Chapter 822, Subchapter D, as amended, a person shall, not later than the thirtieth day after learning that he is the owner of a dangerous dog:
(1) Have an unsterilized dangerous dog spayed or neutered;
(2) Register the dangerous dog with the health department director and pay to the health department director a dangerous dog registration fee;
(3) Restrain the dangerous dog at all times in a secure enclosure;
(4) Restrain the dangerous dog at all times when taken outside the enclosure, must be securely muzzled in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog nor interfere with its vision or respiration, but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal and restrained by a leash in the immediate control of a person; or
(5) 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 dog causing bodily injury to a person and provide proof of the required liability insurance coverage or financial responsibility to the director;
(6) The owner shall insure that any liability insurance policy required hereunder shall provide at least thirty (30) days' notice of cancellation of the policy to the city health department;
(7) Place and maintain on the dangerous dog a collar or harness with a current dangerous dog registration tag securely attached to it;
(8) Have the dangerous dog injected with a microchip implant and registered with a national registry for dogs; and
(9) Post a sign at each entrance to the enclosure in which the dangerous dog is confined stating "BEWARE DANGEROUS DOG" and insure that a sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public street or highway.
(10) The owner must attend a class on responsible pet ownership conducted by the department.
(11) The owner of a dangerous dog shall renew registration of the dangerous dog with the director annually and pay an annual dangerous dog registration fee.
(12) The owner of a dangerous dog who does not comply with this subsection shall deliver the dog to the director not later than the thirtieth day after learning that the animal is dangerous.
(13) A dog determined to be a dangerous dog under this article or under state law shall not be offered for adoption or sale.
(b) The owner of a dangerous dog that has been ordered removed from the city shall relocate the dog to a place outside of the city within the time designated in the order. Within five (5) days after the expiration of the time ordered for the dog's removal, the owner shall provide the director with proof of the removal and relocation, or other disposition, of the dog. Such proof must include the owner's written sworn affidavit stating:
(1) That the dog is no longer located in the city; and
(2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the person outside of the city in possession of the dog or the details of any other disposition of the dog.
(c) Upon receipt of a sworn, written complaint by any person that the owner of a previously determined dangerous dog has failed to comply with subsection (a) or has failed to remove the dog from the city as required by order of the director or the municipal court, the municipal court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the owner is in compliance with subsection (a) or with an order of removal, whichever applies. The hearing must be conducted within thirty (30) days after receipt of the complaint, but, if the dog is already impounded, not later than ten (10) days after the date on which the dog was seized or delivered. The municipal court shall provide, either in person or by mail, written notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the dog owner and to the complainant. Any interested person may present evidence at the hearing.
(d) At the conclusion of the hearing, the municipal court shall:
(1) Find that the owner of a dangerous dog is in compliance with subsection (a) or with an order of removal, whichever applies, and, if the dog is impounded, order the director to waive any impoundment fees incurred and release the dog to its owner; or
(2) Find that the owner of a dangerous dog is not in compliance with subsection (a) or with an order of removal, whichever applies, and order the director to seize and impound the dog (if the dog is not already impounded); and to
(3) Humanely destroy the dog if the director determines that the owner has not complied with subsection (a) by the eleventh day after the date the municipal court issues an order under this subsection or the dog is seized and impounded, whichever occurs later, or release the dog to the owner if the director determines that the owner has complied with subsection (a) before the eleventh day;
(4) Release the dog to the owner if the director determines that the owner will permanently remove the dog from the city before the eleventh day after the date the municipal court issues an order under this subsection or the dog is seized and impounded, whichever occurs later, and reseize, impound, and humanely destroy the dog if the owner has not permanently removed the dog from the city by the eleventh day; or
(5) Euthanize the dog if:
a. The director determines that the owner will not comply with subsection (a) by the eleventh day after the date the municipal court issues an order under this subsection or the dog is seized and impounded, whichever occurs later;
b. The director determines that the owner will not permanently remove the dog from the city before the eleventh day after the date the municipal court issues an order under this subsection or the dog is seized and impounded, whichever occurs later; or
c. The owner of the dog cannot be located before the fifteenth day after the date the municipal court issues an order under this subsection or the dog is seized and impounded, whichever occurs later.
(e) The owner of the dangerous dog is responsible for all costs of seizure, acceptance, and impoundment, and all costs must be paid before the dog will be released to the owner.
(Ord. No. 2010-O-029, § 1, 3-15-10)
Secs. 6-84—6-99. - 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 Laredo 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 Laredo 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 Laredo or Webb County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Laredo 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 Laredo Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Laredo 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 Laredo area or Webb County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Laredo Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Laredo SPCA. The Laredo SPCA may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Laredo dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Laredo and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southern Texas, including Aguilares, Botines, Bruni, Callaghan, Del Mar, El Cenizo, El Cuellareno, La Presa, Laredo, Laredo Ranchettes, Larga Vista, Los Ojuelos, Medina, Mirando City, Oilton, Pescadito, Ranchose Las Lomas, Ranchos Penitas West, Randado, Rio Bravo, San Ygnacio, Thompsonville, Zapata and other communities in Webb County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Webb County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.