A dog attack is an unexpected and traumatizing experience. Although many may associate the experience of a dog bite with more aggressive breeds of dogs, an attack can come from dogs of many different shapes, sizes, and breeds.
Every year millions are bitten or attacked by a canine, with most of those bites requiring medical attention. Children are the most common victims of dog attacks, and their injuries mainly occur during ordinary interactions. A dog attack’s aftereffects can be exhausting, painful, and confusing. If you have suffered from these types of injuries, a Federal Way dog bite lawyer specializing in this area can help you pursue the best path to recovering damages. Speak to a seasoned personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
Dog Bite Laws in Washington State
According to RCW 16.08.040, the relevant Washington State law governing liability for dog bites, an owner will be strictly liable for the injuries caused by that bite. In other words, once a person has suffered an injury from a dog bite, that injury in itself is sufficient to pursue a claim for damages without needing to show that the owner acted negligently.
This liability applies whether the dog bite occurred in a public place or while the victim was legally in a private place, including the owner’s home. Additionally, an owner will be liable even if they were unaware of the dog’s previous dangerous propensity.
Potential Defenses of the Owner
Although the law as described above can be very beneficial to a plaintiff when seeking to recover damages from a dog bite, it is essential to understand that an owner may be in a position to defend a damages claim in some circumstances.
Notably, according to RCW 16.08.060 of the Washington State Laws, if the dog owner can prove that the plaintiff caused the attack they suffered, this will completely bar the plaintiff from recovering damages from the injuries suffered from the attack. This potentially nullifies damages for a dog bite, depending on the circumstances. Therefore, a dog bite recipient should seek legal advice from an experienced and competent Federal Way dog bite lawyer to navigate potential complexities in the case.
Common Injuries From Dog Bites
The types and severity of dog bites can vary greatly, with children, unfortunately, experiencing the highest rate of attacks and the most severe. Minors and children experience the highest injury rate. Also, injuries occur most commonly to the arm or hand, leg or foot, and head or neck, with the most common types of injuries being as follows:
- Dog bites
- Puncture wounds
- Contusions or abrasions
- Amputations or avulsions
- Fractures and dislocations
Damages that can be Recovered from Dog Bites
With such a diverse range of injuries that can occur in terms of both type and severity, a dog bite attorney can advise you on the most appropriate type of damages to recover. A seasoned attorney can also zealously represent you in pursuing a claim to recover all of the damages due to you as a result of a dog owner’s negligence.
In addition to the actual physical injuries resulting from a dog attack, the experience can be traumatizing and result in emotional distress. Damages that can be pursued after a dog bite attack may include:
- Cost of medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost Wages
- Emotional suffering
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Property Damage
Although rare, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages if the plaintiff can show that the owner’s behavior was particularly egregious.
How a Federal Way Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
If you have suffered from a dog bite, an attorney can help you file a claim for damages. An experienced Federal Way attorney can assist you with reviewing your case to guide you as to the best way forward. Call a Federal Way Dog Bite attorney today to help you pursue the best outcome for your case.