Being attacked by a dog or seeing a beloved pet attacked by a dog is a terribly frightening experience, often leaving the victim both physically and mentally scarred. Owners of the attacking dog, or those who were responsible for controlling the dog at the time of the attack, are financially responsible for the injuries caused by the attack.
As in other legal claims, the injured person bears the burden of proving that the owner or person who was then responsible for the dog, was careless (i.e., negligent) and that the careless conduct led to the attack or bite. As part of the burden to prove negligence, the victim must also prove that the owner/controller of the dog knew of the dog’s aggressive tendencies before the attack.
Proving such knowledge is often the most challenging aspect in prevailing in dog bite cases and doing so involves investigating the dog’s history of aggressive behavior and the owner’s knowledge of that behavior.
The lawyers and staff at Curcio Law are very experienced in finding and developing the evidence needed to prove knowledge of a dog’s aggressive behavior. This involves informal methods such as speaking with neighbors or animal control personnel who may know of the dog’s history regarding aggressive behavior, to more formal discovery methods available after a lawsuit is filed including issuing subpoenas for records and deposing the dog’s owners. Common conduct by careless dog owners leading to attacks or bites that we see includes a dog off-leash off the owner’s property (a violation of local leash laws) and improper supervision or control of dogs with a history of aggression.
As in all personal injury claims, the experienced and competent attorney must determine whether the dog’s owner has liability insurance providing coverage for the owner’s negligent conduct. Without such coverage, it makes no or little practical sense to pursue a claim as the likelihood of actually collecting money to satisfy a jury verdict returned against an uninsured person is slim to none.
As to the damages to which the victim of a dog bite is entitled to be compensated, the usual personal injury damages apply, such as compensation for physical injuries, physical pain, mental anguish, scarring, inconvenience, the cost of medical care, and lost wages. Additionally, compensation for injuries to a pet attacked by an aggressive dog can also be made against the dog’s owner. As pets are legally considered property, claims for injuries to them are limited to the cost of veterinarian bills.
Listed below are a sample of the dog bite cases the lawyers of Curcio Law have handled:
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog attack or bite, you will be well-served by consulting lawyers experienced in handling such claims, such as us here at Curcio Law. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 703-836-3366 or contact our Alexandria office online.
Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 37 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…
Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…
Justin Curcio received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Justin also spent a semester studying law at the University of Glasgow…
As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…
Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…
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