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Manassas Dog Bite Attorney
Whether you have been attacked by a friend’s pet or a stranger’s guard dog, the injuries and scarring from a dog bite can leave any adult or child traumatized for years to come. In Virginia, victims of dog bites have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries, but you need to act quickly to protect both your health and legal rights.
As a former attorney for large insurance companies, Jim Parrish has an in-depth understanding of how you may be able to seek damages through homeowners’ insurance after a dog bite. He also knows how the insurance companies will fight to deny your claim for full and fair compensation. If you need help covering medical expenses and other bills related to a dog bite, you need an attorney with knowledge from the inside of the insurance industry to handle this kind of claim.
Contact our experienced Manassas dog bite attorney today to schedule a free case consultation, and find out why Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, has been recognized with the Client’s Choice Award by AVVO and the Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. Call or fill out our online form to get started.
What Type of Damages Can You Recover After a Dog Bite?
Our skilled legal team will explore every potential source of compensation for your dog bite injury. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to seek:
- Payment for medical bills, including future medical expenses related to the dog bite;
- Lost wages if you had to miss time from work, as well as future lost wages;
- Compensation for pain and suffering you experienced in the past as well as in the future as a result of the dog bite; and
- Punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for seriously dangerous behavior
It is important to note that in Virginia, if you are found to be partially at fault for the dog bite, you may be denied compensation. Virginia’s “contributory negligence” laws may apply in cases where a victim was found to have been tormenting or teasing a dog while trespassing on the owner’s property.
Insurance companies will look for any sliver of evidence to point to and say you contributed to your injuries, so they can avoid paying you. That’s why you need an experienced Manassas dog attack attorney to build a strong case for who is at fault for your injuries and who should pay.
Who Could Be Held Responsible if a Dog Bites You in Virginia?
In order to pursue maximum compensation for your dog bite injuries, our dedicated legal team will need to build a strong case to prove who is at fault. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, that at-fault party may be:
- The owner of the dog
- A dog sitter or someone responsible for watching the dog
- Dog walkers who may have been negligent in their duties
- Owners of kennels
- Landlords at apartment buildings
You should know that in a majority of cases, the at-fault party has insurance that is designed to cover this sort of accident. So even if the dog’s owner is a family member or close friend, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney to help you file a dog bite insurance claim.
When Can You Sue over a Dog Bite in Virginia?
If you know who owns or was responsible for the dog that bit you, our skilled legal team can identify all your legal options, which may include aggressive negotiations for a full and fair dog bite settlement offer.
Proving fault in a Virginia dog bite case can be complicated, and insurance companies may try to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. Having our experienced Manassas dog bite attorney on your side will show the insurance company that you are serious about fighting for maximum compensation.
Understanding Virginia’s Rules
In Virginia, when it comes to recovering compensation for dog bites, a victim can prove fault by showing that:
- The dog has bitten another person or animal in the past, or it has behaved aggressively as if it were going to bite a person or other animal.
- Even if the dog has never bitten anyone, the person responsible for the dog knew or suspected it was a danger. For example, if a person told your child to stay away from the dog because it was dangerous (yet he or she did not take reasonable precautions to restrain the animal).
Proving Negligence in a Virginia Dog Bite Case
In some cases, the dog may have no history of dangerous behavior, but negligence on the part of the owner or caretaker led to the attack. Proving negligence will require showing that:
- The dog’s owner or caretaker did not use reasonable care to restrain the animal. In order to prove this, our legal team may turn to local leash laws. For example, in Manassas, it is against the city’s ordinance to allow any animal to “run at large” off the property of the owner.
- That negligence on the part of the owner or caretaker caused you to be injured by the dog.
In most cases, our experienced Manassas dog bite attorney will aggressively negotiate with the at-fault person’s insurance company to demand a full and fair settlement offer. However, if your case does require a dog bite lawsuit, you can trust that our skilled team will prepare a strong argument to take before a judge and jury.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case and learn what types of compensation you may be able to pursue.
I was referred to Mr. Parrish by a former attorney of mine. I needed help to settle a claim with an insurance company. Mr. Parrish took my case immediately and started working on it to make sure I got what was fair. He was able to obtain 10 times more of what I could have obtained on my own. I am very please with his service and recommend him to anyone who is looking for a good lawyer to settle an injury case. He also provided me with information as to how I could obtain more money for my injuries. Without his advice, I wouldn’t have known all the money I could have been losing. He and his staff were always responsive to any questions I had and stayed on top of my case. I’m very pleased with his service. Thank you!
What Dogs or Breeds Are Considered Dangerous in Virginia?
Virginia does not have any laws declaring specific breeds, such as pit bulls, to be dangerous. However, Virginia does classify dogs as dangerous or vicious if they have a history of certain behaviors.
Dangerous dogs include those that have:
- Bitten or attacked a person
- Inflicted injury on a person or another companion animal
- Killed a companion animal (such as another dog or cat)
If a dog is found to be dangerous, its owner must follow strict rules to prevent it from harming other people and animals. It also must be listed in the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.
Vicious dogs include those that have:
- Killed a person
- Inflicted serious injury such as severe disfigurement or serious impairment of health
- Continued to exhibit the same dangerous behavior that had led to a court previously finding that it was a dangerous dog
Talk to a Dedicated Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from injuries caused by a dog bite accident in Manassas, Fairfax, Warrenton, or elsewhere in Virginia, don’t wait to seek legal advice. Virginia law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an injury like this, so it’s imperative that you talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
At Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, we know how disrupting and disabling a dog bite can be. That’s why we are dedicated to working closely with each of our clients to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.