Washington State Dog Bite Attorneys
Our pets deserve all our love, attention, and long, healthy lives. We refer to them as members of our family, sometimes even as our kids. Our pets are also our responsibility, and unfortunately, not all of them are as nurtured and looked after as well as they should be.
According to Washington State law, anyone who “harbors, keeps, or is negligent with a dog” may be liable for the injuries they cause. The dog owner is strictly liable for personal injuries caused by dog bites. In other words, the owner is liable for the actions of their pet, regardless of the animal’s intent or mental state.
Dog bites can lead to severe, sometimes life-altering injuries. Every year:
- Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States
- 800,000 of those bites require medical care
- Only 15-20% of dog bites involve an unknown dog or owner
What to Do After a Dog Bite
If you or a loved one is bitten, do the following:
- Get medical attention. If the dog has broken the skin, you may need stitches or antibiotics. If you don’t know the dog or their owner, or if the owner cannot provide the pet’s vaccination status, you may also need to get a rabies shot and take other preventative measures.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of your injuries, where the bite took place, and of the dog, if possible. If you can’t get a picture of the dog, write a detailed description of the animal. Also, get the contact information of the owner and anyone who witnesses the incident.
- Contact the owner. If the owner isn’t available, or if you don’t know the owner, you may need to contact the police or animal control.
How to Prove Your Dog Bite Claim
To prove your claim, you must provide the following evidence:
- You were bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, either directly or indirectly. If you were knocked over or fell during the incident, you may also be able to receive compensation for those injuries.
- If you were bitten or otherwise injured by a dog in public, either directly or indirectly, you may require an eyewitness’ testimony.
- You didn’t provoke the attack, either by taunting or abusing the dog, or by trespassing on someone else’s property. You need to have a legal right to be where the incident occurred.