Texas Sovereign Immunity Laws & Dog Bite Injuries in Austin

As a dog bite attorney in Austin, I have come to realize that dog bite injuries are far more common than most people may realize.  In fact, each year nearly 5 million people are injured in dog bite attacks in the United States.  While fatalities resulting from dog bites are fairly rare, the injuries sustained by a dog bite can be quite severe.  Injuries such as nerve damage, broken bones, and scarring and disfigurement are common among dog bite injuries.

While it’s impossible to prevent all dog bite injuries, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks associated with a dog bite and prevent serious injury.  These tips are especially important as far as children and the elderly are concerned since these two groups tend to be the most at risk of a violent dog bite attack.

Here is a list of dos and don’ts compiled by our experienced dog bite lawyer website, which may help avoid or minimize the risk of dog bite injuries:


  • Play aggressively with dogs, especially dogs that you are not familiar with.
  • Pet a dog without letting them first become accustomed to you by smelling your hand or body first.
  • Leave elderly, infants or children unattended with dogs, especially dogs that you do not know well.
  • Look a dog directly in the eyes
  • Disturb a dog while it is eating or sleeping


  • Recognize the classic signs of aggression in dogs, such as baring teeth, growling, ears up and forward, lunging and fur on its back standing straight up
  • Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, which will reduce aggressiveness
  • Properly train your dog and ensure it is socialized
  • Stand very still and be quiet if you are approaching a dog that is unfamiliar with you
  • Keep items between you and the dog, such as bags, jackets or purses
  • If attacked, roll into a ball and remain motionless

Sovereign Immunity Laws Continue to Injure Texas Residents

As Austin injury attorneys, we handle a great deal of dog bite cases. These cases tend to take an emotional toll on all involved, especially when a child is the victim of a vicious dog bite attack. The emotional toll is exacerbated when the violent dog attack was 100% avoidable but occurred because of the gross negligence of one or more persons. This is even more devastating when the grossly negligent party was a county officer, such as a Travis County Sheriff’s Deputy.

While many would think that a Travis County Deputy would be held liable for an act of gross negligence that led to a vicious dog attack against a child, Texas law does not allow city or county officials, which includes Travis County Sheriff’s Deputies, to be held accountable for acts of negligence, except in very limited cases. In fact, in most cases, city, state, and county entities and their employees are immune from lawsuits – basically, they are “untouchable” in most cases involving negligence. In most cases, where a normal citizen would be held accountable for their negligence, Travis County Sheriff’s Deputies get a free pass.

If you are attacked by a dog, be sure to immediately wash and sanitize the wounded areas and seek medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the number of hospital bills you receive, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and receive the compensation you deserve. Our San Antonio dog bite lawyers offer a FREE consultation