If you were attacked by someone else’s dog and your injury required medical attention, you should consider contacting a Virginia dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your medical bills, disfigurement, scarring, plastic surgery, lost wages, pain and suffering, along with any other financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the attack.
With zero obligation to work with an attorney beyond the free consultation, there’s no reason not to explore your options.
Do You Have A Dog Bite Case?
- Were you attacked by someone else’s dog?
- Did the dog attack cause physical injury?
- Did you see a doctor for your injuries?
- Was the dog attack a result of negligence?
- Did the dog attack occur in Virginia?
If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, set up a free consultation with our legal team to discuss your legal rights (877)544-5323.
The Serpe Firm legal team has successfully settled Virginia dog bite cases for children, USPS mail carriers, FedEX and UPS drivers, delivery drivers, joggers, neighbors, innocent bystanders and more.
As a personal injury attorney with over 35 years of experience, Richard Serpe advocates for those who have been injured due to negligence. Mr. Serpe is a highly skilled trial attorney with a reputation for meticulous preparation and presentation. He has a track record of success in obtaining favorable jury verdicts and settlements for his clients.
Awards & Recognition: “Super Lawyer” – top 5% of lawyers in Virginia (2006 – Present); Best Lawyers in America (2005 – Present); AV rating (highest given) from the Martindale-Hubbell law directory; Rated 10/10 – “Superb” by attorney rating service Avvo.com.
What should I do if I was attacked by a dog?
Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your right to compensation:
- Get medical attention. First and foremost, if you’ve been injured, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention from a professional to protect your health. If you plan to make a personal injury claim, your medical records will document the serious nature of your injuries. If you do not seek medical treatment for your injuries, the defendant and his/her insurance company may try to claim 1) that your injuries were not serious, or 2) that you were not injured in the attack.
- Report the incident to the police, ﬁre, or animal control department. When an animal attacks a person, that animal has become a potential threat to the health and safety of the public and should be reported to authorities. Further, animal control will need to conduct an investigation into the incident as well as quarantine the animal for rabies. The animal control investigative findings will become crucial evidence in your personal injury case.
- Consider contacting a lawyer. While hiring a lawyer is not required, having an experienced professional to advocate for your needs could mean a larger settlement for you and your family. A successful settlement can cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, plastic surgery, permanent injuries and disabilities, a wrongful death, as well as the loss of earning capacity.
Virginia Dog Bite Laws
Information on Virginia dog bite laws.
Virginia’s “One Bite” Rule
If a dog owner knows that their pet has bitten at least one time in the past, they can be held liable for the damages caused in subsequent attacks. In other words, if Fido got into trouble for biting a neighbor last year, his owner must take necessary precautions to prevent additional attacks from occurring. Should Fido bite again, his owner will likely be held responsible for the victim’s financial losses. This is because the owner knew of the dog’s violent tendencies but did not take action to prevent additional attacks.
Negligence Per Se
Even if the dog does not have a violent past, negligent owners can still be held liable if a law was broken at the time of the attack. Victims may sue for compensation so long as they have evidence that the owner failed to control their pet and follow the law. For instance, if you’re at the park and are attacked by a dog whose owner has let it roam off the leash, you may have a viable claim. The decision to allow the dog off the leash in a place with strict leash requirements demonstrates the owner’s negligence.
Statute of Limitations (Deadlines)
In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Typically, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as the statute of limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances can alter that deadline. While two years seems like a long time, it takes time for you to heal and it takes time to build a strong case. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. At the least, consider contacting someone to discuss your options as early as possible to protect your right to compensation.