Dogs provide companionship and support for people all over the world, but sadly, some dogs can turn aggressive and attack other people due to their owners’ negligence.
If you were bitten by a dog and suffered an injury, you might be stressing over how to get relief. A Hanover County dog bite lawyer can study the facts of your case and help you weigh your options. A personal injury attorney can keep you informed throughout the process and represent your case for recovery.
A Hanover County dog bite attorney may assist a plaintiff in pursuing a negligence claim against a dog owner. In order to bring a successful claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate in court that the owner did not meet their duty of care by failing to secure their dog and prevent the risk of harm.
Many states have enacted dog bite statutes that make dog owners strictly liable when their dog causes injury to another person. However, Virginia is one of the few states that do not have a dog bite law. In Hanover County and throughout the state, owners may be held civilly liable under the “one bite” rule.
According to this rule, dog owners could be held liable for someone’s bite injury if the owner had actual knowledge, or should have known, that their dog had previously bitten someone in the past. Owners may also be subject to liability if they knew, or should have known, that their dog exhibited aggressive behavior in the past. A Hanover county dog bite attorney can help establish these facts to make the best case for the victim.
Dog owners may assert different legal defenses in order to escape liability. A dog bite lawyer in Hanover County can help plaintiffs prepare for these defenses in the event that they come up. Under Virginia Code §8.01-243 most plaintiffs must file their case within two years of the dog bite injury, although there are many exceptions.
One of the greatest factors that could preclude a plaintiff from receiving compensation is contributory negligence. If the defendant raises the issue and the jury finds that the plaintiff was even one percent at fault for causing the dog bite incident to occur, the jury would deny the plaintiff’s ability to seek damages. Typical occurrences that could raise issues of contributory negligence would be if the victim provoked the dog to attack or trespassed on the owner’s property.
It is difficult to understand the pain and suffering that a dog bite can cause. Depending on the incident, dog bite injuries can range in severity and could even cause permanent disability.
If you are the victim of a dog attack, you might benefit from the guidance of a Hanover County dog bite lawyer. We can help you overcome the challenges of filing a personal injury lawsuit and support your search for financial compensation. Call us today and schedule a consultation.