Being attacked by a dog can be a painful, terrifying and costly experience. The victim may be left with permanent physical and psychological damage. This is especially true if the victim is a child.
Unfortunately, many dog bites in Charleston and throughout West Virginia result from owners and keepers who allow their dogs to roam at large, fail to protect others from animals they know to be dangerous or who otherwise act negligently in the handling of their pets.
The personal injury attorneys of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, understand the seriousness of dog bites. We work hard to secure just compensation for innocent victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a dog attack, contact us to receive the professional, aggressive representation that you deserve. We would be glad to provide you with a free consultation.
The dog bite attorneys of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, have more than 35 years of combined experience in the area of personal injury law and have a record of successful results. We understand the options available to West Virginia dog bite victims, and we know how to seek maximum dog bite compensation for our clients.
The options that may be available in your particular case will depend on a number of factors. These factors include:
An attorney from our law firm can thoroughly review your case to determine whether one or more options for a recovery are available to you. We can seek a full and fair recovery for the harm you or a loved one has suffered, including past and future medical expenses, scarring and disfigurement, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more.
Too often, the victims of dog bites are innocent children. According to the latest annual figures from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 368,245 individuals in the U.S. needed medical treatment for dog bite-related injuries. Roughly 42 percent of those victims were children under age 14.
If a dog bite claim is based on the dog owner’s or keeper’s negligence, an issue that may arise is whether the victim’s own negligence contributed to his or her injuries. As long as the victim’s negligence does not exceed or equal the combined negligence of the dog owner, the victim should still be able to recover damages.
However, if the child dog bite victim is under age 7, the child is presumed to be incapable of negligence under West Virginia law. In other words, the child cannot be deemed to have the mental capacity to understand and avoid danger.
If the child is between the ages of 7 and 14, the dog owner or keeper can rebut this presumption by showing evidence that the child had the capacity to be negligent. If the child is older than age 14, the child is presumed to be capable of negligence. However, this presumption can be overcome.
It is important to work with an attorney who will know how to address a dog owner’s claim of contributory negligence – especially when a child is the victim – and who will aggressively seek full compensation.
Dog bites are exceptionally dangerous. The CDC reports that, based on annual data, dog bite injuries most commonly occur to the:
Dog bite injuries can cause permanent disfigurement and scarring to the face, head, neck and other parts of the body. They can also lead to severe infections. A victim may need multiple surgeries to repair ripped and torn muscles, ligaments and skin as well as cosmetic (or plastic) surgery to restore his or her appearance. Psychological counseling and rehabilitation therapy may be needed as well.
The costs of this medical treatment and other damages may be sought in a claim against the owner or keeper of the dog. In most cases, the compensation is covered through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy and not his or her personal assets. This is important to know if you are hesitant about taking legal action against a friend or neighbor.
The lawyers of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, have a record of helping dog bite victims in Charleston and throughout West Virginia. We can seek maximum compensation in your case and help you to secure the funds you need for your recovery. Don’t wait to take action. Call or contact us online today to get started.