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Chesterfield County Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bite Attorney in Chesterfield County

Dogs can cause severe injuries. The temperaments and head shapes of different dog breeds allow some dogs to cause more damage than others. But even a small breed can tear your flesh to the bone.

After a dog bite, you could face medical bills to repair and reconstruct your injured tissue. You might face permanent scarring and disfigurement. You might even deal with psychological trauma for the rest of your life.

Here are some basic facts about dog bite injury claims. For a confidential discussion about your dog attack injuries and whether you can recover compensation, contact the experienced dog bite attorneys at Commonwealth Law Group.

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Liability of Dog Owners for Dog Bites

Unlike many states, Virginia does not have a dog bite statute. Instead, the law surrounding dog owner liability comes from dog bite cases.

Virginia also differs from other states in its legal standard for recovering dog bite compensation. Many other states hold dog owners to a heightened standard because of the unpredictability of dogs. Virginia, by contrast, only requires dog owners to avoid acting negligently in handling their dogs.

These differences affect how your dog bite lawyers handle your case. Dog bite attorneys in Virginia must present evidence of negligence regarding the dog’s vicious tendencies or the way the owner restrained (or didn’t restrain) the dog.

This higher standard means that dog bite cases in Virginia present some unusual challenges. Searching for dog bite lawyers near me will help you find a local lawyer who understands Virginia dog bite law. 

Consult the experienced lawyers at Commonwealth Law Group about your dog attack to determine your chances of success under Virginia law.

Getting Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

If you prove negligence, you can recover compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Your economic losses include all of the ways that the dog attack affected your finances. 

Examples of economic losses from dog bites include:

  • Expenses for medical treatment, surgery, tests, and medication
  • Costs for physical and mental health therapy
  • Income lost due to missed work
  • Diminished earnings due to permanent disabilities

Suppose that a dog attack results in permanent nerve damage to your right hand. If you operate construction equipment for a living, you might not have the ability to continue your job after losing the use of your hand. 

Your economic damages could include your lost income while you recovered from your injury and the difference in income after you changed jobs.

Non-economic losses include the ways the dog attack diminished your quality of life. These losses have a value but not necessarily a price tag. 

Examples of non-economic losses include:

  • Pain
  • Anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Inability to perform tasks
  • Inability to work and meet your daily needs

Dog attacks often justify substantial compensation. The physical and mental trauma that you experience could persuade an insurance adjuster or jury to award damages for your injuries. 

An experienced dog bite attorney from Commonwealth Law Group can evaluate your case and estimate the compensation you can pursue.

FAQs

Dog bite cases often involve similar issues, regardless of the nature of the attack. Here are some frequently asked questions about dog attacks and their answers.

Do I have a case if I was attacked on private property?

Dog owners are always liable for attacks on public property. They also bear liability for attacks on their private property if the victim was legally on the property. This includes guests and others invited onto the property.

It also includes people with permission to enter the property, such as:

  • Mail carriers
  • Meter readers
  • Utility repair technicians
  • Paramedics and firefighters
  • Delivery drivers

The most common people excluded from pursuing compensation for dog bites are trespassers.

What if the dog owner says I provoked the dog?

If a dog owner accuses you of provoking the dog, you need to disprove this accusation to recover compensation.

Virginia is one of only a handful of states that uses the doctrine of contributory negligence. If an accident victim bears any fault for their injuries, the law bars them from recovering injury compensation.

Does the breed of the dog make a difference?

To win a lawsuit against a dog owner, you must prove the owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous. Virginia’s statutes about “dangerous dogs” specifically state that breed alone does not make a dog dangerous.

This statute does not govern lawsuits against dog owners, but a judge would likely agree with its intent and require you to prove that the dog had a history of aggression.

Who pays damages for dog attacks?

The dog’s owner will usually bear liability for an attack. But caretakers of the dog may also bear liability if they knew of the dog’s viciousness and failed to reasonably restrain it.

In many cases, the dog owner’s homeowners insurance will cover the damages resulting from a dog attack. The liability provisions of the policy might cover the damages, even if the attack did not happen at the dog owner’s house.

How do I find a dog bite attorney near me?

You should look for a lawyer with experience with dog bite cases. Many lawyers post sample case results on their websites.

You should also look for lawyers with litigation experience. If the lawyer cannot settle your case, you may need to file a lawsuit.

How Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help

A dog bite injury lawyer has prior experience handling dog bite injury cases. In Virginia, this prior experience can give you the edge in your compensation claim. 

Because Virginia’s dog bite laws come from case law, a dog bite attorney will best understand the evidence you need to persuade an insurance adjuster or jury to award you compensation.

After a dog attack, you need money to pay medical bills, meet your daily needs, and cover future physical therapy and cosmetic surgery. 

A dog bite lawyer from Commonwealth Law Group can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney for dog bites in Chesterfield County, VA.

“Great law group. Everyone was kind and down to earth. Made me feel like I was their only client. Very attentive to me and my case.”

Karen Jacobs

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.