Dog Attack Attorneys in Washington
Being bitten by a dog can be an emotionally traumatizing experience, as well as causing significant levels of physical injury. While most dogs earn their title as “man’s best friend,” there are aggressive dogs out there as well. When a dog is not properly supervised, or the owner’s negligence led to the dog bite, it is extremely important that you seek legal representation. The law firm of Kadish Twersky has more than a half-century of combined experience regarding dog bites.
Attorneys Jeff Twersky and Glenn Kadish have settled dog bite cases and litigated dog bite cases against dog owners, government entities, and insurance companies. We have a solid track record of good results for our clients who have suffered a dog bite. Our firm has recently merged with Palace Law, providing even more benefits for our clients. Every client is treated with respect, integrity, and professionalism; our goal is to ensure you recover the damages you are entitled to following a serious dog bite.
Washington Dog Bite Laws
The dog bite statutes in Washington are actually favorable to the victims of dog bites, as the owner of the dog is strictly liable. Further, any person who harbors, keeps, or exhibits negligence in relation to a dog can be held liable for injuries caused by the dog. Landlords are typically protected from liability for any injuries inflicted by a dog—unless the dog belongs to the landlord. If the dog has bitten before, then the owner of the dog could be held liable as a result of that propensity to bite. So, when an owner fails to control his or her dog, and another person is injured as a result, the owner could be held liable for those injuries.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
According to dogbites.org, every American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog at some point in his or her life. There are around 4.5 million dog bites each year in the U.S.; as many as 20 percent of those bites will become infected. In 2018, 27,000 individuals underwent reconstructive surgery as the direct result of a dog bite. It is estimated that victims of dog bites have monetary losses of more than $1 billion per year, although the Journal of American Medicine places this number at closer to $2 billion. Newborns, infants, and toddlers between the ages of 0-2 made up about 27 percent of all dog bite fatality victims between the years 2005 and 2018. Among adults, 78 percent of dog bite fatality victims were female in 2018.
Can Owner Behaviors Lead to Dog Bite Injuries?
Dog owners must take responsibility for training their dogs and keeping those dogs under control at all times. Although many dogs bite in response to feeling threatened in some way, it is the dog’s owner who is responsible for the dog’s behavior. Obviously, allowing a dog to be off a leash in an area where there are people—particularly children—is rarely a good idea, even for owners who believe their dog will “never” bite. Those who live in an urban neighborhood should always keep their dog securely contained behind a fence; the dog should never be allowed to roam the neighborhood freely. Dog training is a good idea for many dogs, and socialization for dogs is also a goal to ensure the dog remains calm under a variety of circumstances.
Typical Injuries Stemming from a Dog Attack
Injuries related to a dog bite can be extremely serious, particularly for smaller children, who are often bitten in the face. Not only can a dog bite result in a serious infection, it could also require many reconstructive surgeries for the person bitten. When a pack of dogs attacks a person, the injuries can be much more severe, even fatal.
Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite
There are certain steps you should take following a dog bite, including:
- Immediately call 911 or take yourself to the doctor after being bitten by a dog. Even if you think your injuries are not that severe, don’t take chances. The most minor dog bite can become infected, leading to surgery and a potentially lengthy hospital stay. The dog’s saliva can contain a variety of dangerous bacteria, so don’t take chances with your health.
- File a police report after being bitten by a dog. This could be extremely important if you end up having to take the dog’s owner to court in order to make them pay for your medical expenses. Give the police officer all the details regarding your dog bite, then make sure you obtain a copy of the report as soon as it is available.
- Notify the owner of the dog that his or her dog bit you. You may know who the dog belongs to if you were bitten in your own neighborhood. If you were bitten elsewhere it might be harder to track down the dog’s owner, however, this is an extremely important step. Ask people in the area if they know who the dog belongs to.
- While your homeowner’s insurance may cover your injuries, once you find the owner of the dog, you will want to determine whether the owner has insurance, which may cover your medical expenses related to the dog bite.
- Report the bite to the local Humane Society. The dog that bit you may not be a first-time offender and the Humane Society may have documentation to show this.
- Make sure to preserve all evidence related to your dog bite. If you are unable to do so, have a friend or family member take photographs of your injuries as well as the area where the dog bite/attack occurred. If your clothing is damaged or blood-stained, do not wash the garments; place them in a large Zip-lock bag for preservation. If there were witnesses to the dog attack, contact them as soon as possible and that they write a statement regarding what they saw when the dog attacked you. Take daily photographs of your wounds to show both the severity of the wounds as well as the progression of how the wounds are healing. Keep detailed notes of every single detail pertaining to your dog bite, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
How Kadish Twersky Can Help
If your injuries from a dog bite are more than superficial, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the incident. Washington state has specific laws related to dog bites, and your Kadish Twersky attorney will be knowledgeable about these laws. Having a personal injury attorney by your side can make the aftermath of your dog bite significantly less traumatic. Your Kadish Twersky dog bite attorney will fight for your rights and for your future, working hard to ensure you receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with a dog bite. Contact Kadish Twersky today following your Washington dog bite.