Seattle Lawyers Answer Dog Bite FAQs
Assisting Dog Attack Victims
In the state of Washington, dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets. This includes acts of aggression or violence that lead to injuries such as disfigurement, broken bones, and even death. Sadly, many victims of dog bites are caught unaware and unable to protect themselves from a dangerous and aggressive canine. These attacks are commonly unpredictable and unpreventable. As such, dog owners in Washington are held strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the attack was foreseeable.
Dog bite injuries can be painful and require endless treatment and surgeries. During this time, it is vital that you focus on healing and spending time with your loved ones, not struggling with medical bills or trying to get the dog owner to admit fault. Let the skilled dog bite injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. help you during this difficult time by taking charge and seeking compensation and justice for your injuries. Our Seattle dog bite attorneys have decades of experience with assisting injured clients with recouping compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our premier personal injury boutique provides complimentary consultations to local Washington area clients. To speak with a lawyer, call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. today at (888) 228-3860.
How do I determine who is responsible for the dog that caused my injuries?
While the dog's owner is the most commonly liable party in a dog bite lawsuit, other individuals may be wholly or partially responsible as well. Washington law states that an individual who "harbors" or "keeps" a dog on their premises will be held liable for dog bite injuries. Harboring and keeping refer to permitting a dog to stay on the premises, taking some action to indicate an intent to control the dog, and otherwise caring for the dog. As such, in some circumstances, a dog sitter may be liable for injuries caused by a negligently supervised dog.
Is an owner liable for dog bite injuries if the dog had a history of being docile and obedient?
Yes. Washington is a strict liability dog bite state. According to section 16.08.040 of the Revised Code of Washington, a dog owner will be liable for injuries even if he was not aware of the dog's aggressive demeanor. In fact, a dog owner will still be liable even if the dog never exhibited prior aggression or viciousness.
Does it matter where the dog bite occurs?
Dog owner liability can be limited based on where the attack occurs, but the Washington statute protects victims of attacks that occur in a wide variety of locations. Dog owners will be liable for any dog bite that occurs in a public place, such as a public park. In addition, dog owners will also be liable for dog bites that occur on the victim's private property. The dog owner can even be liable for dog bites that occur on his own property if the victim is lawfully on the property. This includes invited guests, such as friends or family members, as well as individuals with a lawful purpose on the property, like mailmen. However, the dog owner is not liable for injuries sustained by trespassers.
What should I do after a dog bite in Seattle?
If you are bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. Even if the bite doesn't seem severe, it may become infected. After receiving treatment, contact the experienced Seattle dog bite lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Our mission is to review what happened, gather evidence, and pursue compensation for your injuries, whether through a settlement or trial.
Consult with Our Seattle Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured by a vicious or aggressive dog, schedule a free consultation with the knowledgeable lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. today by calling (888) 228-3860.