Can I Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?
Depending on the extent of your injuries, a dog bite can leave you with severe physical and emotional trauma. It can be difficult to plan your next steps, especially if the dog owner is your neighbor, extended family member, or friend.
In Virgina, there are special considerations for dog bite cases that can complicate the process of receiving compensation for your damages. If you’re wondering whether you can sue for a dog-bite injury, here are some things to keep in mind.
Statute of Limitations for Your Dog Bite Injury
A state’s statute of limitations determines the time frame in which you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim for your dog bite injuries, and these rules change depending where you live. In Virgina, personal injury victims generally have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim.
Although this might sound like a lot of time, keep in mind that gathering the information needed to file a claim can be a lengthy process.
Special Considerations for Dog Bite Victims in Virginia
In many states, strict liability in dog bite lawsuits means that an owner can be held responsible even when their pet had no prior history of violence or aggression toward other people or animals.
Virginia, on the other hand, observes something called the one-bite rule, which can make it harder for plaintiffs to successfully bring a case. Under this rule, dog owners must be aware of at least one past incident of violent behavior—biting, attacking, charging, etc.—to be held liable.
Because of this rule, getting an insurance company to pay a settlement can be complicated. That’s why most dog bite victims in Virginia elect to partner with an experienced dog bite lawyer.
What Damages Can I Collect for My Dog Bite Injury?
Damages are calculated by two main contributing factors. The first of these is represented by the economic cost of the damages from your injury, which can include things such as bills for past and ongoing medical treatment related to your injury, as well as lost wages from missed work.
In addition, emotional damages such as pain and suffering can also be factored in. Calculating the full extent of your damages can be complicated.
When you sue for a dog bite, you’ll probably be dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company, as dog bites often fall under a homeowners’ insurance coverage. Their insurer will likely send an initial offer that’s lower than you deserve.
Fortunately, your doctor and an experienced dog bite lawyer can help you assess the true value of your injury claim.
Contact a Virginia Dog Bite Lawyer Today
When it comes to receiving a fair settlement for your dog bite injury, there’s no need to allow an insurance company to limit the damages you can collect. The top-rated attorneys at Halperin Law Center know what it takes to fight for full compensation for dog bites injuries, and they can help you fight for the maximum settlement.