Russell & Hill, PLLC

In the past, Washington was subject to a law known as the “One Bite Rule.” It was so-called because it meant every dog owner had one “free bite” before they could be held legally accountable for the bite. However, Washington still lacked mandatory reporting requirements for dog bites, regardless of the severity of the attack. As a result of this, the legislation of Washington State was amended. This removed the requirement to prove that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior and that the owner had knowledge of it. Laws and Regulations Regarding Dog Bites

This statute (See RCW 16.08.040) states:

“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.”

If you are a victim or have a family member who was attacked by a dog, this means:

  • A dog’s owner can be held liable for the dog bite personal injury, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior.
  • If a person harbors a dog with an aggressive history, they are responsible for personal injury expenses, and this also extends the liability.
  • Negligent behavior on behalf of the owner, like failing to correct, discipline, or feed the dog, can make them liable for personal injuries.
  • If the owner violates leash laws or other animal control regulations, they may be held liable for dog bite personal injuries.

Dog Bite Injuries in Snohomish

Dog bite personal injuries can often result in permanent disfigurement, infection, extensive scarring, and even disability. Some victims even suffer from permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. These injuries usually require expensive, painful medical treatment like plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, infection treatments, and physical therapy. The most frequent dog bite injuries are:

  • Psychological trauma
  • Puncture wounds
  • Scrapes and bruising
  • Lacerations
  • Orthopedic injuries
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Children and Dog Bites

Dog bite injuries are the fifth most common reason why children are rushed to the emergency room. Children are the most common victims of dog bites. Kids between the age of five and nine are at the highest risk because they don’t understand how to pet, manage or play with dogs. Nevertheless, children under the age of four often suffer the gravest injuries, such as neck or head bites.

At Russell and Hill, PLLC, we understand the complexity of handling a dog bite personal injury as we have worked with many dog bite victims in the past. If you or a loved one have suffered a serious dog bite personal injury, contact us at Russell and Hill to get justice. Our experienced attorneys can help you get compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills and other losses due to a dog bite.

Compensation After a Dog Bite

There are no rules set in stone when it comes to dog bite personal injuries and monetary compensation. However, you should expect certain types of compensation, such as for the following:

  • Pain and suffering sustained as a result of the dog bite.
  • Lost wages and inability to work due to injuries sustained.
  • Medical treatment expenses, such as emergency care, ambulance charges, and hospitalization.
  • Property damage such as damaged glasses, personal items, or clothing.
  • Psychological treatment to recover from the emotional trauma. This includes therapy for fear of dogs, being outdoors, or to manage disfigurement.
  • Physical therapy or treatment for scar reduction and pain management.
  • Surgeries and other procedures to repair damage, including plastic surgery, scar reduction, and disfigurement minimization.

Compensation for Family Members

Family members of a dog bite victim can file a claim known as a “bystander claim” if they witness the attack. This claim can be filed when the witness suffers from emotional trauma as a result of seeing their family member injured.

There are many reasons why you can get compensation as a family member. For instance, if a spouse’s partner has been incapacitated in some way or another, the spouse is allowed to file a “loss of consortium.” This allows them to get compensation for their loved one’s suffering and loss. Of course, if a dog attack results in death, family members can claim a wrongful death claim to cover funeral expenses and emotional trauma.

business man and woman are handshaking over documents

Compensation for Special Circumstances

There are other circumstances in which a dog bite victim can receive additional compensation as well. These special considerations include paid vacation time, losing employment due to the injury, and other similar losses.

In these scenarios, it’s important to have the help of an experienced dog bite personal injury attorney. Calculating “fair” compensation is not easy. It requires knowledge and experience. At Russell and Hill, PLLC, we provide free consultations for dog bite victims as well as other types of personal injury cases. Schedule your free appointment by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.

Dog Bite Liability

Due to new legislation, owners are now responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the previous “one bite rule.” Causes for liability vary, but common ones include violations of animal control regulations, negligence, or common law strict liability. Needless to say, dog bite personal injury cases are extremely complex.

Who Pays for a Dog Bite?

Dog bite victims are usually attacked by their family or friend’s dog. In these cases, you may be worried about who pays the medical expenses. Not wanting your family or friend to cover expenses is normal.

Fortunately, most dog bites can be covered by a third party. These include:

  • Renter’s insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Landlord’s insurance (covers manager, occupier, and owner)
  • Commercial general liability insurance (covers offices, stores, and other businesses)
  • Employer’s insurance (in case of employees)
  • Auto insurance (if the dog attack involved a vehicle, such as the dog was tied to a car, if the dog and/or victim were in the car, the dog was inside and attacked a pedestrian, etc.)

Handling Your Dog Bite Personal Injury

If you are concerned because your friend or family member is responsible, inquire if they have any of the above-mentioned insurance. If so, rest assured they will not have to pay anything towards the damages. This leaves you free to receive compensation and focus on making a full recovery.

If you or a family member have suffered as a result of a dog bite, contact Russell and Hill today. Our team of qualified personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation, compiling evidence to build a strong case and manage your claim. We will handle paperwork, phone calls, and payments, leaving you to focus on making a fast recovery. Contact Russell and Hill by filling out our online contact form or by giving us a call at 360-996-6023.

Dog bites can cause severe injuries, mutilation, and sometimes even death. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million people suffer from dog bites each year. One out of every five victims will have to seek medical attention. There are about 600,000 child-related dog bites every year. Finally, about 16 people are killed by dog bites annually, and there are more than 1,000 dog bites reported at a local level.

Some dog bites can result in such severe injury that they require multiple surgeries to repair the damage. Medical bills can rack up quickly, especially for victims who have to undergo reconstructive surgery.

So, who is responsible for these injuries? Can you file a dog bite personal injury claim? This is where Russell and Hill personal injury attorneys come in.

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