Dog Bite Attorney in Arlington
Assisting Victims of Dog Attacks
Being attacked or bitten by a dog is an incredibly frightening experience. This is especially true for children who, unfortunately, are statistically the most likely to be injured by dogs. Regardless of the age of the victim, the resulting injuries can be severe and, in certain cases, life-threatening.
If you, your child, or your loved one was bitten by a dog and you believe the owner of the dog acted negligently, you may be able to take legal action. To do so, you will need to show that the dog owner was aware of or should have been aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. It is important that you discuss your case with a skilled and experienced premises liability attorney, as these types of claims can be complex and difficult to prove.
Contact the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC at (703) 647-4113 to speak to our Arlington dog bite attorney today. We offer completely free and confidential consultations.
Does Virginia Have a “One Bite” Rule?
Yes. Unlike other states that follow what is known as “strict liability” in dog bite cases, Virginia follows the “one bite” rule which means that dog owners can only be liable for injuries their dogs cause if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was aggressive or likely to bite. Generally speaking, this means that an owner is liable only if his or her dog has bitten another person before, hence the “one bite” rule. However, an owner may be held liable if the dog has exhibited other aggressive tendencies aside from biting, such as growling, snarling, barking, or lunging at other people.
With that being said, the “one bite” rule is not absolute. Dog owners in Virginia may also be held liable for injuries resulting from negligence.
Negligence Per Se in Dog Bite Cases
Even if a dog has not bitten another person before, dog owners in Virginia are required to take reasonable action to control and/or restrain their dogs. If you are injured by a dog that has not shown aggressive tendencies in the past or has never bitten another person, you may still be able to hold the owner responsible if you can prove that he or she failed to take reasonable steps to control or restrain his or her dog. This is known as negligence per se.
Examples of negligence per se:
- An owner that allows his dog to roam unleashed in a public park
- A dog that is “running at large” in a neighborhood
- An owner that lets her dog remain in an unfenced area of her front yard
- An owner that does not have immediate voice control of his dog
- An owner that fails to restrain her dog when it lunges or attacks another person
Negligence per se can be used to hold a dog owner responsible for an attack even if the dog was on the owner’s private property. For example, if a dog is allowed to sit unleashed on a front porch and it attacks a mail delivery person, meter reader, or guest, the owner may be liable.
Contact the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC
Dog bite claims can be complicated. Victims must show that they did nothing to provoke the attack and that they are otherwise not at any fault for the incident. They must also show that the owner acted negligently and/or that the owner knew of or should have known that the dog was likely to bite.
At the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, our Arlington dog bite lawyer has successfully handled thousands of personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. We understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial impact these kinds of events have, which is why we work strategically to recover the maximum compensation you are owed.
Call our office at (703) 647-4113 or contact us online to request your free case evaluation.