Victims of dog bites have legal recourse against the dog owner in Seattle. This state follows strict liability laws, which allows victims to seek financial compensation for their losses and injuries.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Seattle, our dog bite lawyers can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to seek fair financial recovery. Your dog bite injuries may warrant compensation for more than just your medical bills. You can discuss your next steps and learn more about how a Seattle personal injury lawyer with Jackman Law Firm can help during a free consultation.
How Strict Liability Affects a Seattle Dog Bite Case
According to RCW 16.08.040, dog owners in Washington bear liability for any damages that result from their dog’s attack on private or public property. The only exceptions to this rule apply when the dog is a police dog on duty or when a person trespasses on private property.
This law also applies even when a dog owner has no reasonable expectation of their dog’s vicious behavior or when their dog lacks a history of aggression. Dog bite victims have the chance, then, to seek compensation to cover their dog bite losses in the absence of a one-bite rule. Our dog bite attorney in Seattle, WA, can handle your case from start to finish while you focus on healing from your injuries and getting back to normal life.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bites lawyer serving Seattle, call 206-558-5555
Different Avenues for Seeking Compensation After a Dog Bite
You may have a couple of different options for seeking financial recovery after a Seattle dog bite. If the attack occurred on the dog owner’s property, you may be able to make a personal injury claim with the dog owner’s property insurance provider. As with any type of insurance, a policy may contain strict language around coverage, and an insurer may try to deny a bite injury claim.
The Seattle dog bite lawyers with Jackman Law Firm can negotiate with an insurer or take legal action against the dog owner directly. We can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek a court-awarded offer. When our personal injury attorneys handle your case, we will assume the responsibility for all the necessary paperwork and communicate with insurers or defense attorneys on your behalf.
We can discuss the best approach for your particular case during a free consultation. This will shed light on your legal options, and our bite injury lawyers can answer any questions you have.
Keep the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases in Mind
If you do decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner, you should be aware of the deadline you have. According to RCW 4.16.080, you generally only have three years to file a lawsuit. This may seem like ample time, but it also takes time to build a case. If you start off with filing an insurance claim, that process can take a while, as well.
The sooner you get started on your case, the better. Don’t let a liable party get away with causing your injuries.
Seattle Dog BiteLawyer Near Me 206-558-5555
Potential Compensation in a Seattle Dog Bite Case
The severity of a dog bite injury can vary, but you can seek compensation to address any associated financial losses that come from it. This includes more than just your medical bills for treating your wounds.
For example, you may also seek awards for the pain and suffering you endured during the attack. Dog attacks can be just as psychologically traumatizing as they can be physically. Some victims may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You deserve compensation for the necessary therapy and treatments to help you recover your mental health.
Aside from your medical bills and emotional trauma, you may also qualify for compensation for:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Ongoing medical care if you suffer a disability
- Lost income from any time you had to take off work
- Reduced earning capacity if your dog-related injuries prevent you from earning your pre-injury wages
Our Seattle dog bite team can assess your injury-related losses using a variety of evidence, such as your medical records and bill and your wage statements. We can also consult with expert witnesses, such as medical experts, to support your case.
Make Sure to Seek Medical Care Immediately After a Dog Bite
Even if you consider your dog bite to be minor, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Dog’s mouths carry a variety of bacteria that can lead to serious infections for dog bite victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the infections that can occur is capnocytophaga infection, which can cause the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain or vomiting
- Muscle or joint pain
- Blisters around the bite wound within hours of the bite
- Redness, swelling, or pain at the bite wound
Other medical complications, such as rabies, can result from dog bites as well. Only a doctor can properly treat your wounds and provide treatment to prevent infections. Prioritize your medical care and follow through with your doctor’s orders.
Following Your Doctors’ Treatment Can Also Protect Your Claim
In addition to your healthy recovery, seeing a doctor as soon as possible after an attack establishes a link between your injuries and the attack. If you wait, the insurance company could argue that your injuries were not the result of the attack. If you fail to follow through on all of your treatment and doctor’s appointments, they can make a similar argument.
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Work With a Dog Bite Lawyer in Seattle, WA, With Jackman Law Firm
You deserve compensation to help you access the treatment you need and make up for your losses after a dog bite. Our dog bite lawyers are here to help you recover what you deserve.
Call Jackman Law Firm today for a free, initial consultation. Our legal team works on contingency, so we never charge upfront fees or hourly retainers to start a case.