Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyer, Loren Etengoff
In most cases, dog bites are minor and require little or no medical attention. However, many of them result in serious injuries with permanent scarring, with some even resulting in death. When this happens and serious financial repercussions occur (such as medical bills) the owner may be liable for these medical bills, say Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers at the law offices of Loren Etengoff.
The Nature of Dog Bites
It is important to understand that even a minor bite has the potential to be serious. For instance, a skin puncture raises the potential of a rabies infection if the dog was not properly vaccinated. Additionally, Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers report that most bite victims are young children. This is due to their relatively small stature which makes their face particularly vulnerable to a dog’s bite.
A Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyer on Washington Law
Washington is a strict liability state unlike many states that have a one-bite rule. This means that an owner of a dog is liable for the damages caused by the dog’s first bite, even if the owner had no reason to know or suspect the dog may bite someone. The term “owner” includes not only the dog’s legal owner but also a “harborer” or “keeper” of a dog.
Dog Bite Defenses
Although the standard is strict liability, there are two defenses Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers can raise:
- The dog bite was the result of provocation; this is a complete defense.
- The person bitten was a trespasser; for strict liability to stand, the law requires the bitten person to be on public property or lawfully on private property.
Liability does not fall on the landlord for damages caused by their tenant’s dog bite despite knowing of the propensity of the dog to bite, say the Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers at the Law Offices of Loren Etengoff.
Injuries Other Than Dog Bites
Washington’s dog bite statute applies only to damages sustained by a bite. If, for example, a dog runs into an individual and knocks that person down causing physical harm, the owner of the dog may be liable, but not under a strict liability theory. In such a case, the injured plaintiff would need to prove the owner was negligent in not controlling the dog.
Contact Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers for Legal Advice
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, let the Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers at the Law Office of Loren Scott Etengoff take over. Call at (360) 693-2919.