Emporia, VA Dog Bite Lawyer Mark Hurt
Large, aggressive dogs can inflict substantial damage, but even mid-sized or small dogs can cause severe injuries. Even if not bitten, an individual could be knocked down, leading to debilitating injuries. In Virginia, dog owners can be liable for any injuries and damages caused by an attack, not just for bites.
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we have been successfully representing animal attack victims and their families for over two decades. If you or a loved one was injured by a dog in Virginia, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with experienced Emporia dog bite lawyer Mark Hurt. We represent injury clients on contingency, meaning we are only entitled to a fee if we recover compensation.
You May Be Entitled to Full Compensation for a Dog Bite Through a Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance Policy.
Most dog bites occur at the home of a friend or relative, making victims hesitant to file a report or pursue compensation. However, it is crucial to understand that, in many cases, a person’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provides liability protection for personal injuries, including dog bites. Consequently, firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt can typically obtain full compensation through an insurer without the need for contentious litigation.
What Dog Breeds Most Frequently Attack People?
Each year, roughly 4.5 million dog bite incidents are reported, 800,000 of which require medical treatment and 334,000 which are severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Further, more than 50% of all dog bite victims are innocent children. If you or a family member was bitten or injured by a dog, it will be beneficial to hire an experienced dog bite lawyer.
While any dog can bite, certain breeds are most often associated with attacks, including:
- Pit Bulls
- Doberman Pinschers
- Wolf-Dog Hybrids
- Bull Terriers
- Bull Mastiffs
- German Shepherds
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dogs are often referred to as ‘man’s best friend;’ however, it is also critical to remember that they are also animals and can bite. In most cases, dogs attack when they feel threatened, and any canine companion can bite regardless of its size, breed, or age.
Because dogs often attack after feeling threatened somehow, it is vital for everyone who interacts with animals to understand what may provoke such aggression.
- Dogs often bite when defending themselves, their territories, or family members.
- Suddenly approaching and startling a dog can provoke a dog bite.
- Running away from a dog (even during play) can elicit a negative response.
- If a dog is injured or ill, he or she may be more likely to lash out.
- Fearful dogs may bite whoever approaches them.
Regardless of what prompts a bite, dog owners are responsible for training and keeping their animals under control at all times in Virginia. Failure to do so could result in liability if an adult or innocent child is harmed.
Virginia Dog Bite Laws
Virginians love their dogs, and today, we bring our canine companions everywhere. Although most dog owners are responsible, some fail to take proper safety precautions, even after their dogs show signs of aggression. In Virginia, dog owners are protected by a ‘one bite’ law. This means that an animal must have previously shown a propensity for aggression for an owner to be held liable. This can be established with proof of previous aggression or biting incidents.
A dog owner may still be liable, even when a dog has never shown aggression if their negligence led to an injury. For example, if an individual fails to obey a leash law or keep an animal in a fenced area, he or she may be liable for any resulting injuries.
As an experienced Emporia dog bite attorney, Mark Hurt can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options for seeking maximum compensation, including through insurance or a personal injury or negligence lawsuit.
What Types of Damages Am I Entitled to Pursue for a Dog Bite?
Dog bites can be vicious and leave a victim with severe, life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one was attacked by an animal in Virginia, you might be entitled to seek compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological disorders
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful Death
What is Contributory Negligence, and How Can It Affect My Virginia Dog Bite Claim?
It is critical to note that Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that if a plaintiff is found in any way responsible for their own injury (even 1%), they will likely be barred from recovering compensation. For example, if an individual is teasing a dog, prompting the dog to attack, he or she will likely be found partially responsible and unable to recover compensation.
Because of Virginia’s strict contributory negligence law, it is not advisable for a victim to file a claim without the assistance of an experienced dog bite attorney.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Emporia Dog Bite Lawyer Mark Hurt.
If you or a loved one was injured in an animal attack, we encourage you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with Emporia VA dog bite attorney Mark Hurt. For over two decades, Mark has tenaciously sought justice and maximum compensation for injury victims, recovering millions of dollars to help cover medical and other expenses.
We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.