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Redmond Dog Bite Lawyer
While dogs can make fantastic pets and companions, sometimes they can bite – with nearly five million victims of dog bites in the U.S. every year. Some victims are lucky to only receive minor injuries from their dog bite, while others face hospitalization from their injuries due to deep wounds and infection.
If you or a loved one suffers from a dog bite injury, you may have a right to financial compensation. The potential medical bills resulting from a dog bite can be severe, with thousands of victims requiring reconstructive surgery. The personal injury attorneys of Colburn Law are ready to help you with your Redmond dog bite accident by evaluating your case and helping you file for compensation.
Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite Accident
As with any other type of personal injury case, taking the appropriate steps following the accident can play an important role in having a successful claim. So long as it is safe to do so, you should:
- Identify if the dog has an owner or is wearing a collar with tags.
- Get the dog owner’s contact information if possible.
- Seek medical treatment, even if the wound does not seem serious, as there’s a risk of infection.
- Report the attack to animal control.
- Take photos of the dog and your injuries, if possible.
- Contact the owner for the dog’s current shot record.
- Consult with an experienced dog bite attorney.
Aside from the potential risk of infection from saliva getting into your wounds, seeking timely medical help for your injuries can increase your chances of success in a claim. Not only can a medical professional provide confirmation that your injuries are from a dog bite, but your medical records can also serve as a baseline for your potential compensation in court.
Statute of Limitations
Redmond dog bite accidents follow the Washington statute of limitation laws. You must file your claim within a three-year time frame for it to be valid. The courts will likely dismiss a case if filed after the deadline, even if it has merit. For this reason, it is sensible to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you file your claim properly and on time.
Washington Dog Bite Laws
Each state has its own dog bite laws that cover when a dog owner is liable for his or her dog’s actions. Washington law considers the dog owner liable for the dog’s actions if the injured person:
- Is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, and
- Did not provoke the dog in any way
These laws specifically apply to dog bites, while other injuries fall under the state’s negligence laws. However, when it comes to dog bites, Washington is a strict liability state. This means that, even if it is the first time the dog has bitten a person, the owner may still be liable for the injuries. This law differs from other states, which have “one bite” laws that prevent liability in the event that the dog has never exhibited violent behavior before. Washington courts do not take such things into consideration, which presents one less hurdle to recovering compensation.
Even so, you still need to counter any potential defenses that the dog owner may try to present. For cases that take place on private property, the opposing party may argue that you were not on the property legally. The defendant may claim that you did something to provoke the attack.
Find a Redmond Dog Bite Attorney
If a dog bite injury is serious, it can cause extensive consequences – both financially and emotionally. Having an experienced dog bite attorney on your side can help ensure that you meet all legal requirements and pursue your case with the best strategies. For your Redmond dog bite injury case, contact the attorneys at Colburn Law for a free consultation.