If you or a loved one have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may have legal options to recover compensation. While you might think that the owner of a dog is automatically liable for your damages if their dog bites you, this is not necessarily the case. West Virginia statue and caselaw, which is the outcome of other past cases that are used to guide the outcome of future cases, will determine whether you can collect compensation.
At Tiano & O’Dell, PLLC, our dog bite attorneys can help you understand your options, determine who is liable for your injuries, and build a strong case for compensation. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
West Virginia Statute and Case Law Determines When a Dog Owner is Liable
Under West Virginia Code Sec. 19-20-13, named “Dog Running at Large: Liability of Owner”, it is detailed that only the owner or keeper of a dog “who
permits such dog to run at large” will be liable for any of the damages inflicted upon persons or property while the dog is running at large. This would seem to say that unless a dog it allowed to run free by its owner, then the owner will not be liable for the damages. Case law clarifies that this is not always the case.
The Outcome of West Virginia Cases Has Impacted Dog Bite Laws
While West Virginia statute would seem to make it very difficult to collect when you are bitten by any dog that is not running free, case law has shifted this. Through the case Marcum v. Ballomy, it was clarified that dog owners who have a dog with a history of biting will have strict liability for any damages that result from a future bite by the dog. Strict liability means that the party is automatically liable for related damages when the condition is met, which here is that a dog is known to bite. Accurately applying the unique facts and circumstances of your dog bite injury to the relevant statutes and case precedents will determine the outcome of your claim.
Without a thorough understanding of how the law and precedent applies to the facts of your injury, you could be barred from recovering the compensation you deserve, leaving you and your family to cover the costs associated with your dog bite injury.
Connect with a West Virginia Dog Bite Attorney to Help on Your Case
If you have been injured by a dog bite caused by someone or something else, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. As we explored above, the way in which the law and case precedent applies to the facts and circumstances of your injury will determine if you are entitled to compensation. The best way to ensure you collect what you deserve is by working with an experienced dog bite attorney.
For a risk-free, cost-free assessment of your dog bite injury, schedule a consultation or call (304) 915-0823 to consider options on your dog bite injury with an experienced Charleston, West Virginia personal injury lawyer from Tiano O’Dell PLLC. We will review the circumstances of your injury, and if we take your case, help you accurately measure your damages and then collect the full amount you deserve.