When a person is bitten or injured by a dog in Washington state there are a number of remedies to get you or your child compensation and care for the injuries. These claims are typically against the dogs owner and in many cases may be covered by the dog owners home owners insurance.
NO! IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, IT'S THE DOG OWNERS
Washington state law is clear under RCW 16.08.040 and outlines the fact that dog owners are liable for their dogs actions, regardless of weather or not the owner was aware their dog was violent. Additionally, it does not matter if you were at the home of the dog owner or their dog is normally peaceful. It's their fault, plain and simple.
Washington state law: RCW 16.08.040 Dog bites — Liability.
The dog-owner that bites a person while they are in a public place or lawfully in a private place (including the dog owners property), is liable for damages as may be suffered by the person who was bitten. This liability is lawful regardless of the former actions of the dog or the dog owner's knowledge of such actions.(This law does not apply to police dogs or K-9 units).
How the Law Works:
Washington state law sets out a standard that is referred to as "strict liability." This standard clearly sets a high standard and basically assumes that is a person is injured by a dog that the injuries are the fault of the dog, and therefore the dog owners. Excuses by the dog owner such as "the dog doesn't like to be petted" or "it has never happened before , you must have done something wrong" are not a legally valid defense.
Dogs can cause serious injuries, especially to children:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken or fractured bones
- Scarring on the face or body
- Infections requiring medical treatment
- wage loss (especially if this happened on the job)
Litigation against a neighbor, family or friend
In many situations victims of dog bites or their parents do not wish to file a lawsuit against a family member, neighbor or friend. We understand that this can be awkward. The dog owner's homeowners insurance policy generally covers this type of incident. We are generally able to settle the case with the dog owners homeowners insurance company without ever having to go to court or accessing the personal assets of the dog owner. We are able to have one of our experienced attorneys talk to the dog owner to explain to them we are simply assisting our client in accessing their homeowners insurance policy to pay for the damage their dog caused. In many cases we can do this without damaging your relationship with the dog owner. You owe it to yourself or your child to have your case reviewed by an experience dog bite attorney.
What to do after a dog bite:
- Take a photograph of your injury AND the dog
- Confirm who owns the dog
- Obtain drivers license information from the dog owner including their name, address and phone number
- If you are unable to determine who owns the dog then call animal control for help
- Contact our office for further assistance
Dog bite scar mitigation:
John T Law, PLLC works with specialized doctors who perform and treat scars. These procedures can reduce or even eliminate scarring that you are your child has suffered because of a dog bite.
Dog bite on the job:
There is an increasing number of dog bite incidents that occur when a person attempts to deliver your mail or package and is instead the receiver of an attack to the hand which can lead to the amputation of fingers or entire hands.
Delivery drivers for Amazon and other online stores have reported more and more aggressive dogs that are at the home of where they must deliver mail. These incidents often end in a hospital visit, stitches and even amputation which costs lots of money. This could all be covered in a personal injury lawsuit.