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Dog Bite Statute in Washington

Can the victim of a dog bite sue the dog owner in the state of Washington? Know the personal injury liability rules and defenses regarding dog bites in the dog bite statute for the state of Washington below.

Dog Bite Statue in Washington

The state of Washington’s dog bite statute, Revised Code of Washington section 16.08.040, states a dog owner is liable for dog bite injuries their dog inflicted if:

  • the dog bite occurred in a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the dog owner.
  • the dog owner knew of the dog’s viciousness.
  • the injured person did not provoke the dog.

A dog bite injury attorney from Parke Gordon Law Firm will be happy to assist you in your dog bite claim. Our experienced dog bite lawyers can help you understand the statue of limitations in Washington. Simply put, a statute of limitations is a law that governs the amount of time you have to make a claim and bring a case to court after you have suffered a dog bite injury. Deadlines for such claims vary by state but range from one to six years after the injury occurred. Typically, the time limit is two to three years. Check with our dog bite personal injury attorneys to know for sure about your particular case. It is important to never wait too long to hire a Spokane dog bite lawyer after a dog bite due to these time restrictions.

Washington Strict Liability for Dog Bites

Washington State has strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This means that a dog owner is liable the first time his or her dog bites, even if the owner had no prior knowledge that the dog might bite someone.

Approximately half of all U.S. states follow a strict liability rule for dog bites. Other states follow a “one bite” rule. The “one bite” rule states that a dog owner must know or have reason to know that the dog is dangerous before he or she can be held liable for dog bite damages. The most common way to prove this knowledge is to show the owner knew the dog had bitten someone in the past.

Washington State Dog Bite Defense Claims

If you are a dog owner facing a dog bite lawsuit in Washington, there are two commonly-used defenses you should know about.

1. Provocation

If the dog owner can prove that the dog attacked because he or she was being provoked before biting, the dog owner will not be held liable for damages. For example, if a child is hurting the dog by poking it with a stick so the dog attacks to protect his or her self. The owner of the dog would not be held liable if they have enough witnesses stating that the child was provoking the dog.

2. Trespassing

If a dog owner argues that his or her dog attacked and bit someone because they were trespassing on the owner’s property, the dog owner would not be held liable for damages. A person who is trespassing is someone on private property unlawfully or without a specific duty such as delivering a package. Homeowner liability for trespasser injuries is limited in several ways including for dog bites under Washington State dog bite laws.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Spokane, WA Today

Call a Spokane attorney for a dog attack if you’ve been injured. Parke Gordon Law Firm offers a free consultation. Take this opportunity to speak to an experienced dog bite attorney from our law firm about your dog bite case over the phone or in person. We can usually tell you over the phone if you have a good case. Our attorneys will fight for you or your child to get fair compensation from a negligent dog owner. You pay nothing until your case settles. Call (509) 482-7274 now for a free consultation to discuss your dog bite case.

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Spokane, Washington Law Office

Our Spokane, Washington law firm services clients in and surrounding Spokane, including for injuries and accidents in Spokane Valley and injuries and accidents in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Visit or call our Spokane law firm today.

Parke Gordon LLC

421 W Riverside, Suite 256
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone:(509) 482-7274

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