Serving Spokane Since 1948

Dog bites can be downright scary and painful. Many times the wound is small, and the violence of the attack seems to be the worst part. But other times, a dog attack can cause serious injury to the victim. When this happens, victims often want to know what they can do about it?

Can you sue the same if you were in a car accident? How are the dog owners going to pay for the damages if the amount is significant?

Washington Dog Bite Laws

In Washington state, anyone that is bitten by a dog can sue the owner for damages so long as:

  • The damages claimed came from a bite from that owner’s dog, and
  • The victim didn’t provoke the dog, and
  • The attack happened in a public place, or
    • A private place where the victim was invited or otherwise lawfully allowed to be there.

This law replaced a long-standing doctrine that required the victim to show that the dog owner was negligent in that he or she knew that the dog had either bitten before or was an aggressive dog.


Many times, the owner of the dog has homeowner’s insurance that will pay for damages from a dog bite even if the attack didn’t happen at the home. If the person doesn’t own a home, then they might have renters insurance. A good attorney will know how to find out all available resources that the dog owner has.

Types of Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury

Another question dog bite victims often have is what can they sue for? Obviously medical bills, but what else? In Washington state, a person can seek any financial loss they suffer from the incident as well as intangible losses like mental anguish.

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost time from work
  • Permanent disability
  • Transportation to treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Job retraining (if you can’t do your old job)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of Consortium (physical intimacy)
  • Mental anguish, including PTSD

What to do If You’ve Been Attacked by a Dog in Spokane

The first thing is to get safe and then take care of all immediate medical injuries. If possible, get information on the dog and the dog owner, such as the name of owner, address, name and breed of dog and names of any witnesses. Take pictures if possible, and then take pictures of the wound.

Then once you get treated, you should talk to a Spokane Dog Bite Attorney who knows the law and can help you wade through the law and get compensation for your injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury  Accident Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your personal injury case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.


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