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Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Virginia

Norfolk attorney Ed Atkinson concentrates on dog bite injury cases, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars for clients


Few types of personal injury are more traumatic—and legally complex—than dog bites. Even when the victim survives life can be very different with permanent scarring, loss of a limb or eye, or long-term psychological harm. A victim has only one opportunity to get full compensation. And suppose you, your child or another family member has suffered a dog bite. In that case, the owner should be held responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, scar revisions, and other future surgery costs, pain and suffering, and other legal damages.


Dog bite claims are different from car accidents and other personal injury claims


While both car accident claims and dog bite injuries arise out of the legal principles of negligence, or the failure to use “ordinary care” the methods of holding the dog owner responsible for damages—and getting the settlement money from a homeowners insurance policy—differ considerably. A victim of the latter must prove that the dog owner or handler knew or should have known a dog could injure someone or that the owner/handler was violating a leash law or other established safety standard.


Why ‘One Free Bite’ or ‘One Bite Rule’ is misleading


Many people who should know better, even personal injury attorneys and homeowners insurance adjusters, believe that Virginia dog bite injury law allows every animal one free bite. While a prior bite makes the best evidence of an owner’s knowledge of a dog’s dangerous propensities, it’s not the only way of proving negligence.

I have settled many cases where there was no evidence of a prior bite, including a $300,000 settlement in a pit bull attack causing the loss of one eye in Chesapeake in 2020.


At Atkinson Law, I apply my knowledge of dogs and dog breeds to build effective personal injury cases. I am adept at proving dog owner negligence and uncovering problems with the dog’s training and past behaviors. This has especially been true in cases of “rehabilitated” pit bulls—including a 2018 case I settled in Chesapeake, Virginia for $47,000—but such claims take skill and experience.


Personal Experience With Dog Breeds that can Bite the Hardest


I am a passionate Virginia dog bite injury lawyer because I own, breed, train and compete with my personal protection dogs (Belgian Shepherd Malinois—the preferred breed of military and law enforcement work). With knowledge, patience, and care, the canine-human bond can be sublime, balancing unparalleled loyalty with incredible power. I have always felt that dog ownership comes with the responsibility of understanding the breed and the individual dog’s temperament.


Certainly, not all pit bulls are vicious; not all “tough” dogs (Rottweilers, German shepherds, Cane Corsos, Presa Canarios, Dutch Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers for example) will defend their owner by biting anyone at all. And of course, the smaller breeds (Jack Russel, Chihuahua, terriers, etc.) can bite and cause injury too, especially to children.


If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, no one will understand the underlying dog behavior like I will. My reputation, personal experience, knowledge of dog psychology, and passion for justice make me a powerful ally for your dog bite injury claim.


Contact me for representation in any dog bite case, including a fatal dog attack.

  • What kind of lawyer handles dog bites?

  • How long does it take to settle a dog bite lawsuit?

  • How much is a dog bite lawsuit worth?


Contact Me Today…

For aggressive representation, call my Norfolk, Virginia, law firm at 757-648-8579 or email me to arrange a consultation.


All dog bite injury cases are different. Claim results and settlement values depend on a number of factors including the severity of injuries, location, and cost of medical bills. Atkinson Law has offices in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton and serves all of Virginia with Aggressive Dog Bite Victim Representation.

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