Tacoma, WA Dog Bite Injury Attorney
As a mid-sized urban port city, Tacoma lies on Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle. Less than an hour from Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington, serving as the center of business activity for the South Sound region. As the final stop in the Northern Pacific Railroad, the motto of Tacoma became “when rails meet sails.” The Tacoma Narrows bridge brought unwelcome notoriety in 1940 when it collapsed. Since the 1990s, Tacoma has experienced a period of revitalization, including the addition of the first modern electric light rail service in the state, a high density of history and art museums, and a restored urban waterfront. As part of this idyllic setting, families have dogs—like they do across the nation. Unfortunately, in some instances, a dog can attack or bite another person, often a child. When this occurs, it is essential to have an experienced Tacoma dog bite attorney to help you navigate the personal injury process.
Like many places in Washington, Tacoma is becoming more and more “dog friendly”. While this is generally a positive move, there are always risks involved when dogs and people are together in relatively close quarters. Some dogs are unable to handle large groups of people and other animals and react by biting another person. In fact, when overly stressed, virtually every dog is capable of biting. Whether the bite occurs on private or public property, if the victim had the right to be on the property, the owner is liable. If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog or other animal, Palace Law can help.
Why Choose Palace Law Following a Tacoma Dog Bite or Dog Attack?
After being bitten by a dog, you may be uncertain of what you need to do. Washington dog bite laws are straightforward—if you are lawfully in an area and a dog bites you, the owner is liable. This makes a Tacoma dog bite issue just like any personal injury claim. Your Tacoma dog bite attorney will seek damages on your behalf that will pay for your expenses related to the dog bite. At Palace Law, we help those facing injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages due to a dog bite. You can see the dedication and care we devote to our clients by our more than 1,500 positive reviews.
The Palace Law attorneys offer a free initial consultation, along with a comprehensive evaluation of your potential claim. We have multiple lawyers at Palace Law that have tried more than 200 cases each. Our attorneys are available 24/7, and we can even come to you if you are too injured to travel. We offer free legal forms and will deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We understand that insurance companies want to pay you the smallest settlement possible. This changes when the insurance company faces an aggressive Tacoma attorney who has your best interests at heart. We will never allow an unscrupulous insurance company to deprive you of the settlement you need and deserve.
How Often Do Dog Bites Occur in the United States?
According to Canine Journal, the following statistics relate to dog bites across the United States:
- The CDC estimates that about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year.
- Of that 4.5 million, about 800,000 of those bites require medical care.
- When considering the number of people in the U.S., this means that about one in every 73 people will be bitten by a dog at some point in their life—although many of these bites are minor, causing no serious injuries.
- While there were 43 fatalities from dog bites in 2020, statistically you have a minimal risk of dying from a dog bite.
- Most dog bites involve dogs that are not spayed or neutered.
- It’s true that dogs do bite Postal employees; in 2018 5,714 USPS employees were attacked by a dog.
What is the Law in Washington State for Dog Bites?
Washington Revised Code Section 16.08.040 states that the owner of any dog that bites another person while that person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place…shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten. There is no provision for whether the dog has exhibited prior vicious behavior or whether the owner is aware of such behavior. In short, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries caused to another person so long as the person is there legally and did not provoke the dog.
Under What Circumstances Would the Dog Owner Not Be Liable for a Dog Bite?
Many dog owners will claim the victim of the dog bite was not on their property lawfully—that is, the person was trespassing. This is not a defense if the victim was on public property, but on private property the victim must have been on the property legally—i.e., a burglar breaking into someone’s house may not file a personal injury claim if bitten by the family dog. There must have been no provocation on the part of the victim, although the defendant would have to prove provocation existed. As examples, the victim of the dog bite must not have been taunting the animal or threatening the animal’s owner. Dog bite laws generally do not apply to law enforcement working dogs, when the dog bites a suspect in the performance of its duties.
How a Tacoma Dog Bite Attorney from Palace Law Can Help
The attorneys at Palace Law are dedicated to protecting the rights and the futures of Washington accident and injury victims. If you are dealing with the pain and trauma of injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages, we can help. With more than 200 years of collective experience, we will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need, and the financial compensation you need and deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite with injuries, contact Palace Law today!