Midland Dog Bite Lawyer | Midland Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Midland Dog Attack Attorney

Midland County Dog Bite Accident Attorney

Dangerous Dog Facts:

  1. An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
  2. 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;
  3. An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
  4. Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
  5. 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 Midland located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 2301 North Big Spring Street, Suite 300, Midland, TX 79705 - (432) 571-4118 for all of your needs and questions.

Responsible Dog Ownership in Midland Definitely Can Reduce Midland 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 Midland, 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 Midland Area include:

Dog Training in and around Midland, Texas:
Permian Basin Obedience Club
Midland, TX 79701
(432) 570-4335
Petsmart
4206 N Loop 250 West
Midland, TX 79707‎
(432) 520-3134
Dog Parks in Midland, Texas:
Midessa Oilpatch RV Park
4220 S County Road 1290
Odessa, TX 79765
(432) 563-2368
Midland RV Campground
2134 South Midland Drive
Midland, TX 79703‎
(432) 697-0801

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 Midland 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.

An animal attack, mauling, or serious dog bite can be devastating, especially when a child is injured. Contact a Midland dog bite lawyer today to discuss your case.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 Midland 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 Midland dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Midland 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:

  1. leash laws;
  2. dog trespass laws; or,
  3. no “free-run” laws.

Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Midland has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Midland 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 Midland or Midland County, you should contact a local Midland 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 Midland residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Midland dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call a Midland 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:

City of Midland Dangerous Dog Laws

6-10-1. - Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:

(a)"Director of animal services" means the director of animal services for the City of Midland and means the individual who is designated by the city for the enforcement of this chapter and the regulations promulgated hereunder.

(b)"Dangerous dog" means a dog that:

(1) Makes an attack on a person that causes serious bodily injury and occurs in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept;

(2) Makes an attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept;

(3) Commits an act in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that act causes a person to reasonably believe that the dog may attack and cause bodily injury or harm to that person; or

(4) Makes an unprovoked attack on another dog which injures or harms the dog.

(c) "Dog" means a domesticated animal that is a member of the canine family.

(d) "Secure enclosure" means a fenced area or structure that is:

(1) Locked;

(2) Capable of preventing the entry of the general public, including children;

(3) Capable of preventing the escape or release of a dog; and

(4) In conformance with the requirements for enclosures established by the City of Midland Animal Services Division.

(e) "Owner" means a person who owns, possesses, harbors, keeps or has custody or control of the dog.

(f) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

(g) "Bodily injury" means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

(h) "Reasonable belief" means a belief that would be held by an ordinary and prudent person in the same circumstances.

(i) "Public place" means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, parks, public and private schools.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004)

6-10-2. - Determination that dog is dangerous.

(a) If, a person reports an incident involving an alleged dangerous dog to the director of animal services, the director of animal services may investigate the incident. If after conducting his investigation, the director of animal services determines that the dog is a dangerous dog, he shall file a sworn petition in the City of Midland municipal court.

(b) Based on his own observations and investigation, the director of animal services may file a complaint with the City of Midland municipal court without first receiving a report of an incident from an individual. The director of animal services shall file a sworn petition in municipal court if he has probable cause to believe that the dog in question is a dangerous dog.

(c) The sworn, written petition filed with the City of Midland municipal court may contain the following information:

(1) Name, address and telephone number of complainant;

(2) Date, time and location of the incident involving the dog;

(3) Description of the dog;

(4) Name, address and telephone number of the dog's owner, if known;

(5) A statement regarding the dog which is believed to be a dangerous dog, stating the facts upon which such complaint is based;

(6) a statement that the dog has exhibited vicious propensities in past conduct, if known;

(7) Other facts or circumstances of the incident.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004)

6-10-3. - Possession of the dog prior to the hearing.

If after reviewing the petition, the municipal court finds that there is probable cause to believe that the dog in question is a dangerous dog, the court shall order the animal services division to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure pending the hearing. The animal services division shall seize the dog and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure humane conditions. If the animal services division has in its possession the alleged dangerous dog, the animal services division shall keep the dog prior to the hearing unless the court orders that the dog should be released to its owner pending the hearing.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004)

6-10-4. - Hearing.

(a) The court on receiving a sworn petition from the director of animal services, or his designee, shall set a time for a hearing to determine whether the dog is a dangerous dog. The hearing must be commenced not later than the 5th business day after the petition is filed with the court;

(b) The court shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to:

(1) The owner of the dog or the person from whom the dog was seized; and

(2) The director of animal services.

(c) Any interested party, including the city attorney's office, is entitled to present evidence at the hearing.

(d) The director of animal services shall have the burden of proof at the hearing. The standard of proof required is "by a preponderance of the evidence".

(e) The municipal court judge shall make his or her decision in writing within 72 hours after the conclusion of the hearing.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004)

6-10-5. - Decision of the court.

(a) If the court finds that the dog is not a dangerous dog, the court shall order the animal services division to return the dog to the owner, if the dog is in the city's possession.

(b) If the court finds that the dog is a dangerous dog under 6-10-1(b)(1) or (2), the court shall order the following:

(1) The court shall order the animal services division to seize and humanely destroy the dangerous dog; or

(2) The court shall order the director of animal services to immediately seize the dangerous dog unless the dangerous dog is already in the animal services division's possession, and order the owner of the dangerous dog to do the following and provide proof to the court, not later than the seventh day after the court has decided that the owner is the owner of a dangerous dog:

a. Register the dangerous dog with the animal services division and pay a $50.00 yearly registration fee;

b. Present proof of the secure enclosure in which the dangerous dog will be kept;

c. Present proof of a current animal license from the city for the dangerous dog;

d. Present proof of current rabies vaccination for the dangerous dog;

e. Obtain liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least $1,000,000.00 to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person; the insurance shall name the City of Midland as an additional insured;

f. Present proof that the owner has paid all costs or fees assessed by the City of Midland related to the seizure and impoundment of the dangerous dog, this shall include a $50.00 per day dangerous dog boarding/quarantine fee; and

g. The court shall order the animal services division to humanely destroy the dangerous dog if the owner has not complied with subsections a. through f. above not later than the seventh calendar day after the date on which the dog was declared to be a dangerous dog.

(c) If the court finds that the dog is a dangerous dog under 6-10-1(b)(3) or (4), the court shall order the following:

The court shall order the director of animal services to immediately seize the dangerous dog unless the dangerous dog is already in the animal services division's possession, and order the owner of the dangerous dog to do the following and provide proof to the court, not later than the seventh day after the court has decided that the owner is the owner of a dangerous dog:

(1) Register the dangerous dog with the Animal Services Division, pay a $50.00 yearly registration fee, and present proof of liability insurance as required by subsection (c)(5) of this section annually;

(2) Present proof of the secure enclosure in which the dangerous dog will be kept;

(3) Present proof of a current animal license from the city for the dangerous dog;

(4) Present proof of current rabies vaccination for the dangerous dog;

(5) Obtain and maintain liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least $1,000,000.00 to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person, the insurance shall name the City of Midland as an additional insured;

(6) Present proof that the owner has paid all costs or fees assessed by the City of Midland related to the seizure and impoundment of the dangerous dog, this shall include a $50.00 per day dangerous dog boarding/quarantine fee; and

(7) The court shall order the animal services division to humanely destroy the dangerous dog if the owner has not complied with subsections (1) through (6) above not later than the seventh calendar day after the date on which the dog was declared to be a dangerous dog.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004; Ord. No. 8921, § 1, 8-23-2011)

6-10-6. - Defense.

(a) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this chapter if the person is a veterinarian, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter, or a person employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state to deal with stray animals and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this chapter that the person is an employee of the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or a law enforcement agency that trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this chapter that the person is an employee of a guard dog company under Chapter 1702, Texas Occupations Code, and has ownership, custody or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this chapter if the dog was defending a person from an assault or a person's property from damage or theft by the injured person.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004; Ord. No. 8921, § 2, 8-23-2011)

6-10-7. - Effect of this chapter on other law.

This chapter does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, ordinance, or other legal requirement of the City of Midland or the State of Texas.

(Ord. No. 8273, § 1, 11-9-2004)

6-10-8. - Attack by dangerous dog.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dangerous dog and the dog does one of the following:

(1) Makes an attack on a person that causes serious bodily injury and occurs in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept;

(2) Makes an attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept;

(3) Commits an act in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that act causes a person to reasonably believe that the dog may attack and cause bodily injury or harm to that person; or

(4) Makes an unprovoked attack on another dog which injures or harms the dog in a place other than a secure enclosure in which the dog was being kept.

(Ord. No. 8922, § 1, 8-23-2011)

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 Midland 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 Midland 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 Midland or Midland County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Midland dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.

What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?

  1. 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.
  2. Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
  3. Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
  4. Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
  5. Report the bite to the Midland Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below). 
  6. Seek the help of a Midland 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 Midland area or Midland County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Midland Planning and Development Services Department office at:

Midland County Animal Services
1200 N Fairgrounds Road
Midland, TX 79706
(432) 685-7420

General inquiries:

For general information regarding Environmental Health programs and activities, please visit the Midland Planning and Development Services Department website.

If you would like to report a dog bite, in Midland, Midland County, or any of the surrounding communities listed below, please visit
  Midland Animal Services website for reporting rabies.

If you live within Midland city limits call: (432) 685-7420
 

Animal Training:

A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Midland SPCA.  The Midland SPCA may be reached at:

SPCA
2701 S. County Road, 1206
Midland, TX 79706
(432) 684-7582


If you would like to report an instance of animal cruelty to the Midland  click here, and follow the recommended procedures.

Contact a Midland Dog Bite Lawyer if you have been attacked or bitten by a dog.

Contact one of the experienced Midland dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.

Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Midland and Surrounding Cities

Serving clients throughout Western Texas, including Ackerly, Andrews, Big Spring, Bounce, Broome, Coahoma, Crane, Forsan, Garden City, Gardendale, Goldsmith, Goldsmith,  Penwell, Greenwood, Klondike, Knott, Midkiff, Midland, Midland Rural, Monahans, Odessa, Patricia, Pleasant Farms, Spraberry, Stanton, Sterling City, St. Lawrence, Tarzan, Lenorah, Thorntonville, Warfield, Westbrook, West Odessa and other communities in Martin County and Midland County.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Midland County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.