Two Travis County workers were paid an $11,600 settlement after a Maltese dog owned by Justice of the Peace Glenn Bass bit them. The dog had previously bitten someone in 2011, leading to a $1,600 payout. Two years later, the dog had bitten another worker for $10,000 in damages. After four victims and $23,200 in fines, the dog has been given away to friends of Mr. Bass.
What Is the One-Bite Rule in Texas?
Texas is one of 19 states that follow the “One-Bite” rule for dogs. This law states that the owner of the dog is only liable if the dog has a history of biting someone or if the breed of the dog is known to be aggressive. Exceptions to this rule are injuries that occurred due to provoking the dog or through careless behavior or criminal behavior, such as trespassing.
In the story above, a Maltese is not typically violent and is a rather small dog. A much larger dog, such as a Rottweiler or a pit bull, would probably lead to a larger fine, due to more severe injuries. Additionally, the larger dogs could be taken away after one bite.
Rules such as the “One-Bite” rule are in place to protect workers, neighbors and especially children, who are more prone to serious injuries regarding dogs. Children are often unaware that some dogs may be aggressive.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney