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West Virginia Dog Bite Lawyers
When a dog bites you, you may be seriously injured or killed. If you have been bitten by a dog you may be left with permanent disfigurement and scarring. When a dog attacks, those who have been bitten may be able to recover monetary damages through filing personal injury lawsuits.
The dog bite statute and strict liability
In West Virginia, dog bites that happen away from a dog owner’s property are covered by the state’s dog bite statute. West Virginia Code §19-20-13 provides that a dog’s owner will be held to be strictly liable if their dog is allowed to run at large and then bites someone. A dog’s keeper may also be held to be strictly liable for resulting injuries if they allow the dog to run loose. Strict liability means that injured plaintiffs will not need to prove that the owner of the dog knew that the dog would behave in an aggressive manner. The injuries are enough by themselves.
The one-bite rule and bites on the dog owner’s property
A different set of rules applies when a bite happens on the property of a dog’s owner. These rules come out of case law, which is also known as the common law. When a bite happens under these circumstances, the one-bite rule will apply. This means that you will be required to prove that the owner knew that the dog had aggressive tendencies and was likely to cause injury to others. You may also need to proceed under principles of owner negligence.
Getting legal help for dog bites
Dog owners will often try to defend against dog bite lawsuits by claiming that their dog was not at large. If the bite happened on their property, they may argue that the person who was bitten was trespassing. Certain people who are on the property in order to do their jobs, such as postal carriers, meter readers and others are lawfully present.
When you are attacked by a dog you may want to seek help from our team at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law. At the initial consultation, we will review the facts of what occurred and give an honest assessment of the winnability of the case. If we agree to accept representation, we will work hard to help our clients recover by securing financial compensation for their losses.
Call toll free, 1.877.526.3457, or send us an e-mail.