Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many changes have happened, from remote working to preventing air travel to running out of toilet paper. Another phenomenon occurred, which is animal fostering and adopting skyrocketed. People are home more and want a furry creature to keep them company. However, not everyone is equipped to manage their animals, especially those who own dogs. Our Spokane Dog Bite Injury Attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC are here to guide you through what happens if you are bit and injured by a dog.
Know the Law
Due to the pandemic, animal shelters in Washington state have seen an increase in people choosing to adopt or foster pets. People who are fostering are choosing to commit and adopt the fostered animals. Even though animal shelters were in dire need of this kind of situation to help what is typically an overrun system, not everyone is equipped to handle the animals, particularly dogs, they adopt. Like humans, dogs have their own personalities and traits. They may look sweet and cuddly, but they may have a boundary or territorial issues.
If you are on public property, or legally on private property, and you are bitten by a dog, you can receive compensation for your injuries. Washington law states:
16.08.040. Dog bites—Liability.
- 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.
- This section does not apply to the lawful application of a police dog, as defined in RCW 4.24.410.
The two main takeaways from this piece of legislation are that the dog owner is liable for the dog’s behavior. Two, the owner does not have to be aware of the dog’s vicious behavior to be liable for its actions.
Go Find Medical Treatment
If you are in a position where you have to call 911, then do so. If you can get yourself to a doctor, then do so. Make sure you tell the medical staff exactly what happened so that there is written documentation of the incident and the injury. As your attorney, we will do what we can to make sure you are compensated for medical bills, any kind of therapy or follow-up treatment, surgeries, medications, and psychological treatment if necessary. We will also try for property damage if applicable and, of course, pain and suffering.
We trust that pet owners are doing their work in controlling their pets, but some pet owners aren’t aware of the problem or choose not to work on the issue. If you or a loved one is injured due to a dog bite, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 509-204-9701.