Arlington Dog Bite Lawyer

Aggressive and vicious dogs are dangerous, presenting a threat to those around them. In Arlington, as in the whole of Virginia, owners who keep aggressive dogs are liable for any injuries that may result from their dog’s behavior.

Per Virginia law, a dangerous dog is one that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.

If you or a loved one are injured by a dog you may be entitled to recover financial compensation. Decisive Arlington dog bite lawyers can assist you in understanding your legal rights. A compassionate personal injury lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Who is Responsible for a Vicious Dog?

The first place to look for responsibility is with the owner of the dog. Dog owners have a responsibility to prevent their dogs from causing injury to other persons or animals.

In some situations, the person responsible for controlling the dog may also be responsible. Someone walking the dog who fails to control the dog’s behavior may be held liable for injuries the dog causes.

Similarly, a kennel, veterinarian, or other boarding-type business may be held liable if they fail to properly control a dog and, as a result of that failure, someone is injured by the dog.

Applicable Leash Laws in Arlington

Arlington, Virginia has specific laws which mandate leash usage for dogs in public spaces. Arlington County Code 2-6 states that all dogs must be leashed – even when owners are present. An Arlington dog bite lawyer knows that ignorance of the law is not an excuse; an owner cannot claim that they did not know their dog was supposed to be leashed in an attempt to avoid liability.

What Kind of Compensation Can an Injured Person Recover?

A personal injury claim arising from a dog attack will potentially give rise to a number of different damage claims.  These can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescription medication
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

In some situations, injuries sustained from a dog attack can be life-threatening. If in the unfortunate event a dog attack results in the death of the victim compensation for wrongful death may also be available. Wrongful death damages can include funeral, burial, and other after-death expenses in addition to those damages listed above.

Contributory Negligence

Virginia is one of the few states in which the doctrine of contributory negligence still applies. In Virginia, a defendant can claim that a plaintiff allegedly contributed to their own injury through their own negligent or careless action. If a defendant successfully claims contributory negligence, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation.

With dog bite cases, contributory negligence can be a serious problem for plaintiffs. If a defendant can successfully claim that the plaintiff was teasing or taunting the dog before the injury occurred the plaintiff could be barred completely from recovering compensation.

Arlington dog bite lawyers understand what is at stake and are familiar with the tactics used by defendants to attempt to excuse the behavior of aggressive and dangerous dogs. Understanding these tactics is an essential step in avoiding a successful contributory negligence counterclaim.

How an Arlington Dog Bite Attorney Could Help

Being attacked by a dog is not a trauma easily forgotten. Beyond physical wounds can lie the emotional and psychological trauma of an attack.

An attack can leave victims anxious about their financial stability – medical bills, missed work, and diminished physical capacity can cripple a victim and their family.

If you or a loved one are injured by a dangerous dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Protect your legal rights and safeguard your future – contact an Arlington dog bite lawyer.