Lubbock Dog Bite Lawyer | Lubbock Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Lubbock Dog Attack Attorney
Lubbock 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 Lubbock located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 4601 S. First Street, Suite L, Abilene, Texas 79605, (325) 795-5857 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Lubbock Definitely Can Reduce Lubbock 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 Lubbock, 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 Lubbock Area include:
South Plains Obedience Training
5222 Marsha Sharp Freeway
Lubbock, TX 79407
Animal House Calls
2303 60th Street
Lubbock, TX 79412
601 Municipal Drive
Lubbock, Texas 79403
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 Lubbock 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 Lubbock 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 Lubbock dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Lubbock 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, Lubbock has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Lubbock 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 Lubbock or Lubbock County, you should contact a local Lubbock 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 Lubbock residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Lubbock dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Lubbock 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
Lubbock County Dangerous Dog Laws
ARTICLE 4.06 DANGEROUS ANIMALS*
Sec. 4.06.001 Complaint about dangerous animal
(a) Upon receipt of a written complaint by any person, animal services officer, or other law enforcement officer charging that a particular animal is a dangerous animal, the public health director or his designee shall conduct a hearing to determine whether such animal is dangerous unless the matter is resolved by agreement of all parties prior to such hearing. Such written complaints shall contain at least the following information:
(1) Name, address and telephone number of complainants and witnesses;
(2) A brief description of the incident or incidents which cause the complainant to believe such animal is a dangerous animal, including date, time and location;
(3) A description of the animal and the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the animal, if known; and
(4) Any other facts that the complainant believes to be important.
(b) Such hearing to determine if an animal is a dangerous animal shall be conducted within twenty (20) days after receipt of the complaint, impoundment, or seizure of the animal, whichever occurs later. Any animal awaiting such hearing which was impounded for being at large, was at large when the incident that causes the dangerous animal complaint to be filed occurred, or which has bitten or scratched any other person or animal shall be boarded at the owner’s expense at the animal services facility or any other state-approved quarantine facility pending the outcome of the hearing and determination of whether such animal is a dangerous animal.
(c) If the animal is quarantined at a facility other than the animal services facility, the facility shall be found to be in violation of this chapter if the animal is released to any person, lost, stolen, or otherwise not able to be accounted for unless the quarantine facility first obtains written permission from the animal services manager to release the animal.
(d) Notice of such hearing shall be provided by the public health director or his designee to the owner of the animal by certified mail, return receipt requested, and to the complainant by regular mail. At such hearing all parties shall be given opportunity to present evidence on the issue of whether such animal is dangerous.
(e) Upon conclusion of a hearing to determine if an animal is a dangerous animal, the public health director may find that the animal is not dangerous, in which case it shall be promptly returned to its owner’s custody after all impound and board fees have been paid, or the public health director may find that the animal is a dangerous animal and order that the owner comply with one or more of the following requirements:
(1) Removal of 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 that the owner has alerted the agency responsible for animal services in that area to the animal services manager prior to the animal being released from the animal services facility; or
(2) Humane euthanasia of the dangerous animal; or
(3) Registration and compliance with all of the following requirements of this subsection, at the owner’s expense, before the animal is released from the animal services facility or other state-approved quarantine facility:
(A) Obtaining liability insurance coverage or showing financial responsibility in an amount of at least two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous animal causing bodily injury to a person or for damages to any person’s property resulting from the keeping of such dangerous animal. A certificate of insurance or other evidence of meeting the above requirements shall be filed with the city enforcement agent;
(B) Registering with the City of Lubbock by providing the name and address of the owner; the breed, age, sex, color and any other identifying marks of the animal; the location where the animal is to be kept if it is not at the address of the owner; and two (2) color photographs that clearly identify the dangerous animal;
(C) Having the animal sterilized;
(D) Constructing a cage, pen or enclosure for the dangerous animal that has secure sides, a secure top attached to the sides, and a secure bottom which is either attached to the sides or else the sides of the structure must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. The pen or enclosure must be completely encircled by a fence constructed in such a manner as to prevent a person or child from being able to reach the animal’s pen or enclosure;
(E) Not allowing the animal to go outside of its cage, pen or enclosure unless the animal is under physical restraint. No person shall permit a dangerous animal to be kept outside of its cage, pen or enclosure on a chain, rope or other type of leash unless a person is in physical control of the chain, rope or leash and the person is of competent strength to control the animal at all times. Dangerous animals shall not be leashed to inanimate objects, such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. All dangerous animals outside their cage, pen or enclosure must be securely fitted with a muzzle that will not cause injury to the animal nor interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent the animal from biting other animals or human beings;
(F) Posting signs giving notice of a dangerous animal in the area or on the premises in which such animal is confined. Such signs shall be conspicuously posted at both the front and rear property entrances and shall bear letters not less than two (2) inches high, stating “DANGEROUS ANIMAL ON PREMISES.” Such signs shall also display a symbol, that is understandable by small children, that warns of the presence of a dangerous animal;
(G) Providing the animal with a fluorescent yellow collar visible at fifty (50) feet in normal daylight and attaching a fluorescent orange tag provided by the animal services division to the collar that is worn at all times so that the animal can be easily identified;
(H) Implanting a microchip into the animal and registering it for life with the city’s animal services division and a recognized national registry; and
(I) Paying the appropriate dangerous animal permit fee annually.
(f) Any animal that is deemed a dangerous animal that was not previously impounded or otherwise in possession of the animal services facility or any other state-approved quarantine facility shall immediately be impounded and boarded at the owner’s expense until such time as the owner complies with all of the required conditions as set forth by the administrator’s ruling. The animal shall be held at the owner’s expense pending the outcome of any appeals. It shall be a violation of this section for the owner to refuse to turn the animal over as required, and, for the purposes of enforcement; each day for each animal in question shall be considered a separate offense.
(g) The owner shall have fifteen (15) days from the declaration of the animal as dangerous to comply with all of the required conditions as set forth by this chapter. If the owner fails to meet all of the requirements, the animal may be humanely euthanized on the sixteenth (16th) day by the city enforcement agent or a licensed veterinarian.
(h) In the event that a registered dangerous animal escapes its cage, pen or enclosure or attacks a human being or another animal, the owner of the dangerous animal shall immediately notify the animal services division. For the purposes of this chapter, “immediately” shall mean within thirty (30) minutes of the owner becoming aware of the escape or attack.
(i) In the event that a registered dangerous animal dies, the owner must present the body of the animal to the city enforcement agent or a licensed veterinarian for verification by microchip identification before disposal of its body.
(j) Prior to transferring ownership in any way or moving a registered dangerous animal, either inside or outside the city limits, the owner must obtain, in writing, permission from the animal services manager to transfer ownership or move the animal. If ownership of the animal is being transferred, the new owner will be required to comply with all provisions of this chapter before the animal can be moved from the previous owner’s custody. If the animal is being moved from the city limits, the owner must provide, in writing to the animal services manager, the destination address of where the animal is to be moved to and proof that the owner has alerted the agency responsible for animal services in that area.
(k) In the event that any owner of an animal declared to be dangerous violates any order of the public health director, the animal may be immediately seized and impounded by the city enforcement agent. In addition, the animal shall be seized immediately if the animal bites, injures, or attacks a human being or another animal. Any animal already declared to be dangerous which is impounded due to any violation of this chapter or seized for causing injury to a human being or another animal shall immediately become the property of the City of Lubbock and shall not continue to be a registered dangerous animal.
(l) If the dangerous animal makes an unprovoked attack on a person or another animal outside the animal’s enclosure and causes bodily injury to the person or other animal, the owner of the dangerous animal will be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, unless the attack causes serious bodily injury or death, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
(m) If an owner of a dangerous animal is found guilty of an offense under this section, the public health director or his designee may order the dangerous animal be humanely euthanized by the city enforcement agent or a licensed veterinarian.
(n) No animal shall be declared a dangerous animal if the threat, injury or damage caused by the animal was the result of a willful trespass upon another’s property, or the person injured was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal or its owner, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime at the time of injury.
(o) Orders of the public health director pertaining to dangerous animals may be appealed to the City of Lubbock permit and license appeal board by filing a written notice of appeal within five (5) days with the city manager’s office. During the pendency of such appeal, the order of the public health director shall be suspended, and the animal shall remain impounded at the owner’s expense at the animal services facility or other state-approved quarantine facility for observation. Decisions of the permit and license appeal board shall be final.
(p) It shall be a violation for any owner of a permitted dangerous animal to refuse, upon request by the department, to make his/her animal(s), premises, facilities, equipment, and any necessary permit(s) available for inspection for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(q) The owner of an animal that has been determined to be dangerous by another jurisdiction is prohibited from bringing such animal into the city limits.
(r) The animal services manager shall be authorized to obtain a search and seizure warrant if there is reason to believe any requirements of this section are being violated.
(1983 Code, sec. 4-32; Ordinance 2006-O0025, sec. 1, adopted 3/8/2006)
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 Lubbock 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 Lubbock 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 Lubbock or Lubbock County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Lubbock 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 Lubbock Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Lubbock 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 Lubbock area or Lubbock County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Lubbock Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Lubbock SPCA. The Lubbock SPCA may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Lubbock dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Lubbock and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Northwest Texas and the Texas Panhandle, including Abernathy, Anton, Buffalo Springs, Canyon, Carlisle, Crosbyton, Idalou, Levelland, Lorenzo, Lubbock, New Deal, Petersburg, Ransom Canyon, Ralls, Reese Center, Roosevelt, Ropesville, Shallowater, Slaton, Smyer, West Carlisle, West End Place, Wolfforth, and other communities in Lubbock County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Lubbock County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.