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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 canine attacks, those who have been bitten may be able to recover monetary damages by filing personal injury lawsuits with the help of our West Virginia dog bite lawyers.
In West Virginia, canine 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 strictly liable if their dog is allowed to run at large and subsequently bites someone. A dog’s keeper may also be held strictly liable for resulting injuries if they allow the dog to run loose. Strict liability means that injured plaintiffs do not need to prove that the owner of the dog knew that the animal would behave in an aggressive manner. The injuries are sufficient by themselves.
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 the dog had aggressive tendencies and was likely to cause injury to others. You may also need to proceed under principles of owner negligence.
Dog owners will often try to defend against civil 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 considered 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, our West Virginia dog bite lawyers will work hard to help our clients recover by securing financial compensation for their losses.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law