(888) 228-3860
Se habla español

Call us for a free consultation

Seattle Dog Bite Liability Attorneys

Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Attack in Washington?

Dogs may be an important member of the family, but they can be dangerous. Unfortunately, dog bites are common occurrences. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 5 million American suffer dog bites each year. Many of these victims are young children trying to pet or play with dogs not aware of the warning signs of an aggressive or upset dog. The CDC reports that over 1,000 people seek emergency treatments for dog bites each day nationwide.

Dog bites can cause serious injuries like nerve and tissue damage, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and psychological trauma. In some tragically extreme cases, dog bites have even resulted in deaths. If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite, you need an experienced Seattle dog bite attorney on your side.

The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Pendergast Law can help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses after a dog bite. Contact us at (888) 228-3860.

Back to Top

Washington State Dog Bite Liability Law

In Washington, dog bites fall under a "strict liability statute." This means that dog owners can be held liable for injuries caused by their dogs. Washington Code RCW 16.08.040 states:

"The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness."

Back to Top

Who is Liable for a Washington Dog Bite Injury?

If you are bitten by a dog in Seattle or anywhere else in Washington, the dog's owner is responsible for your damages and injuries. As mentioned above, Washington is a strict liability state, which means that the dog bite owner is completely responsible for damages and injuries their dog causes. The law is written this way to be tough on people who have aggressive or dangerous dogs.

The law is also written to protect landlords from dog bite liability. In a strict liability dog bite law, a landlord cannot be held responsible for a tenet's dangerous or aggressive dog. The only instance in which you can bring a dog bite injury claim against your landlord is if it was your landlord's dog who attacked you.

Back to Top

Washington One-Bite Rule

Of course, there are some grey areas in Washington dog bite laws. Lawmakers recognize that though animals can be dangerous, many of them only bite or attack when provoked. The law allows a dog owner to assume, until there is concrete evidence to the contrary, that their dog is not a danger to people.

But, an owner who knows their dog shows behavioral signs that make them more likely to bite someone, must be prepared to take responsibility for their dog's actions.

Back to Top

What Compensation May Be Available for Dog Bites?

If you or a family member have suffered injuries after a Seattle dog bite, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages and losses. Here are some of the items your personal injury claim can cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Physical therapy (if necessary)
  • Psychological counseling for trauma
  • Lost earnings from missed work
  • Lost future earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Back to Top

Do I Need an Attorney for My Dog Bite?

Yes! Your personal injury claim after a Seattle dog bite can get very complex. You'll not only have to deal with the dog owner responsible for your injuries, but also their insurance company. Remember, insurance companies are businesses looking out for their bottom line. They will try to offer you a lower settlement than you need or reject your claim altogether. DO NOT let this happen to you. Contact an experienced Seattle dog bite attorney who can help you secure the maximum settlement needed to heal and move on from this difficult situation.

Back to Top

Contact a Seattle Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Pendergast Law can help build a strong case that gets you the settlement you deserve. We have guided many Seattle dog bite injury victims to successful claims. Contact us today to learn how we can help you. We can be reached at (888) 228-3860.

Back to Top

Additional Information

More Dog Bite Information

Call us for a free consultation

(888) 228-3860
Se habla español

Backed by our
No Fee Promise

Learn More

Client Reviews

Read More

Case Results

Wrongful Death
case details are confidential.

Degloving Injury
from defective power winch.

Car Accident
resulting in neck and head injury.

More results