Dog Bite Accident Lawyer in Fairfax County
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Dog bites can cause lasting physical scars and emotional trauma. Virginia law allows you to hold the dog owner liable for these and other damages in many situations. We can help you identify the responsible party and identify all possible legal options to get you the compensation you deserve.
The skilled legal team at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC understands the urgency and stress that follows a dog bite. We can help you navigate the claims process, and fight for a fair settlement that compensates you for the injuries you suffered. Call us today at 571-229-1800 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a dog bite accident lawyer in Fairfax County.
Who is liable for Fairfax County dog bite injuries?
Identifying who is liable for your bite injuries requires collecting evidence and building a strong case against the dog’s owner, the party responsible for the dog at the time of the incident, or the owner of a service caring for the dog at the time of the attack. In most cases, the person who owned the dog or who was responsible for caring for the dog at the time of the incident will be the liable party.
To prove fault, we need to gather evidence to show:
- The dog has a history of aggressive behavior or past attacks on another person or domesticated animal; or
- The owner or responsible party knew the dog might be dangerous, yet did not take precautions to protect you from the animal
While Virginia does not have strict liability laws for dog bite cases, you may still have a case even if the dog has never acted aggressively. This requires us uncovering evidence to show the owner or caretaker acted negligently and this allowed the bite to occur.
Most frequently, this occurs when the dog’s owner fails to take reasonable actions to restrain and control the dog. Fairfax County, for example, requires all dogs be on a leash unless contained securely in their yard, while hunting, or in a city dog park. If the owner allows the dog to run free and you suffer injuries in an attack, we may have a viable negligence claim.
Many people do not take leash laws seriously and allow their dogs to run free. If an unleashed dog bit you, we may be able to hold the owner liable for your injuries.
From where do I recover compensation for a dog bite?
Many dog owners or other parties who take care of dogs have insurance that will cover a dog bite claim. This means you can file an insurance claim for compensation even if you suffer a bite from a friend’s dog. Because the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will likely cover your damages, neither of you will need to pay for your medical care and other losses out-of-pocket.
What happens if the dog’s owner claims I caused the dog to bite?
Often, the dog owner or her insurance company will claim a dog bite victim provoked the canine, causing the attack. If this occurs in your case, do not panic. We can investigate the incident and get to the bottom of what happened.
However, it is important to note that if you did provoke the dog or otherwise contribute to your injuries, Virginia’s pure contributory negligence laws may keep your from recovering compensation for your injuries. This may also apply if the dog bit you while you were trespassing in the owner’s yard.
We fight to effectively document the dog owner as the liable party in every dog bite case. The insurance company may try to blame you because it does not want to pay out or thinks it can trick you into accepting a much smaller settlement. We know how much these cases can be worth, and will protect you from greedy insurance companies.
What types of damages can I collect in a Fairfax County dog bite claim?
We can identify and document every possible source of damages for your claim, and request compensation based on the maximum value of your case. While damages vary based on the circumstances you endured, some of the most common damages we can collect for our clients include:
Even the most minor dog bites require medical attention. More serious attack injuries require extensive cleaning and careful attention to prevent further complications. The risk of infection is high, and scarring is common. Bites on the face, neck, arms, and hands often require closure by a plastic surgeon and follow-up care. The most serious bites or infections may require amputation or lead to other permanent disabilities.
We make sure to request compensation for medical bills, ongoing and future medical care costs, therapy expenses, and any other expenses related to the treatment of your wounds.
Major dog attacks could keep you away from work for weeks, longer if you experience complications. We can collect compensation based on the wages you missed, and wages you will likely miss out on in the future if you cannot return to work due to your injuries. We may be able to also claim lost benefits if you suffer from a disability that will prevent you from ever returning to your previous position.
“Pain and Suffering” and Inconvenience
Dog bites cause immense pain and suffering, and may lead to both physical and psychological scarring. We fight for full compensation for these damages based on the severity of your injuries and your actual monetary losses due to the accident. We can also recover damages for your inconvenience (e.g., having to attend doctor’s appointments, missing your child’s birthday party).
Occasionally, we need to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation our clients deserve in their dog bite case. If your case heads to court, we might be able to persuade the judge or jury to award punitive damages. It is important to note that an award of punitive damages is rare and only occurs when the dog’s owner acted particularly recklessly or maliciously.
Why should I have the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC help me with my claim?
Attorney Jim Parrish used to represent large insurance companies. He knows how these companies work, and the tactics they use to prevent paying for claims. He now uses his knowledge from the inside to fight these same insurance companies to get fair compensation for his clients.
At the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team can help you recover the damages you need through a homeowners’ insurance claim or civil suit after a Fairfax County dog bite. Call us today at 571-229-1800 to discuss your options for collecting money to cover your medical expenses and other losses related to your injuries.