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.
"$213,000.00 Jury Verdict, Auto Accident, Hand injury"
"$1,500,000.00, Auto Accident, Wrongful Death"
"$100,000.00, Auto Accident, Broken Leg"
"$493,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury, broken rib, facial lacerations"
"$190,000.00, Auto Accident, Brain injury"