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Seattle dog bite lawyer

You’ve most probably heard a saying that a dog is a man’s best friend. While you might have beloved dogs in your home, and you might even consider them as members of your family, a dog bite can be incredibly dangerous. It is especially true when a rabid or a stranger’s dog bites you.

If a dog bites you, you must seek medical care immediately. Then, give us a call to schedule a case consultation with a member of our team.

We are Bungay Law, and we understand how traumatic the situation can be for a dog bite victim. While some dog bites are gentler and more playful, they can cause serious medical complications. A dog bite can damage your blood vessels and nerves, leading to more serious injuries in the long run.

Call us to schedule a free case consultation with our Seattle dog bite attorney upon seeking medical care.

Start Working With Our Seattle Dog Bite Attorneys for Your Case

Start working with our dog bite attorneys for your case

Depending on the situation, you might get a phone call from an insurance company offering you a settlement. While it can be tempting to take the offer, you should talk to us first before speaking to an insurance company.

Our lawyers at Bungay Law know your right to compensation and want to enforce this right within the most reasonable timeline. It would be best to only settle on the actual value of injuries you’ve sustained. That is why you need to schedule your case consultation with us immediately after being bitten by a dog.

Understanding Washington Dog Bite Law

When it comes to the Washington dog bite law, there are several salient points you need to keep in mind. Some of them include the following:

Strict Liability

Dog owners are 100% responsible for the actions of their dogs and the consequences. If the dog is in a public or private place and bites another person, its owner is liable for all potential financial damages from that injury. They include medical expenses arising from dangerous dog attacks.

Types of Dog Bite Cases

There are several examples of dog bite cases that we have handled over the years. For instance, we have handled cases involving dog bites where the dog was in its own home. We have also handled dog bite cases where a dog escaped and bit someone in a public place. In Washington State, dogs must be on a leash when in public places. If a dog is off leash and injures someone whether by biting or even jumping on someone and knocking the down, the owner is responsible for injuries caused to the victim. 

The circumstances differ with every case so, you must schedule a case consultation with us as soon as possible to discuss your dog related injury.

Exemptions Recognized by State Law

Even though the dog’s owner is responsible for the injuries caused by the dog, specific exemptions apply in various cases. 

For example, if a dog injures a trespasser on the dog owner’s property, the owner will not be responsible for the damages. In addition, if a police dog bites someone accused of a crime or at large, the police department will not be liable for the costs. 

Finally, if the owner can prove that the victim provoked the dog to bite the former, the owner may not be responsible for those injuries. 

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Common dog bite injuries

There are several examples of serious injuries that someone may suffer if a dog bites them. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Skin Damage: Skin damage is one of the most common types of injury someone may suffer if a dog bites them. While most wounds will heal completely with time, others could lead to severe scars.
  • Bone Fractures: As outrageous as this may sound, dog bites can lead to bone fractures. For example, a dog bite could break several small bones in a person’s hand.
  • Eye Injuries: Some dogs can jump or try to reach an eye of a victim and bite it. He could suffer a severe eye injury that may take months to treat or cause temporary or permanent blindness. There are even situations where emergency surgery might be required.
  • Neck Injuries: It is not unusual for a dog to try to bite someone on the neck, and this could lead to serious injuries that could cause intense pain or, worst, death.
  • Leg Damage: If a dog bites someone on the leg, the dog can cause soft tissue damage that could require physical therapy as a part of the recovery process. 

These are just a few of the many injuries that anyone may suffer if a dog bites them, and that is why you have to see a doctor as soon as possible once you experience a dog attack.

Common Medical Complications From Dog Bites

Even though many people will fully recover following a dog bite, there are types of medical complications that someone could stem from the bite. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Blood Vessel Damage: Depending on the depth of a dog’s bite, the victim can suffer severe blood vessel damage. It can lead to profuse bleeding, and the wound may require surgery to repair the ruptured blood vessels.
  • Nerve Damage: Nerve damage is also not unusual following a dog bite. Sometimes, someone could suffer permanent motor or sensory weakness due to the dog bite.
  • Scarring: Scarring can also occur following a dog bite and after recovery. While stitches can close a wound and hasten recovery, there are situations where someone could suffer permanent scars from the dog bite and stitches as a result of the attack.
  • Infection: Without a doubt, one of the most common medical complications following a dog bite is an infection. Dog’s mouths could be dirty, and if a dog bites someone, the bacteria in that dog’s mouth could lead to a severe infection.

The best solution is to see a doctor following a dog bite as soon as possible to avoid medical complications. 

Dog Owner Liability in Seattle for Bites

Dog owner liability

In Seattle, the dog’s owner is always responsible for the injuries caused by his dog. While some defenses and exceptions could apply in various circumstances, owners must secure their dogs and prevent them from escaping in public.

In addition, if the owner has visitors to the house, he must place the dog in an isolated location if the owner believes the dog will not get along well with other people. The owner is also responsible for injuries caused to other pets.

Defenses and Exceptions to Criminal and Civil Liability

There are some defenses and exceptions to the liability rules listed above. Some of the examples where the owner might not be responsible for the injuries caused by his dog include:

Civil Defenses

One can present various civil defenses before the court following the incident. One of the most successful defenses is when the defendant proves the victim provoked the dog. If the defense has adequate proof that the victim provoked the dog, the defendant might not be liable for damages.

If the victim and his counsel cannot prove that all the elements of the damage are present according to the statutes, then the owner might not be held responsible.

The victim may also argue that the owner was negligent and failed to secure the dog to prevent accidents. Finally, the victim must be able to provide receipts that he suffered financial damages in some way.

Criminal Defenses

If someone’s dog injures another person, but the victim is committing a criminal act during the attack, the owner may not be responsible for the damages the victim suffered.

For example, if a dog bites someone because they trespassed on that dog owner’s property, the dog’s owner is unlikely to be held responsible for the victim’s injuries.

Exceptions for Police Dogs

There are also exceptions in Seattle and Washington law for police dogs. The police department trains and deploys canines when needed.

If these police dogs injure someone while committing a criminal act, the police department will not be liable for the injuries the person suffers.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Dog Bite Claim

If a dog bite caused you injuries, you need to seek medical care as quickly as possible. It would be best if you contacted us to schedule a case consultation as soon as possible. In the State of Washington, the statute of limitations is three years.

That means you have three years from the date of the attack to file a personal injury claim. Your claim is more likely to be successful if you file it earlier, so it’s best to contact us as soon as possible so we can file the case according to Washington State’s statute of limitations. 

Type of Compensation Dog Bite Victims Recover With a Successful Personal Injury Claim

Types of compensation dog bite victims recover

When a dog bites you, and there is no provocation on your part, there are several types of compensation you may be able to recover. Some of the most common ones include:

Economic Damages

Economic damages encompass anything you can present a receipt for or calculate. Suppose, due to the dog bite, you have medical expenses; In that case, we can pursue compensation on your behalf to cover those medical expenses.

You may lose a significant amount of income if you cannot return to work due to the dog bite. We can seek compensation for your incurred losses and lost income during treatment and recovery.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to economic damages, we can also pursue non-economic damages on your behalf. These are unquantifiable damages that you have suffered during and after the injury.

For example, if you have developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the dog attack, you have experienced significant pain and suffering. We can seek compensation for the emotional and psychological effects the incident caused you.

If the circumstances of the attack were particularly egregious, we could pursue punitive damages that can significantly augment the value of your case.

Not every case can qualify for punitive damages, but we can investigate to see if your case falls under the requisites.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Helps the Victim of a Dog Bite Injury

Our personal injury lawyer can always help you if a dog attacks you. Some of the ways we may be able to help you include the following:

  • We can conduct a full investigation on your behalf to ensure we understand the facts of your case and the circumstances surrounding it.
  • We can have the court summon eyewitnesses and place them under oath during the trial to get a clear picture of what happened. It can help us gain a favorable judgment. 
  • We can review your medical records to determine your exact compensation amount.
  • We can negotiate with the insurance company or opposing counsel to maximize your settlement.

Count on our team at Bungay Law to help you navigate the legal system following a dog bite. 

Start Working With Our Seattle Dog Bite Attorneys at Bungay Law Today

Start working with our dog bite attorneys at bungay law

At Bungay Law, we always put your rights first and ensure your voice is heard in court.

If you want to learn more about your case, call us today to schedule a case consultation.

Contact Bungay Personal Injury Law today For a Free Consultation 206-769-0093

Contact Bungay Personal Injury Law today For a Free Consultation 206-769-0093

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