Washington, DC, Dog Bite Lawyer
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year across the United States, 4.5 million people suffer from dog bite injuries. In Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas, where tens of thousands of people venture out with their canine companions every day, instances of dog bites may be even higher.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, whether you were bitten by a dog while on your morning stroll in Rock Creek Park or hanging out at your neighbor’s property, it’s important you understand your legal rights and protections.
Schedule your free dog bite injury consultation with The Abelson Law Firm today by calling (202) 331-0600; attorney Michael A. Abelson has years of experience with dog bite cases and may be able to help you recover compensation.
The Abelson Law Firm’s Results
While it is impossible to guarantee the outcome of any given case, for years Michael A. Abelson has fought tirelessly and successfully for Washington, D.C., area residents and visitors who have suffered injuries a result of car accidents, work accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, and more. Our client testimonials reflect our deep commitment to seeking the justice and compensation they deserve.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
There are many different types of injuries that can result from a dog bite. Some of the most common include:
- Exposure to and transmission of rabies
- Nerve, tissue, and tendon damage
- Bone breaks and fractures
- Permanent disfigurement
- Severe cuts and lacerations
And, of course, there is also the emotional trauma that can accompany experiencing a dog bite or dog attack—as well as the trauma associated with any potential physical disfigurement or permanent scarring that may result from the bite.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?
Under Washington, D.C., law, “an owner or custodian of a dog shall not direct, encourage, cause, allow, aid, or assist that dog to threaten, charge, bite, or attack a person or other animal, except that an owner or custodian may keep a properly trained dog on private property to defend the property and its occupants from intruders, and may order a dog to defend a person under attack.” The penalty for violating this provision can be a fine and civil liability to the person injured.
Determining liability for a dog bite injury is usually not difficult; in many instances, the dog’s legal owner or “custodian” can be held responsible for the attack and for subsequent expenses related to treating a person’s injuries. Occasionally, however, determining liability is not always so cut-and-dry—especially in instances where a person is attacked by a stray dog.
Furthermore, the location where the dog bite took place can affect liability. For example, if you were bitten by a dog on a homeowner’s property, there is a chance that the homeowner’s liability insurance will cover some or all of your damages. If the incident occurred in a place where the public is welcome, such as a supermarket, the owner of the property may potentially be liable in addition to the dog’s owner. And, as the law above suggests, if the victim of the dog bite was on the premises illegally, then the owner or custodian may be immune from a lawsuit.
The parties potentially liable for a dog bite injury may also try to claim that the victim is at fault. As a result, those responsible for a dog bite injury may try to argue the victim provoked the dog, or that the dog was defending its owner from attack. These arguments, if successful, could reduce the responsible party’s liability.
That is why having an experienced dog bite lawyer on one’s side can make all the difference. By consulting with a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer, a dog bite victim can increase their chances of avoiding legal pitfalls and of recovering compensation due to them. Contact The Abelson Law Firm today to schedule your case evaluation and consultation.
What Kinds of Damages Can be Recovered For a Dog Bite Injury?
If you’ve been injured as a result of a dog bite, you may be entitled to many different types of damages, including (but not limited to):
- Compensation for your related medical expenses and future treatments
- Compensation for lost wages if your injuries rendered you unable to work
- Compensation for ongoing pain and suffering
- In the worst cases, punitive damages to punish the conduct
Victims of dog bites can help their cause by keeping as much documentation as possible on the injuries they have sustained and the consequences the dog bite injuries have had on their life, such as medical bills, documentation of lost wages, and the like. The Abelson Law Firm may be able to use this information to evaluate the victim’s legal options.
Retaining Legal Counsel: What to Expect
One of the most common questions dog bite victims tend to have before retaining legal counsel is “can I afford a lawyer?” The fact is, in many cases where a person has been injured by a dog bite, they cannot afford not to hire a lawyer.
At The Abelson Law Firm, we understand the stress and uncertainty victims of dog attacks often feel. To help ease that stress, we offer free consultations for victims and their families to help evaluate their legal options. In appropriate cases, we may also agree to represent a client on a “contingent fee” basis in which the client pays little or nothing up front and our fees are paid only out of a final settlement or judgment.
Washington, D.C., Dog Bite Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite in Washington, D.C., or the surrounding areas, contact The Abelson Law Firm to discuss your legal options. You can reach our office at (202) 331-0600 to schedule your free consultation.