If you or someone close to you has sustained an injury from an animal attack, a dog bite lawyer in Virginia can assess your case to determine the level of liability the owner may have. Under the negligence laws of the Commonwealth, a pet owner can be held accountable for their negligent actions that lead to an animal attacking another person or even another pet. In addition, a dog bite victim may be qualified for reasonable financial compensation from the aggressive dog’s owner with the assistance of highly qualified legal representation in a personal injury claim.
At the Marquis Law Group, our dog bite injury lawyer is experienced in accurately evaluating your injuries and identifying all the potential areas where you might be eligible for damages because of your unnecessary injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to request a consultation if a dangerous or vicious dog has harmed you or a loved one.
Dog Bite Statistics and Consequences
Every year, there are approximately 5 million reported dog bites in the United States, with nearly 800,000 cases requiring professional medical attention. In 2021 alone, these attacks resulted in 46 fatalities. Among all dog breeds, pit bulls are considered the most dangerous, responsible for almost 80 percent of dog attack-related deaths, followed by Rottweilers as the second most lethal breed. It’s important to remember that most personal injury dog bite victims survive the attacks. However, over 27,000 individuals who have experienced a dog attack have had to undergo reconstructive surgery to address the physical damage inflicted by these incidents.
Virginia Dog Bite Laws and Liability
A dog that bites poses more than just a minor inconvenience; therefore, the Virginia legislature holds owners responsible for the actions of their dangerous dogs. The regulations pertaining to animal control policies in the Commonwealth are outlined in the Code of Virginia, specifically Title 3.2. State law governs the following areas:
- Establishment of the Dangerous Dog Registry (VA Code Section 3.2-6542)
- Vicious Dogs (VA Code Section 3.2-6540.1)
- Control of dangerous dogs (VA Code Section 3.2-6540)
- Authority to prohibit the training of attack dogs (VA Code Section 3.2-6541)
According to the Code, a dangerous dog is defined as “a canine or canine crossbreed that has attacked, bitten, or caused injury to a person, companion animal (dog or cat), or has caused the death of a companion animal (dog or cat).”
In the event that legal action is taken against a dog owner, the court will carefully examine all evidence pertaining to the dog to determine its dangerous nature. It’s crucial to understand that not every dog is considered dangerous by the courts, and not every dog bite incident is deemed eligible for compensation.
By conducting a case analysis, a dog bite lawyer in Virginia can assess the specific details of the bite or attack to ascertain the justification for pursuing a claim against the pet and its owner. It’s worth noting that civil liability against the owner of a dangerous dog can be pursued separately from the enforcement of relevant animal control laws by the Commonwealth or the local authorities.
Seeking Legal Representation for Dog Bite Cases
Pet owners have a responsibility to securely confine their animals and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of others. This duty is related to operating a motor vehicle safely or maintaining a safe environment in a business establishment free from hazardous or defective conditions.
Suppose a failure to uphold this duty results in a dog bite or attack causing harm to another person or animal (resulting in damages). In that case, there may be an opportunity for financial compensation. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a dedicated and experienced attorney.
A dog bite lawyer in Virginia who thoroughly understands the laws pertaining to dog bite liability can guide you in comprehending the necessary steps to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.