Brownsville Dog Bite Lawyer | Brownsville Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Brownsville Dog Attack Attorney
Cameron 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 Brownsville located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 601 West Sesame Drive, Harlingen, Texas 78550, (956) 444-3212 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Brownsville Definitely Can Reduce Brownsville 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 Brownsville, 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 Brownsville Area include:
Brownsville Dog Trainer
1027 North Vermillion Avenue
Brownsville, TX 78521
585 Morrison Road
Brownsville, TX 78520
Catherine B. Stillman Dog Park
411 Farm to Market 511
Brownsville, Texas 78521
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 Brownsville 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 Brownsville 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 Brownsville dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Brownsville 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, Brownsville has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Brownsville 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 Brownsville or Cameron County, you should contact a local Brownsville 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 Brownsville residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Brownsville dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Brownsville 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
ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL
Sec. 10-1. - 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 all domesticated and undomesticated living creatures, except man.
Cat means a domestic feline of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Dog means a domestic canine of either sex, including one neutered or sterilized.
Dog kennel means:
(1) Any building, lot, yard, shed or other place on or in which four or more dogs more than eight weeks old are kept; or
(2) Any building, lot, yard, shed, or other place on or in which one or more dogs is housed or boarded for pay.
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 three days.
Owner means any person who has right of property in an animal or who harbors an animal or allows an animal to remain about his premises for a period of three days.
Rabies vaccination means the vaccination of a dog or cat or other domestic animal with an antirabies vaccine approved by the state department of health and administered by a veterinarian licensed by the state.
Running at large pertains to an animal not secured, controlled or leashed to the owner, owner's property, or owner's authorized representative. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the owner of any animal from escorting such animal properly leashed to premises other than those of such owner for purposes of exercise, visitation, companionship, participation in shows and exhibitions, or treatment and care by a veterinarian or kennel for hire to the public; from transporting such animal in an automobile or other vehicle; or from training or exhibiting such animal without leash on private premises or public shows and exhibition premises, under conditions where such unleashed animals are otherwise restrained from leaving such premises. Nothing contained in this definition is to be construed as constituting the authorization of the invasion of privacy rights of any person.
Stray animal means any animal for which there is no identifiable owner or harborer.
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 includes all species of animals which exist in a natural unconfined state and are usually not domesticated.
(Code 1971, § 7-1; Ord. No. 95-971-D, § 1, 11-28-1995)
Cross reference— Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 10-2. - Penalty for violation; enforcement.
(a) Any person who shall violate any section of this chapter or who shall fail to comply with this chapter or with any of the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine as provided by the municipal court judge; provided, however, that such fine shall not exceed the maximum fine allowed by both state law and the Charter for each offense.
(b) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the police department and the animal control officers are authorized to issue a citation to any owner, lessee, or occupant of any premises within the city limits for a violation of this chapter. The citation issued shall state the alleged violation, the date of the violation, and the section of this Code violated.
(Code 1971, §§ 7-13.1, 7-20, 7-56; Ord. No. 92-1249, § 2, 4-14-1992)
Sec. 10-3. - Interfering with enforcement.
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, molest, hinder or prevent the animal control officer in the discharge of his duties as prescribed in this chapter or to violate any of the sections of this chapter.
(Code 1971, § 7-1.1)
Sec. 10-4. - Vicious animals.
(a) No person shall own or harbor a vicious animal within the city. Such an animal shall be impounded as a public nuisance.
(b) If impoundment of a vicious animal running at large cannot be made with safety to the animal control officer or other persons, the animal may be destroyed without notice to the owner or harborer.
(Code 1971, § 7-8)
Sec. 10-5. - Disposition of money.
(a) All money generated, received or collected by virtue of the provisions of this chapter are to be set aside and placed in the general fund, except as provided in this section.
(b) All money received by the animal control division through donations, gifts, bequests or devises shall be payable to the city and deposited into a dedicated animal care fund to be used to promote the safe and humane treatment of animals in
the city limits, to pay for any reasonable expenses incurred promoting the proper care, treatment and sterilization of animals and education of the public regarding the same. The expenditure of funds from the dedicated animal care fund shall be subject to all state and local appropriation and purchasing requirements. Any funds donated for a specific purpose shall be used only consistent with the donor's specific request.
(c) All money generated, received or collected in response to the animal control division's special fundraising projects shall be payable to the city controller and deposited in a dedicated animal control special projects fund to be used in a manner consistent with the announced purpose of any special fundraising event or project. The expenditure of funds from the dedicated animal care fund shall be subject to all state and local appropriation and purchasing requirements.
(d) The city public health director shall provide the city commission a report relating to the revenue and expenditures of the dedicated animal care fund and the dedicated animal control special projects fund, upon request.
Secs. 10-6—10-30. - 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 Brownsville 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 Brownsville 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 Brownsville or Cameron County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Brownsville 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 Brownsville Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of a Brownsville 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 Brownsville area or Cameron County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Brownsville Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Brownsville SPCA. The Brownsville SPCA may be reached at:
Contact one of the experienced Brownsville dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Brownsville and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southern Texas, including Bayview, Brownsville, Cameron Park, Chula Vista – Orason, Combes, Del Mar Heights, Donna, Edinburg, Indian Lake, Harlingen, Laguna Vista, La Feria, Laguna Heights, Laureles, Los Fresnos, Los Indios, McAllen, Mercedes, Mission, Olmito, Palm Valley, Port Isabel, Primera, Rancho Viejo, Rangerville, Reid Hope King, Rio Hondo, San Benito, San Pedro, Santa Rosa, South Padre Island, South Point, Villa Pancho, Weslaco, Yznaga and other communities in Cameron County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Cameron County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.