An angry dog barking and growling.

Dangerous Dog Laws in West Virginia

West Virginia’s dog bite laws follow what’s commonly known as the “one-bite rule.” The owner of a dog may not be held liable the first time his or her dog bites another person. Subsequently, though, owners may be considered liable for any future bites.

Defining a Dangerous Dog

West Virginia Statute 19-20-21 stipulates that anyone who keeps a dangerous dog for the purpose of protection must obtain a special license. There are also requirements regarding securing of the dog so that others aren’t injured.

But what makes a dog dangerous? With West Virginia following the one-bite rule, any dog that has bitten someone will be deemed dangerous. Additionally, a dog that is vicious and threatening may be defined as dangerous.

Once a dog has been ruled dangerous, owner liability will be easier to prove if someone is attacked or bitten.

Some cities in West Virginia have breed restrictions and other breed-specific laws. In Wheeling, WV, for example, pit bulls are automatically considered dangerous.

Seeking Help from a Dog Attack Attorney in Clarksburg

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 4.5 million people are the victims of a dog bite every year in the United States. If you were a victim, seek legal advice from an attorney at The Miley Legal Group. Call us at 1-877-652-1031. We can evaluate the circumstances of the case to determine your legal options under the state’s dog bite laws.

Author Bio

Tim Miley is the Founder of Miley Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, a West Virginia personal injury law firm he formed in 2006. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters.

Tim received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison County Bar Association. He has helped his clients win more than $10 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has further served the people of West Virginia by filling legislative roles in the state’s government since 2004.

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