Cheney dog owners can show love to their pups by taking them around one of the city’s grassy, wooded areas like Hagelin Park or on a more wild run over at the Columbia Plateau Trail State Park. These trips can be the highlight of the day, but no matter where they roam, dog owners must always make sure people are kept safe from a situation that may get them bit.
You may be at a dog park, in an apartment complex, in someone’s home, or even on the street taking a walk when a dog targets you or a loved one. Then victims and their families may wonder who can be called upon for help with the resulting hospital bills and rehabilitation costs from a dog bite injury.
Dog Bite Dangers In Cheney
There are somewhere around 78 million dogs sharing homes with humans in America. We love our dogs, but we must also remember that they can have different reactions and instincts than humans. A human may be able to see that an action is harmless or funny, while a dog may see the same action as a threat and be frightened. This fear can lead to a bite.
Around 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and nearly 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Medicinenet also finds that more than 27,000 victims require reconstructive surgery.
If you or a loved one are ever the victims of a serious dog bite, please contact the personal injury lawyers with CCD Law of Spokane. Our attorneys have experience dealing with insurance companies who represent at-fault dog owners. These cases can be complex and insurance companies can try their best to railroad you into accepting only the bare minimum in compensation for an injury that may affect your health for years to come.
Washington Dog Bite Liability Laws
Washington law is very much on the side of the bite victim, and that’s not always the case in other states.
Washington’s Revised Code Section 16.08.050 lays out that the owner of a dog that injures a person is liable for damages suffered if two things are true. First, the injury must be proven to have truly come from a dog bite. Second, the victim must have been in a public place at the time, or the victim was invited onto private property when the bite occurred.
A friend or family member can invite you into their homes and if a dog bite occurs they can be held liable for every hospital bill you receive while trying to recuperate.
There are a few more factors that can apply to Washington dog bite cases:
- No “one bite” rule. Some states have a rule that dog owners are only fully liable for a bite when their dogs have proven to be dangerous in the past. If they’ve bitten before, the owner should have known of the dangers and prevented any more opportunities for biting. This doesn’t apply in Washington. Dog owners face “strict liability” to pay for a victim’s medical care and financial losses even if this was the first case of the dog being aggressive.
- If you were trespassing you may not have a case. If you weren’t invited onto someone’s property and were bit you may have a hard time proving liability. You may still file a claim, but the above dog bite state code won’t apply to you, making it harder to prove the property owner was at fault.
- If you provoked a dog and were injured you can’t collect compensation. If a victim was attacking or provoking a dog, the dog’s owner won’t be liable for a bite wound.
Compensation After a Dog Bite in Cheney
Dog bite compensation amounts can be affected by the severity of the injury and how it affects the victim’s life down the road. The effects can be especially devastating for young children who are bitten.
The injuries can be painful and the effects can continue for months and years. Many bites are on the hands and legs and can tear muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissue. A bite can affect how much control you have over a hand and it can leave pain that returns on a regular basis. Bites can also leave victims with permanent disfigurement. Infections including tetanus and rabies can also cause extreme complications.
Filing a claim for damages can help victims pay hospital bills and reimburse missed time at work. Compensation can also factor in emotional anguish and anxiety left over after such a frightening experience.
You may feel conflicted about filing a lawsuit against a friend or family member after a bite experienced at their house. You should not look at it as targeting the loved one. If they have homeowners insurance, your compensation would come from their insurance company. Homeowners pay insurance premiums so that victims can get help when they need it.
Contact a Cheney Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one was the victim of a dog attack it’s important to know the rights that Washington Law affords you. You weren’t responsible for the accident and you should never have to face the consequences of a dog bite alone.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients across Spokane County with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Cheney Dog Bite Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that will explore every option to keep you and your family protected from the financial hardships an injury can bring. 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.