Anyone who owns a dog would do well to take precautions against their animal biting a person who enters their property. Many thousands of people are injured in dog bite attacks every year, and personal injury attorneys strive to help their clients receive compensation, which means in many cases a lawsuit against the defendant.
Washington Dog Bite Law
Each state has its own set of statutes that cover dog bite injury attacks. Your personal injury attorney 98059 will tell you that Washington is a strict liability state, which means that the laws weigh heavily in favor of victims. By law, anyone in Washington who owns a dog that bites and injures an individual on the property is liable for paying damages, including medical expenses, reconstructive surgeries, scarring, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is true even in some circumstances where the victim was trespassing.
In a case where a dog has bitten before, the state may deem that the animal has a propensity for violence and is dangerous. Once such a designation is applied to a dog, if another attack occurs the owner is considered to possess a scienter, or advance knowledge. The owner can then be liable not only for civil injury, but also potential criminal charges can be filed. The dog may be taken from the owner and quarantined for a time, during which testing for rabies and other communicable diseases will be made. An order may even be made that the dog be euthanized. This is because the dog is, from the perspective of the state, a serious risk to the community.
When a Dog Bite Attack Occurs
Dog attacks can be terrifying experiences. It can be difficult for the parties involved to think rationally in the minutes immediately following an attack. The first thing that needs to be done, however, is to remove the danger, and if the victim seems seriously injured call for medical help. Even if the victim does not seem to be hurt, he or she should see a doctor, for many injury symptoms may not become evident until later. If there are witnesses, make sure to obtain their contact information.
Also, the victim should get the dog owner’s homeowner insurance policy number and information. The owner of the dog should seriously consider offering to pay for any medical costs related to the dog bite. By making such an offer right away after the attack, the victim may be less inclined to pursue a lawsuit. Considering that if a claim is made against the dog’s owner, the insurance company is going to find out anyway, there really is nothing to lose in making this offer.
Seeking Legal Assistance with a Claim
A dog bite injury claim can be complicated. Therefore, if you are a dog bite victim, you may well find that it is in your best interests to work with personal injury attorneys. Call Edward K. Le, Attorneys at Law today at (425) 336-2255.