An Austin Woman Lost Her Life After Being Mauled by Aggressive Dogs

austin-dog-bite-lawA 36-year-old worker for EZ Messenger was found dead at a property in Northeast Travis County near Parmer Lane after being mauled by several aggressive dogs. A neighbor down the street told KXAN that other neighbors had experienced issues with the dogs for years, as they would chase children and jump at the fences. The neighbors also expressed concerns about walking their own dogs past the property where the aggressive dogs were located.

Travis County Animal Protection impounded the six dogs and 14 puppies. The case is on its way to a judge, who will decide whether to euthanize the animals.

What to Do If You are Bitten by Aggressive Dogs

If you are a victim of an aggressive dog bite or scratch, you must first seek medical attention. Then, it is important to immediately call the police. New bites are reported to the Animal Protection, and dog owners must be able to show a current rabies vaccination certificate. If that vaccination record is unavailable or the dog has not been vaccinated, it will be quarantined.

Afterwards, it may be in your best interest to contact an Austin dog bite attorney, as navigating Texas dog bite laws can be confusing. It is possible to pursue a dog owner for negligence, which in this case would be the lack of ordinary care that a reasonable and careful person would exercise in a similar circumstance. For example, allowing a stray dog into a day care or not fencing in a group of dogs. To pursue a case against dog owners on account of negligence, the dog bite victim must be able to prove:

  • The defendant owned the dog
  • The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable and careful care to prevent the dog from injuring anyone
  • The defendant failed to honor that duty
  • The failure to exercise reasonable and careful care to prevent the dog from injuring anyone directly caused an injury

What is the One Bite Rule?

Texas follows the “one bite rule,” also known as the “first bite rule” or the “one free bite rule.” This rule states that the owner of the dog will be held liable for injuries, but only if the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s aggressive tendencies, which can be difficult to prove in court. Critics of this law say the courts are basically telling people it’s okay for their dog to bite another person once without being held responsible for it.

What do you think? Is the one bite rule outdated? Should Texas legislatures repeal this law that gives aggressive dog owners a free pass?

Aaron Allison is a personal injury attorney that fights for dog bite victims in Austin, Texas.



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