Virginia Dog Bite Lawyer
Personal Injury Law Office in Tysons Corner
Being attacked by a dog is a scary situation, and it can leave victims with severe injuries and long-term emotional distress. After an attack, you might not know your rights or who to trust. Virginia dog bite lawyer Michael Strong can help fight to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Americans love our dogs, and today, we bring our furry friends with us everywhere. Although the majority of dog owners are responsible, some don’t take proper safety precautions, even after their animals show signs of aggression.
Dog bites, unfortunately, are a very common occurrence in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 4 million Americans are injured in dog bite attacks, and nearly 25% require an emergency room visit. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dog biting attacks can be prevented.
Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? After an attack, you may be scared, suffering from serious injuries, and unsure of your rights. Our personal injury lawyers want to help.
Our legal team has extensive experience with dog bite cases, and we have deep knowledge of Virginia’s animal safety laws. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation to help offset medical bills, emotional distress, and other costs related to your biting incident. Our team can help you build a case and recover the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Call now for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights.
Who Was Responsible: Virginia’s One Bite Law
Dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their animals. If their dogs have shown aggressive behavior in the past, owners are required to take extra safety precautions to prevent bites and attacks.
In Virginia, dog owners are protected by a so-called “one bite” law. This means that an animal must have previously shown signs of aggression for the owner to be held liable for injuries. Therefore, you need evidence that shows previous aggression or biting incidents.
Yet, dog owners also have a responsibility to restrain their animals, whether or not they know the animal is aggressive. In some cases, victims can show owner negligence to file claims for compensation. Failure to obey a leash law or an owner not keeping their animal in a fenced in area could both be examples of negligence.
This is why it’s so important to hire a Virginia dog bite lawyer who’s experienced in these types of cases. Your lawyer will investigate your case, determine if an owner knew of their dog’s aggressiveness or if an owner’s negligence caused your injuries.
Types of Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
Negligent dog owners may be held liable in the state of Virginia for any costs a victim incurs. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
There are many types of compensation that are available to you, including compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages. This type of compensation can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and any costs related to your accident. Your lawyer will help you pursue any and all compensation. Compensatory damages can be used for:
- Medical bills, rehabilitation costs
- Disfigurement or disability costs
- Lost wages from time away from work
- Counseling costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Occupational therapy
Punitive damages. In cases of gross negligence or malice, you may be entitled to punitive damages. This is a form of financial punishment for the at-fault party. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to any compensatory damages, and they are awarded by a jury if your case goes to trial.
Document Your Injuries After an Attack
After the initial shock has worn off and you’ve received medical care, it’s important to document your injuries.
Take photos of visual injuries, document any pain or emotional distress, and record if your clothing was ripped or torn. If you visited a physician, keep your medical bills, pharmacy receipts, or request a written note about your injuries. Documenting your injuries strengthens your case. Be sure to document:
- Visible injuries, bleeding or bruising
- Scrapes or cuts
- Emotional distress
- Loss of mobility
Should You Contact Your Insurer?
Following an attack, you may feel compelled to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Claims can provide immediate assistance with medical costs. Yet, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney before calling your insurer.
Insurance companies always protect the bottom line, even your own insurer. That means they can delay, ignore, or outright deny your claims. When you hire a Virginia dog bite lawyer, your attorney will file these claims on your behalf and will fight against aggressive or bullying behavior.
If you’re contacted by an attorney or insurer for the at-fault party, you’re not legally obligated to talk with them. In fact, we recommend you do not speak with anyone else about your case. This helps protect your rights and your case.
What to Do After a Biting Incident
Immediately following a biting incident, you’ll likely be in shock, scared, and suffering from injuries. Your most important focus should be on receiving medical treatment. Yet, there are other steps you can take to protect your rights and safety. We recommend you follow these steps after a biting incident:
- Seek Medical Care – Call 911 and receive medical treatment for any injuries you have.
- File a Police Report – Even if you did not need to call 911 for your injuries, it’s important to contact police and file a report. Share any information you can about the attack. You can also file a report with animal control.
- Document Your Injuries – As soon as possible, record any injuries, pain, or emotional distress you experience. Similarly, keep medical bills and pharmacy receipts.
- Exchange Contact Information – Get the name, phone number, and address from the dog owner. If an owner refuses to share details, contact police.
- Gather Evidence – Get contact information for any witnesses. Record where you were when the incident happened and any details that led up to the incident.
- Seek Legal Advice – It’s important to contact a Virginia dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after an attack. In Virginia, victims have two years to file a claim. Contacting an attorney right away can help you build a strong case and collect the compensation you deserve.
Request a FREE Case Evaluation
If you’ve been injured by an aggressive dog, you’re likely scared and unsure of who to trust. The legal process can be overwhelming. Virginia dog bite lawyer Michael Strong has the experience you need. Our legal team will walk you through your legal options, determine if you have a case, and help you file claims to start receiving compensation to offset medical costs right away.
Call now for a free, no-obligation case review. We’re happy to help you decide what to do next.