Dog Bite Accident Lawyer in Prince William County
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Dog bites can cause severe injuries and complications which can cost you thousands and affect you for the rest of your life. A dog bite accident lawyer in Prince William County can help you recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The team at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC has helped a number of Virginia residents file claims after suffering injuries from a dog bite. Call 571-229-1800 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.
How can I file a dog bite claim in Virginia?
Before filing a dog bite claim, our attorneys will need to gather as much information as possible about the incident. We will need to determine:
- Whether the dog has bitten anyone before
- Where the incident occurred
- Whether the dog was off-leash or otherwise free-roaming
- Who was present when the incident occurred
- Whether you or another party provoked the dog
All of these circumstances can affect liability for a dog bite.
How can we prove my case?
Once we have collected the facts about the case, we can file suit. In most cases, we will name the dog owner as the defendant; however, depending on the circumstances of your accident, we might name the dog’s handler or another party.
In many states, dog owners are automatically liable for any injuries their dogs cause. However, dog bite claims in Virginia follow a “one bite rule.” That means dog owners may only be liable for dog bite injuries if they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous, usually because the dog has bitten someone before.
If the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities but failed to properly control her dog or prevent foreseeable harm, she will likely be negligent. If this negligence caused your injury, you can hold her liable for your injuries.
To prove your negligence claim, we will show that:
The owner owed you a duty of care.
Establishing duty of care is fairly straightforward in a dog bite case. Dog owners are responsible for maintaining control of their dogs and using reasonable care to restrain them. If an owner is aware or should be aware that her dog may injure someone, she has a responsibility to use ordinary care to stop that from happening.
The owner was negligent.
Under Va. Statute § 3.2-6540, a dangerous dog refers to a dog that has “bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury” on a person or companion animal. If a dog is “dangerous,” the owners must confine it indoors or keep in a secure, locked structure to prevent the dog from escaping and injuring others. If the dog is off the owner’s property, the handler must leash and muzzle it.
Dog owners may be negligent when they do not abide by the appropriate standard of care. Owners who fail to use reasonable care to control a “dangerous” dog have breached their duty owed to you. We will prove they breached their duty with witness testimony, photos, surveillance video, animal control reports, and other evidence that can confirm that the dog was dangerous and was off-leash, unsupervised, or left in an open area at the time of the incident.
Negligence per se
If a dog owner violates a leash law, statute, or ordinance, the owner may be guilty of negligence per se. In such cases, we may prove the owner violated the law with photos, witness testimony, and other evidence.
Dog owner’s negligence caused your injuries.
We will also need to show that if it had not been for
e dog owner’s negligence (or negligence per se), the dog would not have bitten you and you would not have suffered injuries.
In cases where an injured victim provoked the dog, trespassed onto the owner’s property. or otherwise contributed to his own injuries, the victim may not be able to recover damages in the state of Virginia. Our attorneys will review your claim and determine whether you are ible to recover damages. We will also build a defense against any accusations of fault to allow you to recover compensation.
How long do I have to file suit?
In Virginia, victims of a dog bite injury must file suit within two years of the date of the attack. If you do not file suit within those two years, you will give up your right to recover compensation.
What can I recover for my dog bite injuries?
If you suffered a dog bite injury, you may recover damages for the following expenses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Dog owners must properly take care of their animals to prevent them from injuring people and their . However, many dog owners don’t do what it takes to contain an animal, particularly one previously declared as “dangerous.”
The Parrish Law Firm can assist you with filing your dog bite claim and recovering compensation for your injuries. Call 571-229-1800 for more information on filing a dog bite injury claim.