Dog bites are among the most traumatizing personal injuries, often resulting in lifelong physical pain and mental anguish. Victims may suffer from permanent scarring and long-term emotional harm. However, there are options available for financial recovery.
I founded Atkinson Law to practice and promote personalized legal services to injured victims. I am personally involved in every dog bite case and build tailored legal strategies based on the unique details of each claim.
As a personal injury lawyer in Virginia, I can help you hold the owner responsible for your medical expenses and other financial losses. I work on a contingency fee, so you only have to pay my firm if I win. Call my law offices today for a free case review.
How to Approach Dog Bite Injury Cases
According to the Virginia Department of Health, dog bites are common in the United States, with nearly 5 million people experiencing them yearly. Yet, despite the prevalence of such incidents, only about one in five victims seek medical treatment for their injuries.
I understand that some victims may hesitate to visit a doctor for financial reasons. Access to healthcare is essential. Please contact me even if you think this would be a problem in your dog bite claim.
If you seek medical attention, you may receive one of the following diagnoses due to the attack:
- Bacterial infections like Capnocytophaga
- Physical impairment
- Psychological injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking medical care immediately after an animal bite to avoid health complications.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Virginia, call 757-648-8579
What Makes Dog Bites Different from Other Personal Injury Cases?
Unlike other personal injury cases, where an unknown party may injure the victim, dog bite victims are more likely to have a personal relationship with the pet and its owner.
This close relationship can complicate the legal and emotional aspects of pursuing a dog bite claim.
Victims may feel torn between holding a friend or family member responsible and seeking compensation for their injuries. An experienced dog bite attorney understands these complex dynamics and can advise victims on the best path forward.
Virginia Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 757-648-8579
Understanding Virginia’s Dog Bite Injury Laws
Virginia is not governed by specific dog bite statutes; rather, cases are usually resolved based on precedent. Because of this, dog bite injury cases require a unique approach and understanding.
The Code of Virginia § 3.2-6540, for example, details the state investigation, summons, and hearing process for dangerous dogs. A dog is considered dangerous if it has injured or attacked a person or pet (dog or cat).
Virginia dog bite injury cases typically follow the one-bite rule. According to this rule, a pet owner may be liable for your injuries if they knew or should have known that their dog is dangerous. Further, prior attacks are considered a common indicator of a vicious pet.
However, the “one-bite rule” can be deceiving. While prior injuries caused by the pet help strengthen a personal injury claim, this is not the only path to proving liability.
During my legal practice, I settled many animal attack cases with no known prior attacks by the pet. For example, I secured a $300,000 settlement award to a Chesapeake, VA, victim who lost an eye after being attacked by a pit bull.
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Recovering Damages Following a Dog Bite Incident in Virginia
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog in Virginia, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the guilty party or their insurance company. However, the process of financial recovery can be complex, and it is important to understand your legal rights and options.
Under Virginia law, pet owners are frequently held liable for injuries caused by their dogs, provided the victim was not trespassing or provoking the dog at the time of the attack.
The following table lists things you may seek compensation for if you were lawfully on the property or in a public place when the dog attacked you:
|This includes not only the immediate medical bills but any future medical costs you may incur due to the injury.
|Doctor visits, hospital bills, surgery, physical therapy
|If you cannot work due to your dog bite injury, you may recover lost wages.
|Missed workdays, lost earning capacity, lost business profits
|Pain and suffering
|You may be entitled to compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced.
|Scarring, disfigurement, emotional trauma, anxiety
|If your property was damaged in the dog attack, you might recover compensation for repairing or replacing the damaged property.
|Torn clothing, damaged personal belongings, broken eyeglasses
|In some cases, you may recover punitive damages designed to punish the dog owner for their actions and deter others from similar conduct.
|Cases of severe negligence or intentional harm, repeated incidents involving the same dog or owner
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Documenting Evidence of Your Injuries
I will help document the extent of your injuries by obtaining medical records, photo and video, and other means. This can establish the severity of your injuries, the necessity of medical treatment, and associated costs.
We Utilize Technology to Ensure No Detail Is Overlooked
At Atkinson Law, we invest in the most reliable technology and programs to facilitate our legal service. For example, we only use Mac computers because they are more secure and reliable.
Also, we use the most cutting-edge PI case management software available and collaborate closely with the creator to make it even better.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Who Understands Dog Behavior
What sets my legal services apart from other dog bite injury attorneys in Virginia is my background in breeding, training, and competing with my personal protection dogs. Thus, I am experienced and knowledgeable about the responsibilities and complexities of dog ownership.
While many personal injury lawyers focus on the significance of canine breeds, I feel that an individual dog’s temperament trumps breed-associated behavioral attributes.
If a dog in Virginia attacked you, remember the name, Ed Atkinson. Because working with someone who truly understands dog behavior, as I do, can increase the chances of a successful outcome for your case.
I can provide valuable insights into the factors that led to your attack and build a strong case.
Get Help from a Dog Bite Lawyer in Virginia
If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, it’s important to seek the help of a qualified dog bite lawyer in Virginia. As I stated above, a dog bite can result in severe injuries, including scarring, nerve damage, and infections. However, you may recover medical expenses and other damages.
At Atkinson Law, I offer my in-depth knowledge of dog behavior to build a strong case. My experience with breeding and training dogs gives me an edge in uncovering underlying issues with a pet’s or owner’s behavior. I am also adept at proving liability beyond the “one-bite rule.” Contact my law office today for a free, no-obligation consultation.