What if a Dog Attacks You in Virginia?

What if a Dog Attacks You in Virginia?

What if a Dog Attacks You in Virginia?

By Jan Hoen

Dog attacks can be brutal, painful and costly. This type of situation falls into the personal injury category of law. Because of the potential of a severe outcome, there are laws that hold dog owners liable if their pet attacks another person. In order to be held responsible, there are three distinctive points that determine whether or not an owner should be held responsible. The following are scenarios in which a dog owner may be held responsible for their dog’s attack on a person.

The owner was previously aware of aggression

In the event that a dog had previously attacked or acted aggressively to another person, then this means that the owner had prior knowledge that the dog could be a danger to others. Many states show remorse for dogs who have only bit once. However, the state of Virginia will hold pet owners responsibly if the attacked person was on the property legally and if they did not in any way provoke the animal.

If the dog bite occurs in a state that has a “one bite” statute

Virginia does have a one-bite statute, which means it does not matter whether or not the dog has a history of biting. As long as the person was in a public place or lawfully on private property then the owner will also be held accountable. However, the only defense is if the dog was provoked in any way. In the event that the animal was provoked, then the attacked individual will not receive relief.

The injury was caused by carelessness of the dog owner 

There are a number of ways that the courts may deem a dog owner as careless. Such points may include:

  • The dog was not on a leash
  • The dog was not being properly supervised
  • The owner had prior knowledge of aggression
  • The owner did not properly warn people of aggression

Overall, it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure that their dog is properly managed. Other than outright provoking the animal, the attacked person has a right to their day in court.

Outcome in Court

You may be eligible to receive financial and emotional relief if you were attacked by a dog. You may be able to sue for lost wages, medical costs, or even psychological damage. Dog bites can impact your life in a very serious way. There is the potential to be compensated for what you lose or may lose through the healing process.

Personal Injury Attorney

A dog attack can be a serious event in anybody’s life. If you or someone you know has been viciously attacked by a dog, please reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney. Located in Hampton, Virginia, the law offices of Hampton Injury Law are committed to assisting their clients. You have a right for justice. Allow our attorneys to work for you. Contact us today to get started on your case and learn more about your options. 

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