Dog Bite Claims
Protect your rights. Discover the difference our experienced West Virginia dog bite lawyers can make.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, you understand how scary and serious a dog bite injury can be. In an instant, you, your child or spouse might sustain a serious personal injury because of a ferocious dog. These injuries often require emergency medical treatment. In extreme cases, your dog attack might even require surgery. West Virginia dog bite attorneys know victims often must deal with scarring and disfigurement and severe emotional trauma. We fight hard to make sure our clients are fully compensated for losses, which may include medical bills, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
Knowing what to do after a dog bite can be overwhelming. Many people will likely give you a lot of advice about what you should do. They might tell you that you don't - or shouldn't - take legal action, especially if the dog belongs to a friend or neighbor. But why should you and your family have to pay what could add up to thousands of dollars in medical expenses when it wasn't your fault?
At Klie Law Offices, we don't think it's fair to have to shoulder the financial burden when you've done nothing wrong. After you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, you should first seek immediate medical attention. Your next step would be to contact Klie Law Offices. Our experienced West Virginia dog attack attorneys have handled many dog bite cases in Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Elkins and many communities throughout our region. We thoroughly understand West Virginia's dog bite laws, and we know how to get results.
How common are dog bites?
The statistics are startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite nearly 4.5 million people each year nationwide. That's one dog bite every 7 seconds in America.
While dogs can potentially bite anyone, young children face the most serious risk of being injured. The highest rate for dog-bite related injuries is among children 5 to 9 years old, according to the CDC.
And if you think dog bite injuries are minor, think again. Approximately 885,000 people every year require emergency medical attention, the CDC reports. In addition, approximately 27,000 dog bite victims every year need reconstructive surgery, according to the CDC.
What are the most dangerous types of dogs?
There's much debate about what dog breeds are the most dangerous. Regardless of a dog's breed, more than 70 percent of dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs, according to statistics compiled by the CDC.
Specifically, an unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than a neutered dog. And people should be especially careful around chained or tethered dogs, which are 2.8 times more likely to bite someone than a dog that is not tethered or chained to a fixed object, the CDC reports.
That said, certain dog breeds have been known to bite people more often than others. Some of the dog breeds people should be cautious around include:
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Pit bulls
- Siberian Huskies
Whatever the circumstances surrounding your dog bite, no matter what kind of dog bit you or a loved one, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Common questions people have after a dog bite
When you contact us, we can answer your important questions about your dog bite. These questions include some of the most common issues we deal with at our law firm, including:
- What to do immediately after a dog attack
- Who is responsible for my dog bite injury?
- West Virginia's dog bite statute
- Get names, phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses and the owner of the dog.
- Take photos of your wounds and of the dog, if possible. Photograph the exact location.
- Get medical attention to treat your injury and to document the dog bite incident.
- Contact an animal control agency to fill out a report.
- Call a West Virginia dog bite attorney. At Klie Law Offices, we can deal directly with the insurance company and take care of all the red tape associated with your dog attack.
The owner of the dog and that person's insurance company typically are responsible for compensating injury victims after a dog attack. In most cases, the animal owner's homeowner insurance policy will pay for damages. We know that some people are injured by dogs owned by friends or neighbors. In such cases, victims may be reluctant to file a dog bite lawsuit. But victims should understand that negotiations generally take place between attorneys and insurance companies. We handle dog bite claims with discretion to avoid straining friendships and relationships.
In general, West Virginia's dog bite laws apply mainly to dogs running loose that attack a person and cause a serious injury. In such cases, the owner of the dog can be held liable for "any damages inflicted upon the person or property of another by such dog while so running at large," according to West Virginia's dog bite laws.
In addition, West Virginia has laws that relieve the dog owner of responsibility, depending on the circumstances of the attack. If the dog has a history of previous attacks, then the owner may be held liable for injuries sustained in any incidents thereafter.
This is in accordance with West Virginia's leash laws. If there have been no previous attacks and the incident occurred on the dog owner's property, then the responsibility to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner is on the victim if any financial compensation will be awarded in a court decision.
West Virginia's dog bite laws are complicated, which is why victims should avoid navigating the legal system on their own. Call Klie Law Offices now to find learn about your rights and discover your options.