When dogs attack, severe injuries often follow. Dog bites can mutilate and even kill the victim in some cases, and with 4.5 million people bitten each year, it is no small issue. Some injuries that result from dog attacks demand reconstructive surgery, and other incidents require multiple surgeries over time. While doctors today are skilled at what they do, their services aren’t cheap, and a dog attack can cause medical costs to add up quickly.
At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys are ready to serve anyone harmed in any way by a dog attack. By helping you properly file a dog bite injury claim, we can prove that you or your loved one were not liable for the attack. We will also strive to help you receive full financial compensation for your medical bills, pain, and losses.
In the past, Washington State has followed the “One Bite Rule.” That meant that a dog could bite someone once without their owner facing civil liability. But because it was difficult to know whether any bite was that dog’s first, the state amended the law, making it so that the owner does not need prior knowledge of their dog’s propensity to bite before facing liability.
This statute (See RCW 16.08.040) states:
“The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
For those who have experienced a Lake Stevens dog attack and suffered personal injury as a result,the dog owner may be completely liable for the injury — even if the owner didn’t know the dog was aggressive. It also means that if someone knows their dog is aggressive and the attack still manages to happen, liability is expanded. In addition:
Dog bites can result in painful and severe injuries. Victims of dog attacks have been known to suffer disfigurement, major scarring, disability, and infection. In some cases, even if the victim is treated right away, they end up with permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. Plastic surgery, infection treatment, physical therapy, and more are often required.
Some injuries that tend to result from dog attacks are:
When it comes to dog bite victims, children are the most common, especially between the ages of five and nine. This is because many children at that age do not understand how to properly play with and act around dogs. As a result, dog bites and attacks are the fifth leading reason children are taken to the emergency room. For children younger than five, dog bites can be even more severe, since the injury is usually inflicted on the head or neck.
At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we are experienced in dealing with dog bite cases and representing dog attack victims. If you or a family member have been seriously injured due to a dog attack, getting an expert personal injury attorney on your side is the first step to compensation. We can help you recover your medical costs, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
Every situation is different, so there are no guidelines as to what financial compensation a Lake Stevens dog bite victim can obtain. However, there are several compensation types that we generally expect in cases involving a dog attack:
Unfortunately, many dog attacks come from dogs owned by friends or family members of the victim. You may be concerned about compensation because you don’t want your family or good friend to be paying out of pocket for your financial compensation.
However, even if the dog owner is technically liable for the attack, damages are usually covered by homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, motorhome owner’s insurance, and landlord’s insurance. Stores and offices are covered by commercial general liability insurance, and even motor vehicle insurance if the dog attack involved a vehicle in any way.
If you are seeking monetary compensation, but you feel bad about your family or friends being held responsible, you can rest assured — the above insurance policies will cover it. Your loved ones should not have to pay out of pocket for your damages, allowing you to pursue compensation to recover properly and peacefully.
For more information on how our personal injury attorneys can serve dog bite victims, contact our office today. We will not hesitate to answer any questions you have, even offering a free initial consultation. Our team of experienced lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, make the personal injury claims, present evidence, and allow you to rest easy and recover. We will manage your claim to the end, and we will handle payments and documentation so you can focus on treatment and recovery. Contact us today by filling out our contact request form or by calling us at 888-386-0728.