Who's Responsible for Your Dog Bite in Washington?
When visiting friends, neighbors, or simply taking a stroll through town, the last thing you expect is an attack or bite from a dog. Dog bites are painful, damaging, and traumatic. They can come out of nowhere and leave you with lasting scars, both physically and emotionally.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) estimates 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites each year — and half of these people are children. A Washington dog bite lawyer can help you or a loved one receive compensation for medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
Dog Bite Laws in Washington
Each state has its own laws regarding dog bites and liability. In Washington, the law falls on the side of dog bite victims, as your attorney can explain.
- In the vast majority of cases, the owner of the dog is responsible for any dog bite injuries, whether or not the dog was previously vicious.
- This holds the same for anyone who is negligent with or harbors a dog that bites.
- Liability may expand if the dog has a history of biting or aggression.
- A person can also be held liable if he or she failed to control the dog before it bit someone. "Failure to control" means letting a dog off a leash or failing to keep it properly fenced in.
Landlords are not typically held liable for the actions of their tenants' dogs.
What to Do if a Dog Bites You
Following are steps you should take if you suffer a dog attack.
- First, seek medical attention. Dog bites are puncture wounds — easily infected and may require stitches. If the dog can't be identified, you may need protection against rabies.
- Take photos of the bite wound, the dog, and surrounding area.
- If the dog is unaccompanied, call the police or animal control for assistance.
Contact a Tacoma dog bite attorney if you or a loved one suffers a dog bite. You deserve compensation for your injuries.