Dog bite and injuries due to dogs happen in Virginia all the time. According to the law, a victim of dog-bite and the dog owner have shared liability for the damages. Additionally, various states have different rules that decide how much compensation the victim will receive. However, victims of the dog-bite may receive a small sum or nothing at all.
The first thing any victim should do before filing a lawsuit is hire a personal injury lawyer Virginia Beach VA. You might wonder why to hire a professional lawyer to file for compensation or insurance claim for the damage caused due to dog-bite. Here is why. Most dog owners and parties involved in a dog-bite lawsuit may argue that the victim was partly at fault. The dog owner may try to prove to the court that the victim was trespassing or doing something provocative at the time of the injury. Since the dog owners have a legal defense in a dog-bite case, it’s best to take professional help from a qualified lawyer.
There are times when victims in the dog-bite lawsuits are at fault. Whether you put your hands through the fence to pet that friendly-looking dog or entered the property with the “Beware of Dog” sign, your actions at the time of the accident will have a significant influence on the verdict.
Since different states have different rules for the dog-bite lawsuit, how much liability the victim will have to share depends upon the state’s law and legal theories supporting the trial.
So, let’s find out the rules for shared fault in a dog bite lawsuit.
Three rules apply when the plaintiff is partly responsible for the dog-bite or injuries. They are;
- Pure Comparative Negligence: In some states, the compensation equals the total damage minus the plaintiff’s share of fault.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: Other states follow the same rule but with an exception. If the plaintiff shares fault for the incident to a point, they are not entitled to any compensation.
- Contributory Negligence: On the other hand, several states don’t allow plaintiffs to claim for the damage if they are found to have contributed to the accident.
How are Dog-bite Lawsuits Settled?
Many times, Virginia Beach personal injury attorney help parties involved in a dog-bite lawsuit settle the case outside the court. However, even if the case reaches mutual settlement before the start of the trail, the state’s rules will still apply when determining the compensation.
When Do Shared-Fault Rules Apply?
In dog-bite lawsuits, the state’s shared-fault rule applies when the victim claims for the injuries and holds the dog owner responsible for it. When the plaintiff alleges that the dog owner didn’t do much to control the dog or left it loose, the dog-owner can be sued. There are other rules under which the dog-owner can be held liable for the injuries. They are:
- The one-bite rule: Under this rule, the dog owners are legally responsible for the injuries to the victim if they knew that their dog is dangerous.
- Strict liability dog-bite laws: This law makes dog owners accountable for dog-bites and injuries, whether they know their pet is hazardous or not.