Edmonds Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites can result in serious, long-lasting physical and mental injuries. Dog bites are particularly common in children, and kids can be even more affected by an animal attack than an adult. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, contact an experienced Edmonds dog bite lawyer today for a free consultation.
Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bites include:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations, cuts, and scrapes
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries, scaring, or disfigurement
- Broken bones
Infections are also a common secondary injury when it comes to dog bites. The recovery for this type of injury can be very long and painful. It may even require plastic surgery in some serious circumstances.
Thankfully, Washington has what is known as “strict liability” for dog bites. This legal concept makes it easier for those who have been through an animal attack to get the money damages they deserve to address their losses—and an Edmonds dog bite lawyer can help.
What is Strict Liability?
Strict liability imposes legal responsibility on the dog owner regardless of whether the dog was considered dangerous before the bite occurred. In other states, the dog bite victim has to show that the dog was vicious to win their legal claim. However, Washington’s law is much more favorable to dog bite victims and does not have this requirement. A dog owner can be liable even when the dog has never bitten anyone before, and the dog’s owner has no reason to believe that the dog will bite someone.
Roughly half of all states follow strict liability rules for dog bite injuries. The other states often use what is referred to as the “one bite rule,” which essentially means that the dog can bite one person before the owner knows that it is dangerous.
Proving Your Dog Bite Claim
Instead of using the one-bite rule, a dog bite victim in Washington has to show just two things to make a dog owner responsible for injuries and other related damages:
- The dog bite victim was either in a public place or was lawfully permitted to be on the private property and
- The victim did not provoke the dog.
If a dog is provoked, such as by teasing or being violent toward the dog, then recovering for your damages in the event of a dog bite likely will not be possible. These requirements also mean that Washington dog bite laws do not protect trespassers. Dogs are often used as a means of protection for peaople and property. The requirement that the dog bite victim must be legally on a property allows dog owners to still keep their dogs for this purpose.
These very specific requirements apply only to dog bite injuries. If you are injured by a dog in another way, such as by it knocking you down or damaging your property, then you will use more traditional negligence laws.
Regardless of how the dog injured you, it is a good idea to speak with an Edmonds dog bite lawyer to determine your potential legal options.
Liability for Vicious Dogs and Wild Animals
When a dog owner knows that their dog is vicious or dangerous, it is a crime to allow it to run at large in Washington. If a vicious dog is not restrained and bites someone, the dog’s caretaker or owner may be liable for that as well. The liability in that case only extends to whoever was supposed to restrain the dog, which may or may not be the dog’s owner.
Washington does not have a separate law for those who own wild animals. Instead, the same basic rules that apply to vicious dogs also apply to wild animals.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
You should always seek medical treatment immediately after a dog bite injury. Dog bites are especially prone to infection but seeing a doctor to have the wound cleaned and sealed will significantly decrease the potential for contamination. A doctor will also keep a good record of your dog bite that you can use in your lawsuit as well.
In some cases, you may need to have a rabies vaccination after a dog bite. Although rabies is extremely rare, it can be fatal if it is not treated right away. Do not risk it! Get medical attention as soon as possible after the bite.
You should also take the following actions after a dog bite:
- Get as much information about the dog as you Many dog bite incidents involve dogs that are running loose, which means that finding the dog’s owner can be a challenge. If possible, check the dog’s tag or ask nearby witnesses if they know who the dog belongs to. If nothing else, ensure that you can recall what kind of dog it was or can provide a general description of the dog.
- Contact the police or animal control. If you cannot locate the dog’s owner, it may be a good idea to contact the police or animal control. They have resources that will help you find the owner, and the police can make a report of the incident as well. If the dog is running freely and vicious, calling the police will help you press charges too.
- Take pictures and talk to witnesses. It is a good idea to take photos of your injuries and the location where the dog bite occurred. If there was anyone around the area, ask for their name and contact information too. Having someone witness the attack can be very helpful to your case. You may not have time to talk to these people right away, but the police and an experienced Edmonds dog bite lawyer at Certa Law can do some additional investigation to follow up with these individuals later.
- Call an Edmonds dog bite lawyer. Having an attorney will help you deal with your medical bills, time away from work, and the long-term effects of a dog bite incident. The earlier you involve a lawyer, the more likely it is that you will get the full value of your losses after a dog bite.
Certa Law can help you with your Edmonds dog bite claim. Get the process started today by setting up an appointment with our team. We will evaluate your case and help you determine what your next steps should be. Contact Certa Law today to arrange your free confidential consultation, and let our experience work for you.