If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite in Virginia, it’s important to contact a highly qualified lawyer who has handled dog bite/dog attack cases.
The injuries, trauma and damages that come as a result of an attack can be severe. Our attorneys at Cravens & Noll want to be sure you understand your rights and are compensated for your pain and suffering, that you get to the right specialists and rehab and that you are made economically whole.
No one should have to go through an attack from a dog. But, when and if it does happen, it’s vital that you are aware of your legal rights, how to seek just compensation.
Victims In A Dog Bite Incident
Anyone can be a victim of a dog bite. Some who are more at risk, however, are:
- Delivery workers
- Postal workers
- Lawn Care Personnel
- Maintenance Workers
- Security Personnel
Oftentimes, victims can experience physical injuries, permanent scarring, emotional and psychological scars, infections, disfigurement and more. Along with treating these, the damages incurred can include the hefty medical bills associated with treatment.
In other cases, victims may experience a significant impact in their day to day life. This can affect the victim’s ability and propensity to work. If so, you can file a claim for compensation for the loss of income as well.
Compensation from a dog bite claim can include the following:
- Medical costs
- Loss of income
- Damage to property
- Long-term physical pain
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- Worker’s compensation (if occurred on the job)
- Punitive damages
What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By A Dog in Virginia
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite, it’s important to follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Gather information (name, number, address) of the dog owner, and the dog. Take photos.
- Collect information from witnesses of the dog bite: names, address, telephone numbers.
- Report the bite to the police department, fire department or animal control immediately.
- Take photos of the injury, other damages, surroundings, the property, etc.
- Get in touch with your Richmond dog bite lawyers, Cravens & Noll.
Even if it seems minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention following a dog bite. If small, you still run the risk of contracting infections or rabies. Additionally, when you have medical documentation of an assessment following the bite, it can be important evidence in a dog bite case.
Images and witnesses also serve as key documentation to help support your case. When contacting the police, fire department or animal control, you may be able to gage if others have experienced the same problems. This can help in establishing proper liability.
Proving Your Case in a Dog Bite Claim
Dependent on what type of claim you make, you may need proof of the following in any given incident involving a dog bite:
- Ownership and control of the dog – this helps establish liability at the time of the incident. Ownership can be proven through licenses, witness statements, photos, veterinarian records and more.
- Knowledge of potential danger posed with the dog – if the same dog had demonstrated dangerous or aggressive behavior prior to the incident, the owner may be liable under Virginia’s “one-bite” law.
- Virginia’s Leash Laws – what leash laws are in place at the location of the incident?
- Owner’s Negligence or Negligence Per Se– was the owner ignoring signs of dangerous behavior from their dog or outwardly ignoring Virginia statutes and ordinances?
- Causation – Are your injuries directly caused by the attack.
- All damages and injuries
Determining Liability in a Dog Bite Case – Who’s at Fault?
The above factors play a big factor in who is liable in a dog bite case in the state of Virginia. Dog bite liability can fall onto insurance companies, dog owners or those in control of the dog during the attack.
Oftentimes, if the dog attack occurs on the owner’s property, their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may cover the damages incurred. Insurance companies typically compensate victims but it’s important to make sure you are well-represented with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.
When it does come to compensation, the amount and nature of these damages will always depend on the facts of the accident. It is important to document all of the facts of your case.
Types of Liability in Virginia
Depending on the location and circumstances of the incident, liability may fall under either a type of negligence in Virginia called “negligence per se” or dog owner negligence.
- Negligence Per Se – this type of negligence is when a Virginia law, statute or ordinance is violated. A dog owner who blatantly ignores VA laws, such as the leash laws, is deemed liable based on negligence to established laws.
- Dog Owner Negligence – this negligence can go in-tandem with Virginia’s “one-bite” rule. This is when an owner is knowledgeable regarding their dog’s violent tendencies. Prior incidents could have occurred where the owner would know or should have known about the dangers of their dog.
Your Dog Bite Attorneys at Cravens & Noll
Your dog bite and dog attack defense attorneys at Cravens & Noll, P.C. are ready to analyze the facts of your case and get you the just compensation that you deserve. No one should have to deal with the pain and suffering of such an accident on their own – without legal representation.
Let us walk with you on the road to recovery while we fight for your legal compensation
Contact us today at our Henrico, Harrisonburg, Colonial Heights or Chesterfield locations.