How Much Responsibility Does a Dog Owner Have When a Dog Bites?

In a recent severe dog bite case in East Texas, a child was attacked and bitten by two dogs and was transported to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for severe injuries. The attack occurred while the boy was helping a neighbor, the owner of the two dogs, with another dog belonging to the neighbor.

The State of Texas has specific laws in place to ensure that dog owners are held responsible for keeping dogs secure in order to ensure the safety of others and prevent attacks from happening. Municipalities often have even stricter ordinances, and frequently craft their own plans with regard to the disposition of dogs that are deemed dangerous. Generally, if a dog is at large, or off of its property at the time that it attacks, maims, or kills a person, then the owner of the dog is responsible. But this is not necessarily the case if the attack occurs on the property where the dog is enclosed.

Since this particular attack occurred in the dog’s enclosure, the owners may or may not be found guilty of any wrongdoing according to state and local laws. The mother of the injured child, however, has expressed her desire that the dogs be euthanized. Depending upon the local ordinances, it isn’t unlikely that the dogs could be returned to their owner following a 10-day observation to ensure that they do not carry rabies.

Though it appears that the dog owners in this case will not face prosecution, that does not mean that the victim cannot pursue compensation in a personal injury action. The family of the young boy would be well-advised to consult a personal injury attorney who specializes in animal attacks and dog bites to pursue compensation for the boy’s injuries in terms of medical costs, as well as the pain and suffering that the child has endured. Ultimately, if it is determined that the owner was negligent in such a way that caused or permitted the dog attack to happen, they will be held liable for damages.


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