Helping Grieving Families Seek Justice
Each year, almost 5 million individuals are attacked by dogs throughout the United States, amounting to one dog attack occurring every 75 seconds. These dog bite injuries lead to over $570 million annually in insurance payments and over $1 billion in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Over 27,000 victims each year are disfigured by dog attacks and require reconstructive surgery.
Unfortunately, many of these horrific dog attacks result in death. Over 500 people each year lose their lives after being mauled by a vicious dog. Pit bulls are responsible for 82% of these deaths, and other large, powerful dogs such as Rottweiler’s are also commonly involved in dog attacks. Almost half of the fatalities are caused by loose dogs kept unsupervised in the dog owner’s yards. Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of dog attack victims are guests at the owner’s home when they are injured. Furthermore, the number of vulnerable individuals who have been fatally attacked, such as young children or elderly adults, has risen over the years.
When a loved one loses their life due to an unpredictable and devastating dog attack, the family is left in a state of shock and grief. Focusing on complex legal issues may seem daunting and emotionally painful. The compassionate and understanding Seattle dog bite attorneys at Pendergast Law are here to assist you with seeking justice for your loved one’s death. We will investigate what happened, explore your potential Seattle wrongful death claim, and advise you on how to proceed so that you can focus on healing. To schedule a free case consultation, call Pendergast Law now at 888-539-9211.
Washington State Dog Owner Liability
Under Washington’s strict liability dog bite law, the owner of a dog that bites another person who is on public property or lawfully on private property is strictly liable for any injuries sustained, even if the dog had no history of vicious behavior or the owner was not aware of such history.
Common Causes Of Dog Bite Fatalities
Many fatal dog attacks occur suddenly and without warning. The dog may have no prior history of violence or aggression or the victim may be unaware of the dog’s vicious tendencies. In fact, many dog attacks involve victims who had close and seemingly perfect relationships with the dogs, such as a family member, significant other, or neighbor of the owner. Over the past year, fatal dog maulings have occurred in a variety of different settings, including:
- A young relative was visiting the dog owner’s home. The owner had recently adopted two dogs from a shelter. The owner left the child home alone with the dogs while she ran an errand and returned to find that the child had been mauled by the dogs.
- A couple left their infant child with a babysitter. While the baby was sleeping and unattended, the babysitter’s dog picked the child up in its mouth and bit the baby on the head.
- An elderly woman was asked to retrieve the newspaper for her neighbor while the neighbor was away from the house. The woman had encountered the neighbor’s dogs on multiple occasions previously without incident, but upon entering the home, the dogs attacked her.
- A process server needed to serve legal documents on an individual who lived in a rural area. She entered the gated yard when the owner’s four loose dogs surrounded her and attacked her.
Consult With Our Seattle Fatal Dog Bite Attorneys
If your loved one was killed in a horrific dog attack, you have survivor rights and can seek damages from the dog owner. Call our personal injury law firm today at 888-539-9211 to schedule a free consultation with our Seattle dog bite lawyers.