Fairfax, VA Dog Bite Lawyer

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Fairfax, VA Dog Bite Attorney

A dog bite or attack can cause severe mental trauma and physical damage. For elderly people or children, bites can be especially harmful. When a dog attacks someone because their owner was negligent in restraining or caring for their dog, or if the owner should have known that their dog was aggressive, the dog owner can be liable. A Fairfax, VA, personal injury lawyer can help injured parties get the compensation they deserve from the owner.

Dog bites can cause serious injuries, including punctures, infection, broken bones, and other damage. While dog owners understandably consider their dogs to be part of their family, they still have the responsibility to prevent harm to others by keeping an eye on their dogs.

Dog bites and animal attacks can also fall under premises liability law when a property owner fails to ensure that their premises are safe. A Fairfax, VA, premises liability lawyer can help injured parties determine the right option for a claim after an injury caused by an animal.

Fairfax VA Dog Bite Lawyer

Legal Support From an Experienced Fairfax, VA, Dog Bite Lawyer

The team with Whitlock Law, LLC, has significant experience in personal injury and premises liability claims, including dog bite injuries and attacks. With decades of personal injury skill between our attorneys, we have the resources and knowledge needed to determine if you have a viable claim and fight for your interests.

We know how stressful and traumatic a dog attack can be. You deserve fair compensation if the owner was negligent, and our team can recover that compensation to help you heal.

Understanding Dog Bite Laws in Fairfax

Virginia is a one-bite state regarding dog owner liability. While other states hold dog owners strictly liable for any harm their dog causes, dog owners in Virginia are held liable only if:

  1. Their negligence led directly to the dog biting or attacking someone.
  2. They knew or reasonably should have known that the dog was dangerous due to a prior attack or bite on another person that caused serious injury or a prior attack on another companion animal that led to serious injury or death.

If neither of these conditions is true, the dog owner is not liable for the injuries that their dog causes to another person. If you were injured, an attorney is essential to determine if the owner truly did not know that their dog was dangerous.

A dog owner’s negligence may apply in several situations, such as if they did not have their dog on a leash. A dog owner may also have failed to socialize their dog, making it more aggressive around other dogs or people. An owner can also be liable for not maintaining fencing, which allows the dog to leave their yard.

An attorney in Fairfax can also investigate the facts of the dog attack to determine if the owner acted negligently. If an owner’s negligence directly led to the dog attacking another person and causing damages, then the dog owner can be held liable.

Common Injuries in Dog Attacks

Dog bites and dog attacks are taken so seriously because they can cause severe and even fatal injuries. Many injuries are the direct result of the bite or attack, while others may be from falling to the ground or off high locations because of the animal. Common injuries include:

  • Lacerations and punctures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Rabies
  • Infection and sepsis
  • Loss of limbs
  • Disfigurement
  • Death

The injured party can file a personal injury claim against a negligent dog owner, but not all victims survive their injuries. In that case, their surviving family members can benefit from a wrongful death claim filed against the dog owner by the deceased’s estate.

Fairfax Dog Bite Attorney FAQs

Q: Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Virginia?

A: Yes, you may be able to sue for a dog bite in Virginia, depending on the circumstances. If the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous, they may be liable. Owners may claim to be unaware that their dog is dangerous, but this could be proven to be untrue. Even if the dog wasn’t known to be dangerous, there are other ways that the owner could still be liable. If the owner acted negligently, such as by failing to have their dog on a leash, they may be liable for any harm the dog caused.

Q: How Much Money Can I Get From a Dog Bite?

A: The amount of money that you can get from a dog bite claim will largely depend on the severity of your injuries, among other factors. More serious injuries tend to require higher-cost medical treatment, which increases the value of a dog bite claim. Other factors that influence the value of a claim include:

  • The severity of the negligence of the owner or other at-fault party
  • Whether the claim is settled out of court or in court
  • The skill of your attorney
  • The value of other damages, such as property damage

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Dog Bite in Virginia?

A: The statute of limitations on a dog bite claim in Virginia is two years from the date of the incident, which is the time limit on most personal injury claims. If you don’t file in time, you are unable to recover compensation. There are situations where this deadline can be extended, such as if the injured party is a minor and their parents or guardian does not file on the minor’s behalf. In those cases, the minor has two years from the day they turn 18.

Q: What Is the Virginia One-Bite Rule?

A: The Virginia one-bite rule states that an owner of a dog can be held liable for the damages that their dog causes if they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous due to previous attacks or bites. Owners can also be liable for negligence in controlling or restraining a dog, even if they did not believe that their dog was aggressive.

Protect Your Interests After a Dog Attack

Not all dog bites will result in a valid claim, but it’s important to determine if you have a viable personal injury claim with a skilled attorney. At Whitlock Law, LLC, we can help you understand your options for compensation and recovery after a dog bite. Contact our firm today.


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