Charleston Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or your child was recently bitten by a dog in Charleston, West Virginia, it’s important to call the top-rated legal team at Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers. You have the right to demand justice, and our Charleston dog bite lawyers are ready to help you fight to maximize your financial recovery.

Since 2007, dog bite victims and families in Charleston have trusted Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers to help them move forward after life-changing attacks. Together, our award-winning West Virginia trial attorneys have over 71 years of combined experience handling complex legal disputes. Our case results speak volumes, with hundreds of millions of dollars in financial awards.

Don’t settle for less than your dog bite case is worth. Demand accountability from the dog’s owner and other liable parties. Trust our legal team to get you top results. We offer a free consultation, so contact our Charleston, WV, law office today at (304) 720 1000.

How Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog in Charleston, WV

How Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC Can Help if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog in Charleston, WV

Even though you may have the ability to seek damages for your dog bite injuries, the path to a successful financial recovery won’t necessarily be an easy one. The dog’s owner won’t readily admit their animal attacked you. Property owners who might be liable will fight your claim every step of the way. 

The only way to get the compensation you deserve is by hiring a trusted and respected Charleston, WV personal injury lawyer to handle your dog bite case.

At Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, we’ve been recognized for our trustworthy legal representation and consistent winning record by Super Lawyers, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates, Forum, Avvo, and other top organizations. When we represent a client, we become invested in their story and their future. We’re here to guide you through the claims process and fight to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Count on us to:

  • Lead a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your dog bite 
  • Determine liability for the animal attack
  • Gather key pieces of evidence throughout the discovery process
  • Depose eyewitnesses, the dog’s owner, businesses, and other parties
  • File your claim with the insurance company and/or local Kanawha County court
  • Engage in meaningful settlement negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company, defense counsel, and other parties
  • Help you make tough decisions about your case
  • Argue your dog bite lawsuit at trial if the defense refuses to extend a fair settlement offer

Between medical expenses, disability, and the day-to-day costs of living, a dog bite can be quite costly. Our dog bite attorneys in Charleston don’t want you to skip asking for help because you think you can’t afford it. Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers represents dog bite victims on contingency.

We only get paid if we win compensation for your dog bite injury case.

Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation by calling our Charleston, WV, law office today. Members of our team are always standing by to help.

Are Dog Bites Common in West Virginia?

Every year, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the United States. Not all dog bites require emergency medical care. Roughly 12,480 people are hospitalized for their severe dog bite injuries. Most victims requiring medical care are children, typically between the ages of 5 and 9.

Still, between 34 and 35 people are seriously injured in dog attacks every day.

Studies show that many of the nation’s worst dog bites happen in West Virginia. In fact, West Virginia has the highest dog bite fatality rate in the country.

Does West Virginia Have a One Bite Rule?

Yes and no. First, it’s important to understand what a “one bite” rule is.

Essentially, a one bite rule means that the owner of a dog is not automatically responsible for damages the first time their animal bites someone. The purpose is to protect an owner from liability when there is no evidence that their dog is aggressive or has a tendency to bite. For subsequent bites, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for any resulting damages.

West Virginia applies a one-bite rule in some situations but not others. It ultimately depends on whether the dog in question was leashed or unleashed.

Under West Virginia Code §19-20-13, a dog’s owner is strictly liable when their dog bites someone while permitted to run at large. If the dog’s owner doesn’t keep the dog on a leash (as required by Charleston leash laws) or is safely confined on its property, the owner is automatically responsible for medical bills, lost wages, disability, and other damages a dog bite victim experiences.

On the other hand, the one bite rule applies if a dog first bites someone while on a leash or on their own property. In these situations, you can still hold the dog’s owner responsible for your injuries, but you’ll have to prove that the owner was negligent in controlling the animal. If this isn’t the dog’s first time biting someone, the owner can be strictly liable for your damages.

Can I Sue Someone Other Than the Dog’s Owner if I’m Bitten on Public Property?

Yes. The dog’s owner is not the only party who might be liable for your dog bite injuries. If you’re bitten at a business or on public property, you might have a legitimate negligence action against the owner or manager of the premises. 

Under West Virginia premises liability law, owners have a duty to protect you from reasonably foreseeable harm. If a business, landlord, or owner knows that a dog has vicious tendencies and doesn’t take steps to protect guests or visitors, they can be held accountable for a portion of your damages.

What Damages Are Available to Charleston Dog Bite Victims?

Dog bites can be devastating, resulting in serious physical injury or death. When you’ve been injured or lost a close family member because of a dog attack, you can file a legal claim seeking compensatory damages from the dog’s owner, an insurance company, or another liable party.

Compensatory damages can include two types of awards: economic and non-economic. Each serves a distinct purpose in helping you move forward after you’re bitten by a dog.

Economic damages take care of the financial costs related to your dog bite, such as:

  • Current medical expenses related to hospitalization, surgery, medical devices, prosthetics, medication, and more
  • Future medical bills including rehabilitation, follow-up care, and therapy
  • Disability 
  • Lost wages and earnings
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Costs of a funeral

Non-economic damages help you deal with costs of being bitten by a dog that are much more personal, such as:

  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of consortium
  • Chronic physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Embarrassment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Expect resistance as you pursue a maximum financial recovery for your dog bite injuries. Count on our dog bite attorneys in Charleston to fight to get you every cent you deserve. We’ll collaborate with experts throughout the claims process, working to demonstrate just how much of an impact the dog bite has had on your life.

When it’s time to negotiate, the defense can either make you a fair settlement offer or risk going up against our award-winning litigators in court.

Helping You Seek Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries

At Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, we’re here to help you seek compensation for any and all injuries you’ve suffered because of a dog bite in Charleston, including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Crushing injury
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation
  • Degloving injury
  • Neck injury
  • Back injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Internal organ damage
  • Infection and disease
  • Eye injury
  • Catastrophic injury
  • Wrongful death

Make sure you report your dog bite to the local police and seek prompt medical treatment, even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured. Getting help will ensure that your injuries are properly treated and documented, and ultimately help you get the compensation you deserve.

What’s the Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims in West Virginia?

West Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for civil dog bite lawsuits. You’ll have two years from the date you were bitten by a dog to formally sue the dog’s owner or another liable party.

If you’ve lost a close family member because of a fatal dog attack in Charleston, you’ll have two years from their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages.

There are times when the statute of limitations might be different, such as in government tort claims or when a child is bitten by a dog. Regardless, you must satisfy the deadline that applies to your case if you want to reserve your right to get financial justice.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Charleston Dog Bite Lawyer

Don’t hesitate to contact Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Charleston, WV. You have rights as a victim, and our law firm is prepared to help you make the most of a difficult situation.

Our Charleston dog bite lawyers have over 71 years of collective experience. We’ve helped our clients win hundreds of millions in damages. Today, we’re ready to fight to help you win big, too.

We offer a free case evaluation, so call our Charleston law office to schedule a time to speak with our trusted team.