Victims of dog attacks face serious physical injuries, permanent scarring, and emotional trauma. Our personal injury lawyers represent innocent victims throughout Virginia including children, delivery drivers, postal workers, joggers, pedestrians, neighbors and anyone else attacked by a dog.
Contact Richard Serpe if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We are here to answer your questions and show you how the legal system can help. Call or text us anytime at 757-233-0009 or send us a quick email.
What should I do after a dog attack?
- Get medical attention. You probably don’t know whether or not the dog’s shots are up-to-date. If not, or if it is unknown, you may need to go through a series of painful rabies shots. Even if the dog is up-to-date on it’s shots, you may still be at risk for infection. If you are worried about your injuries, always consider having them looked at by a medical professional. As well, injury claims require proof that your injuries occurred because of the attack. Having them documented by a medical professional will secure this important evidence.
- Report the incident. It is important that you call the police or animal control so the dog attack can be documented and evidence preserved. Any animal that has bitten or attacked a person is a risk to the health and safety of the public, and will likely be quarantined and monitored for rabies. Virginia Beach Animal Control (757-385-4444), 341 S Birdneck Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
- Contact a lawyer. An experienced dog bite attorney can do a thorough investigation into the dog owner, handle the insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Dog Bite Settlements
Dog bite settlement amounts are based on many different factors. A major factor? Whether or not their is insurance and the policy limits. Policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations. Beware, insurance companies will often make low-ball settlement offers. A Virginia personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, the following may be included in your settlement.
- Pain and suffering: This is the right to compensation for physical pain and suffering and mental anguish you have suffered.
- Loss of Earnings: You may recover for the loss of earnings which you suffered from your injuries.
- Future Loss of Earnings: Your injuries are permanent and have affected your ability to earn income in the future.
- Scarring & Disﬁgurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, the victim may be entitled to recovery for the disﬁgurement. Because these injuries are often in very visible places, victims are often very self-conscious of their appearance.
- Children are frequently bitten in the facial region and require plastic surgery.
- Medical Bills: Damages include any sort of medical expenses that a victim has had to pay for at a hospital, clinic, or to a pharmacy.
Statute of Limitations (Legal Deadlines)
In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances apply and can alter that deadline. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the dog attack to protect your right to compensation.
No Fees Unless We Win Your Case
Contingency fees are paid by the client if a lawyer successfully handles a case. These fees are commonly used in personal injury law where money is being claimed. The fee is deducted from the money recovered in the successful settlement or verdict.
Contingency fees allow the client and attorney to share the financial burden of a case. This creates an incentive for lawyers to work hard for the best possible results. It also shows the level of confidence the attorney has in the case: they wouldn’t take on the client if they didn’t believe they could win! Contingency arrangements are also helpful for clients who might not have the money upfront to hire an attorney.
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t owe us any attorney’s fees unless we settle or win your case.
Virginia Beach Dog Regulations
The Virginia Beach city code regarding dog bites and dog attacks contains many provisions regarding proper ownership of one’s pets.
- Leash Law: Code 5-531, the “leash law,” covers dogs only. When a dog is being walked on any city sidewalk it must be on a lead at all times. Also, dogs being walked on a leash must also be wearing a city pet license.
- Running At Large: Code 5-530 stipulates that no animal may be free to run “at large” within the city limits. So, that means a dog is supposed to be properly contained within one’s residence, either within the house or on a tie-out or chain.
- Dangerous & Vicious Dogs: But what constitutes a vicious dog, or a dangerous one? Code 5-520 maintains that a “dangerous dog” is one which “has bitten, attacked or inflicted injury” on another person, or even another animal. A “vicious dog” is one that has killed or inflicted severe or serious bodily harm on a human being, as well as one who has continually exhibited dangerous behavior as previously found by a court.