Richmond Dog Bite Lawyers

Richmond Dog Bite Lawyers

Richmond Dog Bite Lawyers

Dogs are known as human’s best friends, and you can find plenty of dogs with their human companions in Richmond’s dog-friendly neighborhoods such as Carytown, Maymont Park, and the Fan District. Dogs provide companionship and even protection. But when they attack and injure someone, the victim shouldn’t be left dealing with the cost of their own medical bills and related expenses.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a dog bite or attack in Richmond, you don’t have to face the legal complexities and challenges alone.

The dedicated Richmond dog bite attorneys at Allen & Allen can seek justice, recover compensation, and find the closure you deserve.

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Richmond Dog Bite Guide

Why Choose Allen & Allen for Your Dog Bite Claim?

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Allen & Allen was established in Virginia in 1910 by George E. Allen with a vision to provide accident victims with compassionate and trustworthy legal representation. Today, over a century later, our personal injury law firm remains guided by those founding principles.  

At Allen & Allen, we understand the hardships injuries, like dog bites, can cause victims and their families, and the frustrations that can arise when seeking compensation from insurance companies. Let our personal injury lawyers handle this challenge for you and make your fight our fight. 

Through the years, our lawyers have secured hundreds of millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients in their time of need. We can help you, too. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a dog bite attack in Richmond, contact us today and let us explain how we can help. 

How Much Does a Dog Bite Lawyer Cost in Richmond?

At Allen & Allen, we understand the serious nature of dog bites. These injuries can be devastating and result in mounting medical bills. You don’t need the added stress of paying for a lawyer. That’s why we offer free initial case consultations. If you hire us to handle your dog bite claim, you pay no upfront costs. Our fee comes out of the compensation we recover for you. 

As personal injury lawyers, we understand all the compensation accident victims may be entitled to. We work hard to understand all the ways your accident affects you and fight the insurance companies to ensure you get the financial recovery you deserve. Studies show that accident victims who hire lawyers to handle their case recover significantly more compensation than victims who handle claims on their own. 

Contact our Richmond dog bite lawyers today and let us fight for the compensation you deserve. 

How Common are Dog Bites?

How Common are Dog Bites

Dogs hold the title of the most beloved pets in the United States, finding their homes in more than 65 million households across the nation. These faithful companions often serve as protective members of the family. However, when a dog displays aggressive behavior towards someone, it can result in serious injuries.

Annually, the U.S. sees around 45 million dog attacks, with nearly 20% of dog bite injuries becoming infected. Non-fatal dog bite injuries lead to approximately 1,000 people seeking emergency medical treatment, while another 12,500 require hospitalization. Tragically, 20 to 50 of these incidents result in fatalities.

A surprising statistic from the U.S. Postal Service reveals that last year, dogs attacked over 5,300 postal workers during their mail deliveries, though this number decreased by 100 reports compared to the previous year.

Dog bite injuries can lead to exorbitant medical expenses, with the average cost of treating a hospitalized individual for such injuries reaching $18,200, approximately 50% higher than the cost of an average injury-related hospitalization.

Collectively, dog bite victims incur approximately $2 billion in financial losses each year. Homeowners’ insurance carriers for dog owners pay out $882 million in liability claims to compensate dog bite victims.

What are Some Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Common dog bite injuries include:

What are Some Dog Bite Injuries

  • Puncture wounds
  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Contusions or bruises
  • Tissue and muscle damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Fractured bones
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional trauma/PTSD
  • Rabies
  • Death

The severity of dog bite injuries can depend on factors such as the dog’s size, breed, and temperament, as well as the location and depth of the bite. Clean and promptly treat any dog bite, even seemingly minor ones, to prevent infection, and seek professional medical attention.

What are the Six Levels of Dog Bites?

The “six levels of dog bites” is a classification system known as the Dunbar Bite Scale, created by Dr. Ian Dunbar, a renowned dog behaviorist and trainer.

The Dunbar Bite Scale is not a legal or universally accepted classification but rather a tool for assessing and communicating the severity of dog bites. Here are the six levels of dog bites according to the Dunbar Bite Scale:

Level 1

The dog displays aggressive behavior without making physical contact. This could include growling, snarling, or snapping without actually biting. The dog is warning that it is uncomfortable or fearful.

Level 2

The dog makes physical contact but does not break the skin. This can involve mouthing or nipping without causing injury. The dog may want to communicate discomfort or establish boundaries.

Level 3

The dog causes minor injury with visible tooth contact, breaking the skin but causing minimal harm. These bites may leave small puncture wounds or scratches, but the damage is relatively minor.

Level 4

The dog inflicts more severe injuries, causing puncture wounds with deeper tissue damage. These bites may result in moderate blood loss and may require medical attention.

Level 5

The dog inflicts multiple severe bites in a single incident, often with the intent to harm or kill. These attacks can lead to extensive injuries and significant blood loss.

Level 6

The dog kills the victim. This is the most severe level of dog aggression.

What Laws in Virginia Affect My Richmond Dog Bite Claim?

Virginia follows a modified version of the one-bite rule when it comes to dog bite laws. This means that dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog if they knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. In other words, if the dog has a history of aggression or other dangerous behavior, the owner is liable for any injuries caused by the dog, even if the owner was not negligent in any way.

If the dog does not have a history of aggression, the owner may still be liable for injuries caused by the dog if they were negligent in some way. For example, if the owner leaves the dog unattended in a public place or allows the dog to run loose without a leash, you can hold them negligent and liable for any injuries the dog caused.

In addition to the one-bite rule, Virginia law also imposes certain duties on dog owners. For example, all dog owners in Virginia must keep their dogs vaccinated against rabies. Dog owners must keep their dogs under control in public places. This means that owners must keep dogs on a leash or securely confined in a fenced-in area.

The City of Richmond also prohibits free roaming of dogs. All dogs must be kept under restraint or confined in an enclosure. Owners must walk their dogs on a leash when off their own property as well as when walking their dogs in a city park.  

Dog bites that occur in the City of Richmond should be reported to Richmond Animal Care & Control (RACC) at (804) 646-5573 or the City of Richmond Health Department at (804) 205-3912.

What Other Factors Affect Liability in a Dog Attack?

Dog owners may argue that the injured person is responsible for the dog attack by claiming they:

  • Provoked the attack by taunting, kicking, or throwing things at the dog
  • Trespassed onto private property without the owner’s expressed or implied consent

If you are even partially to blame for the cause of the dog bite attack, you cannot recover compensation for your injuries. Consult our lawyers to protect yourself against accusations that may prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve. 

Who May You Hold Liable in a Dog Bite Case?

Who May You Hold Liable in a Dog Bite Case

Liability in a dog attack can vary depending on the circumstances, but you can hold several parties held liable for a dog attack:

Dog Owner

The dog’s owner is typically the primary party responsible for a dog attack. In most cases, the owner is legally responsible for their dog’s behavior. This includes situations where the owner knew or should have known that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior or had the propensity to bite. The owner can be held liable for injuries and damages caused by their dog.

Property Owner or Landlord

If a dog attack occurs on property owned or managed by someone other than the dog owner, you can hold that property owner or landlord held liable if they were aware of the dangerous dog on their property and failed to take appropriate measures to protect visitors or tenants.

Caretaker or Custodian

In cases where someone other than the owner is responsible for the care and control of the dog, you can hold that person or entity liable for a dog attack if their negligence or misconduct led to the attack.

Parents of a Minor Owner 

If the owner of the dog is a minor (under the age of 18), you can hold their parents or legal guardians responsible for the actions of the minor’s dog. Virginia has parental responsibility laws that can hold parents liable for their child’s actions.

Dog Walker or Sitter

You can hold a professional dog walker or pet sitter liable for a dog attack if their negligence or mishandling of the dog leads to an attack. This is more common in cases where a dog owner hires a professional to care for their dog.

What Compensation is Available to a Dog Bite Victim?

Dog bite victims may recover damages, depending on the circumstances of the attack and the severity of their injuries.

Common types of damages available to dog bite victims and their family members include:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Home or vehicle accommodations for a disability
  • Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers
  • Home services
  • Loss of consortium or companionship to a spouse or domestic partner
  • Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a fatal dog bite attack

How Can a Lawyer from Allen & Allen Help with My Dog Bite Claim?

A lawyer can be instrumental in helping you with a dog bite claim by providing legal representation and guidance to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Here are several ways a dog bite lawyer from Allen & Allen can assist with a dog bite claim:

  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite incident to determine who is liable for your injuries.
  • Collect and preserve evidence to support your claim, including medical records, photographs of your injuries, witness statements, and any relevant documents such as police reports.
  • Assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future costs related to your injuries.
  • Handle communication with the dog owner’s or property owner’s insurance company and negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses.
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court if negotiations with the insurance company fail.
  • Protect your rights throughout the legal process, including protecting you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or the opposing party.

Contact a Richmond Dog Bite Lawyer at Allen & Allen Today

Paul Hux

Paul Hux, Richmond Dog Bite Attorney

Dog bites can result in severe physical and emotional trauma, as well as costly medical bills and lost earnings. The Richmond dog bite attorneys at Allen & Allen understand the pain and suffering you’re going through, and we’re committed to advocating for your rights. 

With a proven track record of successfully representing dog bite victims in Richmond and the surrounding areas, we have the experience and knowledge to navigate the legal system on your behalf. Contact personal injury lawyer in Richmond today at (866) 552-5683 for your free and confidential consultation, and let us explain how we can help you.

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Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen

1809 Staples Mill Road
Richmond, VA 23230