Morgantown Dog Bite Lawyer
Most encounters with dogs end with little more than a pat on the head or a lick on the hand. Unfortunately, not all pets are friendly, and dog bites are all too common. If you were injured in a dog attack, you may be able to recover compensation with help from an experienced personal injury attorney. A Morgantown dog bite lawyer could guide you through every step of the case process, from investigation through settlement or trial.
West Virginia Dog Bite Laws
Under West Virginia law, dog owners face strict liability for any injury their pets cause if the dog is not confined. These cases frequently hinge on the actual ownership of the dog, given that negligence is not a factor.
The rules are different when it comes to dogs that are confined or restrained in some way. In these cases, West Virginia courts apply what is known as the “one bite rule.” This means a dog owner is only liable for injuries stemming from a dog bite if they knew the dog had a propensity for violent behavior. There is a presumption in the law that a dog that has previously bitten someone has a propensity for violence. In other words, a dog owner is much less likely to be liable for injuries from a dog’s first bite compared to any future attacks.
No matter the circumstances of the dog attack, these cases are unique. To improve their chances of a successful claim, victims may benefit from speaking with an experienced Morgantown dog bite attorney.
Common Causes of Dog Bites
Generally speaking, it is rare for dogs to attack humans. While dogs are prone to growl or even snap when they feel threatened, it is rare for a dog to bite with enough force to injure a person.
It is impossible to predict what might set a dog off and cause them to attack a person. However, certain situations are more likely than others to lead to a dog bite. These situations include when dogs:
- Are under stress
- Are scared
- Are sick or hurt
- Are hungry
- Have puppies nearby
- Are defending food or toys
A dog bite attorney in Morgantown could evaluate the circumstances surrounding an attack to determine its causes and refute allegations that the victim provoked the animal.
Risk Factors for Morgantown Dog Bites
A dog bite can happen to anyone. However, a CDC study shows that grown men and children are the two demographics most likely to suffer a dog bite injury.
Dogs frequently bite children due to their inability to pick up on the animal’s body language. While adults may recognize when a dog is feeling threatened, children may be oblivious. This combination can result in an injury to the child.
Men are also typically bitten by dogs more frequently than women. The cause for this disparity may be that men are generally louder and larger than women. In any case, an experienced Morgantown dog bite attorney may be able to hold a dog owner responsible for injuries resulting from an attack.
Call a Morgantown Dog Bite Attorney Right Away
If you suffered a dog bite in the Morgantown area, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. To increase your chances of success, you should consider seeking assistance from a seasoned Morgantown dog bite lawyer. To learn more about how an attorney can help you protect your rights, call today.