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Can Victims Seek Compensation For Dog Bites?

A dog bite can be terrifying and cause lasting injury, particularly for young children who are the most common victims. If you or your child was bitten by a dog or injured in a dog attack, you may have a claim for injuries and trauma.

The Law Offices of Locklin & Coleman, PLLC, is a Manassas, Virginia, personal injury practice serving all of Northern Virginia . We have 30 years of experience and are knowledgeable about Virginia law pertaining to dog bite injuries and animal attacks. Call 866-719-4394 for a free consultation.

Virginia is a “one free bite” state. A dog’s owner is not generally liable if the animal has never attacked before or if it was intentionally provoked. However, the owner is fully responsible for damages if the dog:

  • Has bitten a person before
  • Has displayed aggressive behavior in the past
  • Is a dangerous breed (e.g., pit bull, Rottweiler)
  • Was running loose in violation of local leash laws

The law also applies to any other animal attacks (such as cats or exotic pets).

Damages in Dog Bite Cases

Children often suffer facial injuries, and arm and leg wounds are common. A claim for damages can include medical treatment, scarring and reconstructive surgery, nerve damage, and any lost wages. Injuries suffered running from a chasing dog are also compensable. In cases involving large dogs, dangerous breeds, multiple dogs or severe maulings, damages for emotional trauma may also apply. If the animal’s owner denies the dog has been vicious in the past, we seek verification by researching police records and interviewing neighbors.

One of our attorneys can discuss the value of your claim in a free case evaluation. Call our Manassas office at 866-719-4394. If we take your case, we will aggressively pursue full compensation through the dog owner’s homeowner policy. We collect no lawyer fees unless we win damages for you.

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