According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those dog bites, about 800,000 cause serious injuries that require medical attention. Of the millions of people bitten by dogs each year, the majority are male and under 15 years of age. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children ages five to nine are at the highest risk experiencing a dog bite injury. Most children are bitten in the face or neck area, and the medical, emotional and psychological problems involved are often more serious. Insurance costs for dog bite claims are over $317 million per year. Dog bites can be scarring in more ways than one. If you or your child has been injured by a dog bite, it is important to know your legal rights. Contact Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law, to speak with an experienced Seattle dog bite attorney.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog there are some important steps you should take which include, but are not limited to:
- Obtain the name and address of the dog’s owner. If the owner is not present, write down a clear description of the dog and details of the bite. You may be able to obtain owner and dog information from the dog’s tags.
- Seek medical attention and have the injury treated. Even if the wound does not seem serious, dog bit injuries can often result in infections and other diseases that take a while to show up.
- Take photos of the dog and your injuries.
- Do not settle with the owner or discuss money damages.
- Contact an experienced Seattle dog bite attorney at Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law. Our dog bite attorneys have the skill and experience that are necessary to efficiently represent your case. Call 877-572-4143 today for a free legal consultation.
In many states, dog liability is absolute. Should a dog bite another person, the owners of that dog have virtually no defense. The dog bite laws in Washington State are very progressive and dog bite victims are well protected under these laws. Washington State has a “one bite rule” that states that if a domesticated animal has a history of viciousness or violence, then the owner or keeper of the animal is liable for that animal’s actions. Washington is also subject to strict liability, which states that the owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owners knowledge of such viciousness.
The State of Washington takes negligence into account and if the owner of the dog or animal involved in the attack fails to prevent harm, he or she can be liable for the dog’s damages. Landlords are also protected from dog bite liability and cannot be held responsible for there tenants dangerous animals.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack please contact a Seattle dog bite lawyer at Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law to discuss your case. Call today at 877-572-4143. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling dog attack cases and make the extra effort when it comes to investigating the possible causes of your dog bite incident so that you receive full compensation for your pain and suffering. We serve Seattle, Tacoma, and the entire State of Washington.