Virginia Beach Dog Bite Attorneys Represent Victims of Animal Attacks
Virginia personal injury law firm pursues full compensation for injured clients
Dogs might be called man’s best friend, but not every canine plays the part. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, a Virginia Beach dog bite injury attorney at Ernest Law Group, PLC is ready to help. When you’ve been hurt by someone else’s pet, our firm’s experienced and dedicated team focuses on recovering the full compensation you deserve.
What should you do if a dog bites you?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, your first concern should be for your well-being. Get immediately to a safe place, such as inside your car. It’s possible the dog may return and resume the attack. Next, get medical help. If you are not in immediate danger, you can:
- Try to identify the dog and its owner
- Get contact information from witnesses to the attack
- Contact animal control and report a vicious dog
- Call a lawyer and schedule a consultation
Never be dismissive of a dog bite, even if it appears to be minor. If the skin is broken, you should have a healthcare professional look at it.
What types of injuries can come from a dog bite?
Dog bites can cause a severe personal injury, especially if the dog is large. Specific injuries stemming from dog bites can include:
- Punctures, lacerations and torn flesh
- Crushed bones
- Blood loss and shock
- Nerve damage
- Permanent scarring
There might also be psychological effects following the trauma of a dog attack, such as night terrors, fear of being near dogs and even a reluctance to leave home.
Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. Large breed dogs can cause devastating, even fatal harm to a youth, especially if the animal attacks around the head and neck.
Dog owner responsibility to prevent bites in Virginia Beach
Virginia follows the “one bite” rule, which says a pet owner is liable for a dog bite if they knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous tendencies. This usually means that until the dog has bitten someone, the owner cannot be held strictly liable for a bite. In such a case, the plaintiff must prove the owner was negligent in handling the dog, and that negligence allowed the attack to happen. In most cases, failing to observe a leash law would constitute negligence, so owner might have to pay damages if their unleashed dog bit you in a place where a leash is required.
Dog owners have potential defenses. For example, someone who antagonizes a dog, provoking it to bite, cannot collect damages.
Breeds that have the most dog bites
Whether due to nature or nurture, certain breeds are involved with more fatal attacks than others. The National Canine Research Association of America reports that the majority (67 percent) of dog-related fatalities were caused by pit bull terriers. Rottweilers, mixed-breed dogs and German shepherds rounded out the top four in this category.
Compensation available from a Virginia Beach dog bite lawsuit
Victims of unprovoked dog attacks may be eligible for personal injury damages which could include payment for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering compensation
Most dog owners are insured under their homeowner’s policy, since dog bite cases are often a matter of premises liability. A knowledgeable premises liability lawyer at our firm can evaluate your case for free and tell you what kind of damages might be available.
Contact a dedicated Virginia Beach dog bite attorney for a free consultation
Ernest Law Group, PLC represents clients throughout the Hampton Roads area who have been injured in dog attacks. Call 757-289-2499 or contact us online to schedule a free dog bite case consultation at our Virginia Beach office.