Dog Bites

Dog Bites

Virginia Dog Bite Law Firm

Virginia Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury in Virginia, you know the physical and emotional trauma that can result. The pain, scarring, and fear can be overwhelming, and you may be facing mounting medical bills and lost wages. During this difficult time, you need a compassionate and experienced legal team on your side. At Allen & Allen, our Virginia dog bite lawyers are here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Your injury is more than simply a case to us. We know that your injury impacts your life, your family, and how you plan for your future. We take our responsibility to you seriously, and we are dedicated to delivering the quality of service that has made the name Allen & Allen synonymous with excellence.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Understanding Virginia Dog Bite Laws

Who May You Hold Liable in a Dog Bite CaseVirginia has a “one bite” rule for dog bites. Under Virginia’s dog bite laws, a dog owner may not bear liability for their pet’s first bite if they had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous. However, if the dog has a history of aggression or the owner was negligent in controlling the animal, a dog bite victim may hold the dog owner responsible for any injuries their dog caused.

Virginia’s Laws About Dangerous and Vicious Dogs

Along with being a “one bite rule” state, Virginia also allows injured parties to hold dog owners liable if they have a dangerous or vicious dog. A “vicious dog” is a canine that has bitten, attacked, injured, or killed a person or companion animal.

Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs in Virginia are subject to certain legal responsibilities. These may include registering the dog with the local animal control authority, keeping the dog securely confined or restrained, and obtaining liability insurance coverage.

If the court determines the owner failed to properly restrain or control their dangerous dog and it attacks someone, the owner could face criminal charges. They may also face civil actions from the parties affected by the dog attack through a personal injury claim.

Dog Bite Statistics

How Common are Dog BitesOn average, approximately 4.5 million people suffer dog bites in the U.S. each year. With these statistics in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that, according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog attacks account for more than one-third of all homeowner’s insurance payouts each year. The most recent calculations cite that total percentage at over $530 million in paid claims.

Because of the high likelihood of dog bites and the climbing costs of their personal injury claims, insurance companies are more likely than ever to try to deny you the compensation you deserve. This is why the help of an experienced dog bite lawyer at Allen & Allen is essential after suffering injuries from a dog attack.

What Should I Do After an Animal Attack in Virginia?

Black dog with red collar showing their teethUnder Virginia law, you may have the right to recover monetary damages if you or your child suffered injuries in an animal attack due to the negligence or recklessness of another person. This kind of negligence includes an owner’s failure to obey leash laws, failure to adequately contain a dog in a fenced yard or in a building, and failure to take any additional precautions needed to ensure the safety of others around their pet.

Following a dog attack, you need to take certain steps to safeguard your legal rights and ensure your health and well-being:

  • Protect Yourself: Your safety is the top priority. Try to put something between yourself and the animal, such as a jacket, bag, or stick. If you can, get to a safe place such as inside a building or a car.
  • Seek Medical Treatment: Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Animal bites can lead to infections and other complications. Call emergency services if necessary.
  • Identify the Animal: If possible, try to identify the animal that attacked you. This information will be important for reporting the incident and for medical treatment.
  • Report the Incident: Contact the appropriate authorities to report the attack. This may include animal control, local law enforcement, or emergency services. They can provide assistance and take necessary actions to prevent further incidents.
  • Document the Incident: Take photos of your injuries, the scene of the attack, and any relevant details such as the location and description of the animal. This documentation can be helpful for legal purposes and insurance claims.
  • Follow Up: Follow any instructions given by medical professionals for treatment of your injuries. Stay in contact with authorities regarding the incident, and cooperate with any investigations or legal proceedings that may arise.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Depending on the circumstances of the attack, you may want to consult with a lawyer, especially if you’ve suffered significant injuries or damages. An attorney can advise you on your rights and options for seeking compensation.

Remember that every situation is different, so use your best judgment and prioritize your safety and well-being. Contact an experienced Virginia dog bite lawyer near you as soon as possible to discuss your options for seeking compensation.

What Kinds of Compensation Can Dog Bite Victims Get?

A man bears a scar on his arm, a testament to a vicious dog's bite.Dog bites can cause serious injuries. Along with deep cuts, skin tears, broken bones, and other injuries, a dog bite can easily become infected because of the bacteria and other pathogens in a dog’s mouth. You have the right to pursue compensation through a dog bite claim against the dog’s owner.

A Virginia dog bite lawyer from Allen & Allen can help you to determine if you have a valid Virginia dog bite case by:

  • Determining how the dog bite occurred
  • Exploring the rights you have to collect from the dog owner’s insurance company
  • Gathering evidence to present to collect appropriate financial compensation, such as through medical bills and other proof of damages
  • Explain how to obtain a fair settlement offer for damages

If you successfully navigate a dog bite personal injury claim with the help of an attorney, you could recover various forms of damages, which may include:

  • Medical costs, including future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The dog owner’s insurance company or their lawyer may contact you to obtain a recorded statement about your injuries and details of the attack. These statements are not in your best interest when the full extent of your injuries and your financial burden have yet to be determined. You are under no legal obligation to provide such a statement, and if you do, it could be used against you during the settlement process.

Even if the insurance company accepts your claim, they may offer you a settlement that does not fully cover your injuries and losses. Your attorney can negotiate to get a higher amount. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney can file a dog bite lawsuit for you and represent you in court.

You can help to protect yourself by contacting an attorney at Allen & Allen to discuss your situation before you speak with anyone representing the other party.

When Can I Not Hold a Dog Owner Liable for a Dog Attack

In general, dog owners can be held liable for a dog attack if their dog injures someone, but there are some circumstances where they may not be held liable. Here are some common scenarios where you may not hold a dog owner liable for your dog bite injuries:

  • Trespassing or Provocation: If the person who was attacked was trespassing on the owner’s property or was provoking the dog in some way (such as teasing, hitting, or threatening the dog), the owner may not be held liable for the attack.
  • Assumption of Risk: If the person who was attacked voluntarily assumed the risk of being bitten by the dog, they may not be able to hold the owner liable. This could include situations where the person knew the dog was dangerous or had previously shown aggressive behavior.
  • Legal Defenses: In some cases, the dog owner may have legal defenses that can absolve them of liability. These defenses could include lack of knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, or the victim’s comparative negligence (if they were partially responsible for the attack).
  • Working Dogs: If the dog was a working dog, such as a police dog or a guard dog acting in the course of its duties, the owner may have certain legal protections from liability.

It’s essential to consult a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the laws in your area. They can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation.

Why Choose Allen & Allen?

The attorneys at Allen & Allen have more than 600 years of combined experience with personal injury cases. Over our 100-year history, we have handled many complex and devastating dog bite cases with victims sustaining injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to long-term tendon, muscle, and nerve damage. Allen & Allen is a family firm built on compassionate service, and we are committed to protecting our clients throughout their recovery and will fight for their fair treatment and compensation.

Allen & Allen uses a wide range of resources to help achieve a successful outcome in your case. Some of the resources that set us apart from other firms include:

On-Staff Investigators – The investigators at Allen & Allen are former law enforcement officers with decades of specialized service and skills. They work to secure incident reports, interview law enforcement officials and first-responders, interview witnesses, and gather physical evidence.

In addition to carefully examining the location and scenario that resulted in your injury, our investigators may also be called upon to help document the severity and nature of those injuries with high-resolution photographs. These photos can be used to strengthen your case and, in some instances, increase the amount of settlement offers or compensation received.

Expert Witnesses – We often engage leading experts in their fields to assist with cases. These experts are from across the country and may include physicians, veterinarians, animal behavior specialists, safety experts, and others whose assistance is relevant. The data and testimony that these experts provide can make a significant difference in your case results.

No matter how minor or severe your dog bite injury may have been, an attorney can help you to navigate the intimidating field of insurance claims to make sure you are offered the settlement you deserve. You can discuss your unique situation with an Allen & Allen personal injury specialist at no cost by calling today.

Office Locations for Dog Bite Cases

Dog Bite Resources

Injury Types

Catastrophic Injuries

Any injury that affects the functioning of the spine, spinal cord, skull, or brain can lead to limited cognitive functioning and mobility. Permanent disabilities as a result of a severe automobile crash can have a major impact on a victim's quality of life and financial means.

Wrongful Death

The death of a family member due to a fatal accident caused by someone else's negligence can be emotionally and financially devastating. While families are left trying to cope with a tragedy, Allen & Allen can help you recover damages through reimbursement or compensation for the dramatic changes that will follow.

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For over 100 Years we have been tailoring our process to the needs of our clients. From your free initial consultation through settlement or litigation, you can count on a team of compassionate advocates that care about your settlement.

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