Know Your Rights And Legal Options Following A Dog Bite Or Animal Attack
Pet ownership is often fun and rewarding, and dogs are perhaps the most popular pets in America. While most pets are friendly and docile, some are aggressive and dangerous. Sadly, these animals are responsible for thousands of trips to the emergency room every year.
At the Peyton Law Firm, P.L.L.C., our attorneys are ready to advocate vigorously on your behalf if you or a loved one was bitten or attacked by a dog or another animal owned by a human. Our firm has been serving clients since 1994, and our attorneys have decades of experience in personal injury law.
The Consequences Of A Bite Or Attack Can Be Severe
When bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog or other animal, victims can suffer:
- Deep cuts and wounds
- Serious infections
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological issues
In addition to being painful, these injuries can make victims unable to work and earn a paycheck. When children are the victims (as they often are), the physical and emotional scars can last years or a lifetime.
What The Law Says About Dog Bite Liability
In some states, owners are only liable for a dog bite/attack if they knew or had reason to know that their dog was aggressive or liable to attack. These are often called “one-bite” laws, since the owners were essentially not responsible for the dog’s first biting incident.
Thankfully, things are different in West Virginia and Ohio. Both are considered “strict liability” states, in that dog owners are liable for attacks committed by their animals simply because they own them. It’s not necessary for victims to prove that the owner was negligent.
There is an important caveat, however. In West Virginia, strict liability only applies when the owner was letting the dog move freely without a leash. If the animal attacked when it was leashed or otherwise restrained, victims need to prove owner negligence.
Why It Is Important To Work With A Skilled Attorney
Even though the laws may seem straightforward, liability can be – and often is – contested. The dog owner may try to claim that you were trespassing, that you provoked the dog or were in some other way responsible for your own injuries. If those allegations prove convincing, they can reduce your overall compensation or make you ineligible for compensation altogether.
When you hire our firm, our dog bite attorneys utilize decades of legal knowledge and experience to absolve you of fault and to place blame where it belongs: with the animal’s owner. Our goal is to maximize your compensation. In the process, we may be able to prevent others from suffering a similar attack in the future.
Tell Your Story To Lawyers Who Listen And Care
The Peyton Law Firm is based in Nitro, West Virginia. We serve clients from Charleston to Huntington and throughout surrounding areas. We also represent personal injury clients in southern Ohio. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, you can reach out online or call 800-681-9555.