Dog Bite Injuries in Virginia: When Should You Talk With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
As the Virginia General Assembly adjourns for its 2018 session, one item on the agenda will be a proposed dog bite law to require disclosure of bite histories of dogs by animal adoption agencies. The legislative proposal results from a shocking case in which an elderly woman in Virginia Beach died from dog bite injuries last year.
In the spring of 2017, a 91-year old woman was tragically mauled to death by a pit bull with a history of biting. The woman’s daughter adopted the dog from an agency which did not disclose the dog’s previous history. According to news reports, the daughter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the animal adoption agency. The Jeff Brooke Team is not involved in that case but does represent clients who sustain dog bite injuries. In one recent case, we won a $300,000 settlement for a client whose son suffered egregious injuries from a dog bite.
Should You Consult a Lawyer About Dog Bite Injuries?
Individuals who receive dog bite injuries — or whose loved one is a victim — often do not realize that it may be possible to hold the dog owner legally liable for those injuries. In addition, as illustrated by the heartbreaking case in Virginia Beach, there are times when it may be feasible to file suit against another person or entity.
The only way to accurately assess potential legal responsibility for dog bite injuries is to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer. But what are the circumstances where you should seek out a dog bite injury lawyer to discuss your case?
Every situation involving personal injury — including a dog bite case — is unique. The severity of injuries and the facts and circumstances are always different from any other case. An assessment by a personal injury lawyer is advisable in any situation where another person or entity may bear some responsibility and dog bite injuries are significant, including when:
- The injuries resulted in substantial medical expenses;
- Permanent impairment, disability, or disfigurement resulted;
- Ongoing medical treatment is required;
- Future earning ability is affected;
- The victim suffers long-lasting pain; or
- The victim died from the injuries.
How Soon Should You Talk With a Lawyer?
Even though the full extent of dog bite injuries may not be immediately known, when it is clear the injuries are substantial, talking with a lawyer is better done sooner rather than later. There are a number of reasons. To begin with, collecting evidence about the incident, including finding witnesses, is likely to be easier immediately after the incident.
There is a two-year time limit on filing a lawsuit for dog bite injuries, so getting a lawyer involved quickly is in your best interest. You should always consult a lawyer about serious injuries before you talk with any insurance companies who represent a person or entity that may be legally responsible. Making a statement prematurely to an insurance company can harm your ability to get the compensation you deserve.
Talk With a Virginia Beach Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
At The Jeff Brooke Team, our personal injury practice includes representing victims of serious dog bite injuries. We are here to help if you or a family member suffered substantial injuries from a dog attack or bite. Contact us by phone at (757) 552-6055 or by using our online contact form.
Jeff Brooke is a personal injury attorney devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligent and careless actions. The Jeff Brooke Team serves all of southeastern Virginia. The firm serves clients in the Greater Tidewater and Greater Hampton Roads areas, including in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Chesterfield. The Jeff Brooke Team also handles cases in northeastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.