Marion County Dog Bite Lawyer
If you are one of the many people who experienced a dog bite in West Virginia, you could be suffering from a variety of physical, financial, and psychological damages.
West Virginia allows for bite victims to recover civil compensation under certain circumstances, but pursuing restitution without a personal injury attorney’s assistance could leave you with an unsatisfactory outcome. A qualified Marion County dog bite lawyer could explain how this type of case is typically handled in West Virginia and work on your behalf to obtain a positive result.
State Laws Regarding Domesticated Dog Attacks
Unlike some other states, West Virginia law only directly addresses dog bites that come from a dog left to roam freely. Specifically, West Virginia Code §19-20-13 allows a person injured by a dog to hold its owner strictly liable for their damages if they can prove that the owner allowed their dog to “run at large.”
An injured plaintiff seeking to hold a person liable for their dog’s violent conduct must show that the owner knew about their dog’s aggressive tendencies based on a previous violent incident and that they were negligent in controlling their dangerous pet. Unless the dog was roaming freely, West Virginia adheres to a legal precedent effectively identical to the “one-bite rule” many other states uphold.
This means that if a dog attacks someone but had never shown any violent tendencies previously, the owner may be able to avoid liability for the injured party’s damages. A knowledgeable Marion County dog attack attorney could help an attack victim determine whether their situation provides them with grounds to file suit.
Seeking Compensation for Bite-Related Losses
Animal bites that break the skin can often result in the transmission of infectious diseases, including rabies. Even once initial treatment for lacerations and muscle damage concludes, serious illnesses could require months of additional care, resulting in significant monetary expenses.
Costs associated with both short-term and long-term treatment could usually be compensated in a personal injury claim. For a case centered around a dog bite, various other damages could be recoverable as well. A knowledgeable dog bite lawyer in Marion County could help a plaintiff seek financial restitution for, among other things:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages, if the resulting injury kept the victim out of work
- Loss of future earning capacity, if the injury results in permanent damage
The Importance of Filing Quickly
While many types of damages could be recovered through a successful dog bite claim, it is essential to note that injured parties do not have an unlimited amount of time to pursue that compensation. W. Va. Code §55-2-12(b) sets a time limit of two years from the date of any personal injury for a prospective plaintiff to file suit for that injury. Failure to adhere to this statutory deadline could result in a plaintiff’s case being time-barred and consequently dismissed by the court.
Talk to a Marion County Dog Bite Attorney About Seeking Compensation
If someone else’s dog injured you, filing a lawsuit may not necessarily be the first priority on your mind. Depending on the circumstances, though, seeking compensation for your injury with a dedicated attorney could help your path to recovery. For more information, call a Marion County dog bite lawyer today.