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Washington is a dog-friendly state, with more and more businesses and public spaces opening up to pet owners who enjoy bringing their dogs along on outings. The state also recognizes the fact that all animals are unpredictable—even man’s best friend. In Washington, the dog owner takes on full responsibility for their pet’s action from the moment they become pet parents. While some states allow dogs a first bite before the owners bear liability—under the premise that the first bite couldn’t have been anticipated but serves as an indication that the dog is capable of harm—Washington understands that an owner must take responsibility for any harm caused by their pet. According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 16.08.040, dog owners are liable for damages to a bite victim, regardless of the dog’s history and whether or not the owner had any knowledge that the dog could become vicious.
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog in Kent or the surrounding Washington area, the dog’s owner must compensate you for your economic damages and pain and suffering. The attorneys at Caffee Accident and Injury Lawyers are ready to investigate the circumstances of the injury, prove liability, and calculate your damages to maximize your compensation.
Understanding Liability in Dog Bites
When an individual buys or adopts a dog, they become responsible for any injury the dog causes, not only by biting but by knocking a person to the ground or otherwise causing harm. In order to gain compensation, your Kent dog bite attorney from Caffee Accident and Injury Lawyers understands how to present a clear case for liability to the defendant and their insurance company by showing the following;
- That the person at fault owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to keep their dog from causing injury
- That that they breached this duty by negligently allowing the dog to bite
- That the negligent breach of duty directly led to the injury
- That you or your injured loved one suffered real economic damages as well as pain and suffering from the attack.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Dog Bite Claim in Kent?
When a dog unexpectedly attacks, it’s a terrifying and painful experience for the victim. Dog bites can cause extensive damage to body tissue, including skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Dog bites also lead to infections and often leave disfiguring scars. Dog bites quickly become costly, with mounting medical expenses and pain and trauma that may keep you from returning to work during your recovery time. An experienced dog bite attorney in Kent can help you regain damages including:
- Medical expenses and any future medical expenses for reconstructive surgeries or treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement compensation
Your attorney from Caffee Law and Injury Lawyers understands the trauma and pain associated with dog attacks. We will aggressively defend your right to full compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. If you have also been affected by a pedestrian accident involving your pet, our pedestrian accident attorneys in Kent will fight for you.
What if the Dog Bite Occurred on the Owner’s Property?
As in other matters of premises liability, dog owners have the duty to take reasonable measures to prevent harm to those lawfully on their property including:
- Invited guests and visitors
- Neighbors or strangers approaching the home’s curtilage (front walkway, front door, and the area immediately surrounding the home’s entrance)
- Postal workers and delivery personnel
- Religious solicitors
- Anyone in or approaching the home on legitimate business.
Owners are not typically held liable if the bite victim was a trespasser or in the process of committing a crime. It’s important to note that children are not treated as trespassers if they sustain injuries such as dog bites while on a property even if they were not invited. Dog owners are always liable for their dog’s actions against a child, even if the child was on the property without an invitation.
Why Choose Us for Your Kent Dog Bite Attorneys?
The experienced and dedicated Kent personal injury attorneys at Caffee Law offer free consultations and is ready to evaluate your dog bite case. Let us begin a strategy to craft the most compelling case proving liability and demanding your full compensation. Reach out to our dog bite attorneys in Kent today so we can begin working on securing compensation for your damages.