Russell & Hill, PLLC


Posted on : October 27, 2020Posted By : Russell HillPosted In : Dog Bite

Most people, especially in the State of Washington are dog lovers whether they currently own one or not. However, if a dog is not properly restrained, trained, maintained, or handled by its owner, it can be very dangerous, including death.

In fact, according to, 2019 recorded 48 fatal dog attacks, the highest recorded in a single year. Of course, there are many other dog bite incidents ranging from superficial wounds to very serious and deforming injuries. See full report: 2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics –

In Washington State, a dog does not have to have a propensity (likelihood) for aggressive behavior to hold an owner accountable for injuries caused by the biting or attacking of a person. The main law that governs dog bite matters is below.

RCW 16.08.040

Dog bites—Liability

(1) The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) This section does not apply to the lawful application of a police dog, as defined in RCW 4.24.410.

Owner’s / Dog Defenses

A dog owner facing a dog bite lawsuit in Washington has two commonly used defenses:

  1. Provocation – teasing or provoking a dog to bite
  2. Trespassing – Entering the owners/dogs’ land or property without permission.

A dog owner may argue both defenses in the same case if both apply.

Injuries from a dog bite and mauling incidents can be very serious and have long-term consequences if not dealt with properly.

If you have been injured by a dog bite or mauling incident, contact an attorney about your case as soon as possible. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we pledge to conduct an immediate investigation into your injury and do everything we can to preserve crucial evidence so that we can secure all the compensation you are entitled to. If you need an Everett premises liability attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 425-212-9165.


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