Liability in Virginia Dog Bite Injury Cases

Although it may seem straightforward, in dog bite injury cases there can be a variety of factors that influence liability. The following is information on what types of evidence can be used to establish liability and who is typically sued in dog bite injury cases. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a Virginia dog bite lawyer today.

Establishing Liability in Dog Bite Cases

Liability is largely established through investigation and witness testimony, however in dog bite cases specifically you are going to have to show that they have notice of a dangerous condition, vicious propensity, or that they were violating the leash law. With regards to the leash law, ignorance is not an excuse and will not apply to the situation. If somebody has got a dog running free in the neighborhood and there is a leash law in place, it doesn’t matter if the owner knew about the leash law.

With that said, showing notice is probably the most important. It is always tough to show notice, and in these types of cases it is tough to prevail if you can’t also show that the dog was not provoked. If the plaintiff was messing with the dog in some way, teasing them or prodding them with something, then that is more likely to be a contributory negligence situation where the defendant is going to say the person that was bit, brought that on themselves.

What Types of Evidence Goes Into Establishing Liability?

There are a variety of things that go into establishing liability, these can include: animal control, veterinary records, interviewing neighbors. If there is a vicious dog around a neighborhood, and they bit somebody and caused some serious injuries, there is usually someone else in the neighborhood has seen the dog before doing something they shouldn’t have. So those are probably the best sources.

Who Typically Gets Sued in a Dog Bite Case

The dog owner is always a good starting point, but the dog owner is not always necessarily going to be the person who is walking the dog, or who is responsible for controlling it at that time. You need to look at who is controlling the dog, who is responsible for what they are doing at that time, physically where they are, as well as who owns the dog.

If it happens in the courtyard of an apartment complex, it may not be as strong an argument against the landowner as in a single family rented home where the landlord lives right next door, and is there all the time and to put up the fence to keep the dog in. In that sort of situation, the landlord is going to have a lot of notice of how the dog actually acts, what they look like, and what their propensities are. So you could definitely pursue a claim against or file a lawsuit against a landowner, a landlord, or somebody who is just walking the dog. All these people could potentially be exposed to liability.