Jim Leach and his team have years of experience getting results for people who have incurred medical and other expenses – as well as pain, suffering and emotional trauma – as a result of dog bites.
Call our offices today and let personal injury lawyer Jim Leach Attorneys at Law review your situation and outline your legal options. There is no charge to talk to Jim about your case, and we don’t charge attorney’s fees unless and until we recover compensation for you. You might just need some legal advice, which we will gladly provide for free. If your case requires assistance from a lawyer, we are prepared to put our experience, resources and persistence to work for you.
If you have a serious case, here is why you need a serious lawyer like Jim Leach:
- Jim has years of experience helping dog bite victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Most of the time that involves negotiating with big insurance companies to pay claims, and not directly with the dog owner who may be a friend, relative or neighbor.
- He tailors his resources and energy to your needs, whether in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.
- He has strong community ties and is well-equipped to understand your values, point of view, and aims.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
After being bitten by a dog, seek medical treatment as soon as possible, especially if an unfamiliar dog bites you. Although first aid may be done at home, medical attention is important in order to manage infection and disease, even if the bite is minor. Dogs can carry rabies and other dangerous diseases, and you should be tested for these conditions after an attack.
Your first concern should be caring for your wound, but if you do not require emergency medical care, make sure to exchange names and contact info with the owner of the dog who attacked you, if the owner is present. Ask them to provide you with proof of the dog’s latest rabies vaccination, including date, administering veterinarian, and rabies vaccine license number, then call the veterinarian to verify. A doctor will be able to tell you if you need treatment for rabies or other diseases. Animal control and the police should also be notified of the incident and the rabies vaccine status of the dog.
To care for a dog bite injury at home:
- If the wound is bleeding, apply a clean towel and some pressure to stop the bleeding. Keep the injured area elevated if possible, to decrease blood flow to the area.
- Wash the wound with soap and water if bleeding is light.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury every day to prevent infection.
Dog Bite Questions
Types of Injuries Common in Dog Attacks
The type of injury varies depending on the length of the attack and the aggressiveness of the dog. Dogs such as pit bulls and Rottweilers and a few other known aggressive breed are more likely to cause very serious wounds.
- Puncture wounds
- Crush injuries
- Lacerations. The injury could be a surface laceration of the skin or cut through muscle, tendon, and nerves all the way to the bone.
- Cellulitis or abscess. This can happen when the wound gets infected, but can generally be effectively treated with antibiotics.
- Fractures. Fractures are uncommon but more likely when attacked by a dog of an aggressive breed.
- Diseases. For example, tetanus, rabies, MRSA, or Pasteurella.
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Compensation Available for Dog Bite Injuries
If you are injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Reconstructive cosmetic surgery
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dog Bite?
If the dog was not restrained or on the owner’s property when it attacked, and thus “at large,” then West Virginia holds the dog owner strictly liable for the resulting injuries. This means that you do not need to show negligence or knowledge of the dog’s violent tendencies on the part of the owner. If the attack happened while the dog was at large, the owner is liable.
If the dog was on the owner’s property or restrained, West Virginia follows the “one bite” rule, which holds the owner responsible for a dog bite injury only if the owner was aware the dog was dangerous or likely to cause that type of injury. The easiest way to prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous is if the dog has bitten someone before.
Who Pays Dog Bite Claims?
You may be reluctant to bring a dog bite claim if the dog’s owner is someone you know, such as a friend, neighbor or relative. However, it’s important to realize that in most cases the money to pay the claim won’t come out of the dog owner’s pocket.
Claims related to dog bites are generally paid by homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies, up to liability limits. Insurance companies may charge a higher premium to cover dog bites, charge more for or refuse to cover certain breeds, such as pit bulls, require homeowners or renters to sign a liability waiver for dog bites, or refuse to renew if a dog has bitten someone before.
The owner of the dog is responsible for any damages above the liability limit, or if they have no insurance.
How Our Lawyers Can Help Dog Bite Victims
Injuries from dog bites can take a toll on your finances and health. Insurance companies often do not cover medical expenses and other costs to the extent that you would expect. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog in Parkersburg or the surrounding areas, please contact experienced dog bite attorney Jim Leach today to schedule a free initial consultation. Jim has been serving the people of Parkersburg and surrounding communities in West Virginia and Ohio for years. He is a serious lawyer who gets serious results for people with serious cases.
Jim Leach will take the time to answer all your questions, ensuring that every detail has been gathered. Once all the facts are organized, Jim will determine the best path to follow toward the goal of recovering full compensation on your behalf.