VIRGINIA BEACH DOG BITE ATTORNEYS
WE CAN HOLD DOG OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE
If you were bitten by someone else’s dog in Virginia Beach, then you should explore your legal options to get compensation from its owner. You might also be able to file against the owner of the property on which the dog attack occurred.
Huffman & Huffman and our dog bite lawyers would be happy to help you understand your choices for pursuing compensation. We offer tried-and-true legal counsel that makes every step of your case simple and stress-free. Whether we are negotiating with an insurance company for a fair settlement amount or fighting them in court on your behalf, you can trust that we will do all we can to conclude your case in the best possible way.
Call (757) 599-6050 now if you were bitten by a dog!
ONE-BITE RULE IN VIRGINIA
Virginia has a one-bite rule when it comes to allowing dog bite injury claims. Under this rule, dog owners can be found strictly liable for any damages caused by their dog – or even any other domesticated or agricultural animal on their property – in any situation. Even if the dog never had a history of aggression and even if it did not give any warning that it was about to bite, the dog owner can be liable for the victim’s damages.
In a dog bite claim, victims can seek economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
WHO PAYS FOR A DOG BITE CLAIM?
Many dog bite victims hesitate to seek legal action against the dog’s owner because they know that owner. For example, if you were bitten by your friend’s dog, then you probably don’t want to sue your friend. The good news is that you won’t sue them, not directly. Instead, you will file against one of their relevant insurance policies, most likely a homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy. Insurance companies are built to pay out claims like yours, and you should never feel bad for using an insurance policy as intended.
WILL THE DOG BE OKAY IF YOU SUE?
Another reason why you might be hesitating to start a dog bite injury claim is that you don’t want the dog to get hurt or destroyed for hurting you. There is no strict, unmovable law in Virginia that requires a dog to be put down because it bit someone. Oftentimes, the court will evaluate the details of the animal attack and decide the best course of action for all parties involved and the overall wellbeing of the Commonwealth.
If you were bitten by a dog with no history of violence, then the court might instruct its owner to keep it confined to their property, for example. Dogs who have shown signs of aggression or who have hurt someone before could be destroyed, though. Ultimately, you should focus on your recovery because you deserve it.
PURE CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE RULES & DOG BITES
In Virginia, a pure contributory negligence rule makes it impossible for a claimant to make a recovery against a defendant when that claimant is at least 1% at fault for their damages. This restrictive rule is crucial in dog bite claims because it creates an opportunity for the dog owner to build a strong defense. If they can argue that you did something to provoke their dog into biting you, then your case could fall apart.
Actions that could hurt your chances of filing a successful dog bite injury claim include:
- Hitting or striking the dog.
- Taunting or yelling at the dog without being provoked first.
- Trespassing on properties that warn of an aggressive dog.
- Roughhousing with the dog and being hurt accidentally.
Tell our attorneys as much as you can about the events that preceded the dog attack. We can look for possible issues that might damage your case due to Virginia’s harsh contributory negligence rule. If we find any, we can look for new ways to keep your case moving forward.
TALK TO OUR TEAM TODAY ABOUT YOUR DOG BITE CASE
Our Virginia Beach dog bite lawyers are always ready to hear from the wrongfully injured in our communities. If you were hurt for any reason, including due to a dog bite or animal attack, then we should be the first law firm you call for assistance. We go above and beyond for our clients!
Request a FREE, confidential consultation today.