Are Dog Bites a Criminal Offense?

You may already know that owners can be held responsible for negligence in dog bite cases. But what about incidents where the owner’s negligence was so substantial it was actually criminal? At MR Civil Justice, we represent victims who have suffered as a result of dog attacks. Read our blog to learn more about criminal liability for dog bite claims, and contact our Dallas personal injury lawyers if you or someone you know was recently injured by a dog.

Criminal Liability for Texas Dog Bite Cases

Although there is no specific statute in Texas regarding civil liability in relation to dog bites, the state’s “strict liability” rule does set a precedent in most cases. This applies to incidents where dog-owners knew their pet was prone to aggressive or dangerous behavior and did nothing to prevent others from suffering harm as a result. Oftentimes, this rule will be invoked in injury cases where dogs with a prior record of dangerous behavior attacked people.

However, in some dog bite cases, owners may face criminal liability in addition to civil liability penalties. Under Texas Health and Safety Code section 822.005, a dog-owner can be charged with a felony, if their dog’s behavior was vicious enough to result in severe injury.

The Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates that dog-owners can face felony charges if:

  • The owner demonstrates “criminal negligence” in failing to secure the dog in the event of an attack outside of their property.
  • The dog has previously been deemed a “dangerous dog” by the court, and the owner fails to stop an unprovoked attack outside of a secure location.
  • Serious bodily injury or death results from the dog’s actions.

What to Do in the Case of a Felony Dog Bite

Owners facing criminal charges following a dog attack deserve to be held to the highest level of liability. In some cases, it may be possible to sue for catastrophic injury following a dog attack. For victims who died as a result of injuries sustained in a dog attack, it is possible for family members to sue owners for wrongful death as well. While civil laws in Texas may fail to protect dog bite victims under the current statutes, felony laws demand that dog-owners be held responsible. Even in cases that do not result in criminal charges, however, dog attacks can lead to years of expensive medical bills and therapy, which is why it’s imperative to hire an experienced attorney to argue for maximum compensation.

Call MR Civil Justice Today

At MR Civil Justice, our compassionate and experienced attorneys believe that criminal charges should be open to civil liability action as well. Negligence is never acceptable, whether the court deems it criminal or not, so if you have been injured by a dog bite, car accident, or negligent security, we are here for you. Our firm offers free case evaluations and is available 24/7 for your convenience. At MR Civil Justice, we believe that personal injury should never keep you from living your life. Contact our firm today and start fighting for the settlement you deserve.

Call (214) 307-8387 now for justice, or contact us online for more information.

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