It is an emotionally and mentally trying experience when a dog bites someone. The injuries associated with dog bites can range from mild to severe, and the impact on one’s life can be substantial. A dog bite can result in permanent injury, an inability to work, decreased quality of life, and other detrimental consequences.

At Calbom & Schwab, we are personal injury attorneys focused on providing experienced legal representation professionally and ethically. We have been protecting individuals and serving our community since 1954. Turn to us for a Washington dog-bite lawyer, so we can provide you with the representation you need and the justice you deserve.

Dog Bite Injuries in Washington State

Washington has a strict liability law for dog bite injuries, which states that any dog owner is liable for damages suffered by a person bitten by their dog. The owner is liable regardless of whether they knew the dog’s prior brutality. To file a claim for damages, the victim must have been lawfully in a private place or on public land at the time of the attack.

In addition to this law, Washington also has laws regarding dangerous dogs. Under these laws, owners must take specific steps to protect people from their dogs if they are deemed dangerous. Failure to take these steps can be used against the dog’s owner in a court of law.

Local laws may also apply in certain cases, so it is vital to consult an experienced Washington dog bite lawyer who can help determine if any local laws apply to your situation. You do not want to leave your case up to chance when the stakes are this high. Dog-bite lawyers can ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries.

What To Do After A Dog Bite

If a dog in Washington has bitten you or a loved one, there are several steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Make sure not to overlook any of these steps. Working closely with a dog-bite attorney is the best way to ensure no boxes are left unchecked.

First, wash the wound with mild soap and water and use a clean cloth to stop bleeding. Then, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Dog bites can cause severe infections if left untreated. Next, report the incident to local authorities. In Washington State, you can file a complaint with the county animal control office or police department. This will help ensure the dog is properly quarantined and monitored for rabies.

Finally, contact an experienced Washington dog bite lawyer who can help you understand your rights under state law and recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. According to Washington law, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries their dogs cause to another person. Additionally, victims may be able to recover compensation.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

Various factors determine the severity of a dog bite, including the dog’s breed, demeanor, and what provoked the bite. For example, if you startle a pug by scratching behind its ears without it first seeing you, the bite you might receive will not equal a larger, more fierce dog protecting its owner from being attacked. However, all dog bites matter, regardless of their severity.

Dog bites can happen at any time and in any place, including your home, a friend’s home, on the street, or at a place of business. The injuries these bites can cause are painful and sometimes require significant time to recover.

Below are a few of the most common dog bite injuries:

  • Neck injuries
  • Punctured skin
  • Cuts
  • Scarring
  • Paralysis
  • Eye damage
  • Wounds to the face
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • Rabies
  • Abrasions
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures

Dog-bite injuries are not limited to physical harm. The psychological toll they can have on people is just as impactful. Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, crying, fear, guilt, anger, mood swings, and an inability to sleep are a few of the emotional effects dog bites can have on victims.

The physical and mental damage dog bites can cause victims is immense. The medical bills for this kind of trauma are extensive and expensive. Therefore, it is best for dog bite victims to hire a dog bite lawyer in Washington who has a track record of success.

Dog Bite Laws in Washington

In Washington, the owner of any dog which bites a person while in a public or private place is responsible for damages suffered by the victim.

Trespassing is a common defense for dog bite cases. If a dangerous dog owned by an individual with prior convictions under this chapter attacks or bites someone, the owner may be subject to criminal penalties. Dog owners do not want to be charged for their dog’s bad behavior, but they are liable for the damage they cause to another individual by biting them.

Dog-bite attorneys are an excellent resource for victims of dog bites. A dog-bite attorney in Washington can let you know your options, the laws applicable to your situation, the damages that can be recovered, and more. Dog-bite attorneys can also discuss with dog-bite victims the role negligence plays in their case and how it can influence the outcome.

Proving Negligence for Washington Dog Bite Injuries

According to Washington law, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dogs, including bites. This means that the owner is liable even if they were not negligent. To prove an owner’s civil liability for a dog bite, the injured person must have been lawfully in a public or private place at the time of the bite. The owner may be able to succeed in arguing that the injured person was trespassing at the time of the bite.

The state may not meet its burden of proof that the owner should have known that the dog was potentially dangerous solely based on its breed. After all, just because a dog is a certain breed does not mean that it is not dangerous. So, it cannot be assumed that a dog is dangerous purely based on its breed. Other external factors are contributing factors, including how it was raised and treated.

In order to file a lawsuit for a dog bite injury in Washington, you must do so within three years of the bite or other injury date. If you find yourself involved in a dog bite claim in Washington, it may be time to discuss your situation with a qualified personal injury attorney.

Damages That Can Be Recovered For Dog Bites in Washington

In Washington State, the owner of a dog that bites someone is strictly liable for damages under Washington law. This means that the owner can be held liable without a finding of fault. Victims of dog bites in Washington may be able to recover different types of damages related to a dog bite injury, including those noted below.

Medical Expenses

Healthcare costs associated with treatment needed for injuries related to the dog bite injury can be included in the damages that can be recovered. Past, present, and future medical expenses (physical and psychological) qualify. It is wise to keep a record of all medical expenses, including bills and receipts, to achieve an accurate calculation.

Lost Wages

Another recoverable damage for a dog bite injury is lost wages. You might be entitled to money to cover the costs associated with being unable to work because of the time needed to heal or receive treatment if the injury was caused by a dog bite. If the injuries are permanent, future wages may be considered when determining how much you should be awarded.

Pain & Suffering

Pain and suffering are the physical and emotional injuries a victim suffers following a dog bite injury. It includes physical pain, discomfort, mental distress, and negative emotions caused by the trauma of the incident. While it may be more challenging to quantify the cost of pain and suffering, it is no less important.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Loss of enjoyment relates to how a severe injury impacts an individual’s quality of life. It encompasses the impact or toll an injury takes on the victim’s ability to do certain things before getting hurt.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is an injury’s impact on relationships, companionship, and support lost due to another party’s negligence. It is typically brought by the spouse or close relative of an accident victim and refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries caused by a third party.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are assessed in the legal process to punish a defendant for negligence. The court usually awards them when the defendant’s behavior is harmful. Punitive damages are ordered to be paid on top of compensatory damages.

Trying to understand what damages you are entitled to without the counsel of a skilled attorney is foolish. A Washington dog-bite attorney can help you determine what damages you are owed and whether your case has to go to trial. So, it is best to trust their advice on such an important matter.

Determining Whether Your Dog Bite Case Has To Go To Trial

In Washington, a person a dog bites may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries through a civil lawsuit. To prove a dog bite, the injured party can present evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and photographs of the injury.

In Washington, strict civil liability for dog attacks only applies to bites, so it may be necessary to take the case to trial to receive compensation. However, under Washington law, there is normally no level of intent that needs to be proven to hold the owner of a biting dog liable.

The approximate settlement for a dog bite lawsuit in Washington is difficult to determine as each case is unique and depends on factors such as the severity of the injury and any applicable insurance coverage. If a dog bite is reported in Washington State, it is unlikely that the dog will be put down unless it poses an imminent danger or has previously been declared dangerous by local authorities. The law when a dog bites a child in Washington State is similar to when an adult is bitten. However, children are more likely to suffer serious injuries from animal attacks due to their smaller size and lack of experience with animals.

How A Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case

An attorney can help with a dog bite case in Washington by providing legal advice and representation to the victim of the attack. An experienced lawyer can assess the evidence in the case and seek damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs associated with the injury. 

A dog-bite attorney can also help determine if local laws apply to the situation. Additionally, a dog-bite lawyer in Washington can help ensure that the dog’s owner is held accountable for the pet’s actions and that appropriate compensation is recovered for the victim.

Being bitten by a dog is a shocking event. These dog-bite injuries often happen out of nowhere and when the victim least expects it. If you are the victim of a dog bite, the last thing you should do is feel you have to overcome the physical and mental issues of your injuries alone. Instead, you should rely on the experience, knowledge, and success of a trusted Washington dog bite lawyer who can help you return to the life you remember.

Contact Calbom & Schwab for a Washington Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites are an emotionally and physically exhausting experience that victims must deal with. If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite in Washington, reach out to Calbom & Schwab for a Washington dog-bite lawyer. Since 1954, our dedicated team of attorneys has been protecting individuals and serving our community. Our personal injury attorneys are focused on providing experienced legal representation professionally and ethically, and we are committed to fighting for our clients’ rights. Contact us today so we can help.