Dog bite injuries are common across the United States. Like most other cases, the dog-bite lawsuit is different in each state. From understanding dog owner liability to the negligence of dog-owners, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when fighting the dog-bite-injury case. If your neighbor’s dog bit you, or you are a dog owner facing a dog bite lawsuit, you need to consult personal injury attorneys Virginia Beach.
Here are a few things you need to know if you are fighting or facing a lawsuit for dog-bite-injury.
What is Virginia’s Dog Bite Law?
In Virginia State, there is no specific dog bite statute in place. Instead, the cases related to dog-bite injuries are handled as per the rules of Virginia court.
Most cases related to dog-injuries follow the “one bite” rule. According to this rule, the owner of the dog can be held accountable for the injuries caused by the dog only if he knew that the dog might get aggressive towards others. For example, if a dog has a history of biting someone in the past.
Although the rule states “one bite,” it also includes harms and injuries a dog may have caused.
What is Negligence in Dog-bite injury case?
In Virginia, the injured person can seek a claim from the other party even if the dog has never harmed anyone before. In this case, the injured party will have to prove that the dog owner didn’t act reasonably to restrain the dog. The person will have to establish in the court that the injury was the result of the owner’s failure to meet his responsibilities and negligence.
What are the Criminal Penalties for Dog Bite Injuries in Virginia?
In Virginia State, the Code of Virginia Section 3.2-6540 lays down criminal penalties on “dangerous dog” owners. If a dog is registered as a dangerous dog on the state’s registry, the following criminal penalties can be imposed on its owner.
If such a dog attacks, injuries, or kills another person’s pet animal, the owner will be convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
If the dog bites or injures humans, the owner can be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If the dog owner shows disregard for human beings and is the cause of dog injuring others, he can be convicted of the Class 6 felony.
Dog owners who fail to abide by Virginia’s rules of keeping dangerous dogs can be imposed for criminal penalties.
If criminal charges have been filed against the owner of a dangerous dog, the person injured by the dog can still file a case directly in the civil court.
Defense for Dog-bite cases
The dog owner in Virginia facing civil lawsuit may present several arguments in the court. Contributory negligence is one such defense for dog owners that a personal injury attorney Virginia Beach VA can make. The dog owner may argue that the injuries person was partially responsible for the accident.
Contributory negligence bars the injured person from claiming damages if they are found to be at fault by even one percent.