Washington Dog Bite Laws | A Vancouver Lawyer Explains Your Rights

Bit By A Dog? Ask A Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyer About Your Legal Rights

Dogs make incredible companions. Many people have grown up with a dog or own one. They are intelligent, playful, energetic, and make great additions to families. Even though most might agree that dogs are a joy in their lives, not every interaction with a dog is wonderful. Some interactions can be dangerous, harmful, or deadly even. If you are bitten by a dog, it can be a very confusing and scary situation to find yourself in. That’s why it is important to find a dog bite attorney who can help you understand the state’s dog biting laws.

Schedule a Consultation

Dog Bite Laws

If you’re the victim of a dog bite, you need to understand the relevant laws. Dog bite laws are often a mix of municipal ordinances, state laws, common laws, and case laws. With all these different types of laws, you may feel overwhelmed, but it is easier to look at dog bite laws in terms of civil and criminal liability. 

Civil Liability

Before we explain what the law might entitle a dog bite victim to, it’s important to point out that even the strictest liability dog bite laws will not apply in certain instances. For example, they won’t apply if the victim provoked or antagonized the dog. They also won’t apply in the cases where a victim was trespassing. If a victim was partially responsible for the attack, the laws might apply, but they may limit the dog owner’s liability.

But in general, you’ll have the right to take civil action against a dog’s owner if:

  • You can prove the bite occurred because the canine’s owner was unreasonably careless or negligent.
  • You can demonstrate the dog’s owner knew their pet had a propensity for violence. 
  • The state has a strict liability dog bite law, which makes the pet’s owner financially responsible for the consequences of the bite no matter what their level of negligence was and regardless of the dog’s lifelong history.
  • The state has a one-bite rule, which makes the owner liable if they knew or should have realized that their dog posed a threat to others.

Criminal Liability

As a personal injury lawyer, we can tell you that a dog owner may also be legally responsible for their pet’s actions in a criminal sense. A court may instruct an owner to implement special precautions, for example, or it may require that a dog with a history of biting be put down. If their dog kills a person, the dog’s owner may be charged with manslaughter if the individual recklessly and knowingly ignored the danger their pet posed to others.

Find Your Dog Bite Attorney at Philbrook Law Office

Our Vancouver, WA law office has helped dog bite victims located throughout Washington and Oregon for years. As your trusted dog bite lawyer, we’ll labor tirelessly to ensure that the party at fault reimburses you for your medical expenses, pain, suffering lost wages, reduced earning potential, and more.

To learn what we can do to help you, contact Philbrook Law Office to talk to an experienced attorney.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment