The state law presumes that a dog’s owner is liable for any damage that results from a bite or other form of attack. However, this does not mean that pet owners cannot attempt to avoid liability following an injury. They may argue that you provoked the animal or were trespassing at the time of the incident. This could impact your ability to collect the compensation you need to move forward in life.
A Seattle dog bite lawyer could help you collect these payments. Assistance from a skilled injury attorney could help you recover compensation for medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages, and payments for any emotional trauma connected to the incident.
Pet Owner Liability in Seattle
According to the Revised Code of Washington § 16.08.040, a dog’s owner is liable for any bite that occurs in public or on the owner’s property as long as the injured individual had permission to be on that property. However, the law also provides pet owners with significant means to rebut this presumption of fault. For example, an owner may argue that the plaintiff did not have permission to be on the property and that the animal was defending the land.
Another potential defense relies on the theory of provocation. Under RCW § 16.08.060, a canine’s owner may argue that the attack was the result of an aggressive or teasing act on the part of the claimant. In these situations, the owner bears the burden of proving this concept. A Seattle attorney could help prove that the individual who was bitten by the dog had legal permission to be on the property at the time of the attack or fight to dispel any notion of provocation.
Impact of a Canine Attack
Any dog bite, no matter how small, can result in serious damage. Dogs’ mouths are dirty places and contain millions of bacteria. Aggressive medical attention may be necessary to prevent infection. Of course, bites can also result in deep cuts, muscle tears, and torn ligaments. These injuries can necessitate extensive medical care in the present as well as the future. Furthermore, many bites can result in scars and disfigurement.
While the medical costs associated with a dog bite can be significant, they are not the only possible source of compensation. People can also seek payments for:
- Emotional and physical suffering
- Post-traumatic stress
- Lost wages due to missing time at work to make a recovery
A Seattle lawyer could help people measure how their attack has changed their lives and demand appropriate compensation from dog owners.
Let a Seattle Dog Bite Attorney Fight to Make Things Right
State laws make it clear that every pet owner is responsible for the actions of their animals. This includes providing fair compensation to people who suffer harm after a bite or attack. Still, owners may attempt to shift blame onto you or argue that the bite occurred on private property.
A Seattle dog bite lawyer could help you to prove that an owner was liable for your injuries. They could also take the lead to measure your losses and demand proper payments. Reach out today to learn more.