There are millions of pets that reside in homes across the country. While pet ownership is a major responsibility, many are glad to care for the pets they own as these animals become part of the family. Dogs are no exception. Often known as “man’s best friend,” dogs offer companionship, loyalty, and affection to the owner and everyone else in its presence. However, there are instances in which dogs create dangerous situations.
Each year, there are thousands of individuals bitten by dogs. This is the result of a multitude of factors including the lack of training by owner, fear or anxiety of the dog, or because the dog feels the need to protect someone or something. If you or someone you know have been bitten by a dog, you deserve compensation. Call Colombo Law today to speak with an experienced attorney.
Types of Liability for Dog Bites
- Strict Liability: The West Virginia Code governs liability of owners for dog bites. The Code Section provides that any owner who allows a dog to run at large will be liable for any damages that results to a person or property if caused while the dog was at large. The statute creates strict liability to the owner in these circumstances. Although the statutes specifically limits strict liability to instances in which a dog is “at large,” the statute does not identify the criteria that meets the definition. At Colombo Law, our attorneys look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the dog bite to determine whether strict liability will apply. If strict liability does not apply, our attorneys will also advise whether any other actions may be initiated based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
- Common Law Negligence: Generally, if a dog was not roaming at large, strict liability will not apply and a Plaintiff will be required to prove that the owner acted negligently. However, West Virginia will also impose strict liability if an owner had prior knowledge of a dog’s violent tendencies. In addition, if a dog has bitten another person in the past, strict liability will be imposed.
Compensation for Your Injury
After a dog bite, damages may be made to cover property damage, lost work, or significant medical expense. Under strict liability, compensation is recoverable for any damages sustained as a result of the dog roaming at large.
In many cases, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover incidents related to dog bites. Prior to accepting any settlement from a dog owner’s insurance company, speak with an experienced attorney as you may be waiving your rights to future compensation.
Contact Colombo Law for Representation After a Dog Bite
If you or your loved one has been attacked by a dog, promptly seek medical attention to ensure you receive proper care and treatment. After obtaining medical treatment, contact Colombo Law to get answers to any of your questions regarding liability, compensation, and representation. At the end of your consultation you will have information you need to determine whether to file a claim.
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