Who Can Be Held Liable in a Dog Bite Accident?

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Almost five million people are injured as the result of a dog bite each year, equivalent to one in fifty people. Dog bites often require medical care, usually in a hospital emergency room, and about 25 people are killed by dogs every year in the United States. Most of those bitten are children, and about half of them are bitten in the face, leaving them susceptible to scars that can last a lifetime.

If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite, you may wonder what to do next. Our Morgantown injury attorneys can help you make sure the responsible party is held accountable. Call us today at 1-304-865-8530 to schedule a free consultation.

Dog Bite Liability

The owner of the dog is responsible for keeping the dog secure and preventing any circumstances where the dog may cause injury. In a dog bite injury case, there are three rules of thumb to prove liability. If any one of these rules applies, you may have grounds to seek compensation in personal injury accident case.

  • If the owner knew that the dog had a tendency to cause this kind of injury. This is often called the “one-bite rule,” because if the dog has ever bitten anyone, the owner must know there is the potential for the dog to bite again. However, even if the dog has never bitten before, you may be able to prove that the owner still knew that the dog was likely to pose a danger to others.
  • If the dog was considered “at large”. In West Virginia, the law states: “Any owner or keeper of any dog who permits such dog to run at large shall be liable for any damages inflicted upon the person or property of another by such dog while so running at large.” Dogs that are on leash or in private homes have more leniency and are considered under the first rule.
  • If the dog owner was negligent. If the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless in controlling the dog, the owner may be liable.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in the Parkersburg, Charleston, or Morgantown areas of West Virginia, please contact Jim Leach, L.C., today or call 304-865-8530 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Morgantown injury attorneys.