As a resident of Bellingham, you know that our community is often dog-friendly. From businesses that welcome canine companions to the many parks and trails where dogs can roam, it’s clear that we love our furry friends. However, even the most well-behaved dog can bite when they feel threatened, stressed, or provoked.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, the experienced Bellingham dog bite lawyers at Walton Law can help you hold the owner accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Walton Law for Your Bellingham Dog Bite Case?

Walton Law is a premier personal injury firm with offices in Bellingham and Southern California. Our founding attorney, Christopher C. Walton, is an AV Preeminent-rated trial lawyer who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year since 2013.

At Walton Law, we represent dog bite victims and their families. Our skilled Bellingham personal injury attorneys understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a dog attack can take, and we are committed to helping our clients recover the full compensation they deserve.

We have the knowledge, resources, and tenacity to take on even the most complex cases and well-funded defendants, including homeowners and their insurance companies.

Our Bellingham office is conveniently located at 2219 Rimland Drive #301, just minutes from downtown Bellingham and the many parks and trails where dog bites can occur.

No matter where your attack happened, our team is ready to come to you for a free consultation at your home, hospital room, or any other location that is most convenient for you.

Dog Bite Laws in Washington

Washington has a strict liability statute for dog bites, so you can hold dog owners responsible for injuries caused by their pets, even if the dog has never shown any signs of aggression before.

Section 16.08.040 of the Revised Code of Washington holds a dog owner liable for damages if:

  1. The dog bites someone
  2. The victim is either in a public place or lawfully on private property
  3. The victim did not provoke the dog

This means that dog bite victims in Bellingham do not have to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s dangerous propensities.

However, the strict liability rule only applies to actual bites, not to other injuries that a dog may cause, such as knocking someone over.

There are some defenses that dog owners may raise in a dog bite case, including:

  • Provocation: If the victim provoked the dog by teasing, tormenting, or abusing it, the owner may not be liable.
  • Trespassing: If the victim was unlawfully on private property when the bite occurred, the owner may not be liable.
  • Assumption of risk: If the victim knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities and voluntarily interacted with the dog anyway, the owner may argue that the victim assumed the risk of injury.

The skilled dog bite attorneys at Walton Law know how to anticipate and counter these defenses to build the strongest possible case for our clients.

Damages in Dog Bite Cases

Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional injuries, including:

  • Puncture wounds, lacerations, and scarring
  • Broken bones and crush injuries
  • Infection, including rabies and tetanus
  • Nerve damage and loss of sensation
  • Disfigurement and permanent disability
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological trauma

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite in Bellingham, you may recover damages for:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Medical expenses, including emergency treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement

In rare cases involving particularly egregious or intentional misconduct by the dog owner, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant and deter future wrongdoing.

The value of your dog bite claim will depend on factors like the severity of your injuries, the extent of your financial losses, and the strength of the evidence against the dog owner.

Our seasoned attorneys will carefully assess your case to determine the full scope of your damages and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you are owed.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Bellingham:

  1. Seek medical attention right away, even if the bite seems minor. Dog bites can cause serious infections and other complications.
  2. Report the bite to the Whatcom County Health Department and animal control authorities.
  3. Gather information about the dog and its owner, including their name, contact information, and insurance details.
  4. Take photos of your injuries and any torn clothing or other damage caused by the dog.
  5. Keep detailed records of your medical treatment, expenses, and other losses related to the bite.
  6. Avoid discussing the incident with the dog owner or their insurance company without consulting an attorney first.
  7. Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on your legal rights and options.

At Walton Law, we offer free consultations to help dog bite victims understand their rights and explore their legal options. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can start building your case and fighting for your recovery.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims

It’s important to note that there is a time limit for filing a dog bite claim in Washington. The statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the injury, although there are some exceptions. If you fail to file your claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

That’s why it’s best to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after an attack. At Walton Law, we can help you understand the deadlines that apply to your case and ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.

Contact a Bellingham Dog Bite Lawyer

Christopher C. Walton, Dog Bite Lawyer in Bellingham

Christopher C. Walton, Dog Bite Attorney in Bellingham

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Bellingham, the dedicated attorneys at Walton Law are here to help. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial impact that a dog attack can have on your life, and we are committed to providing compassionate, personalized service to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Don’t try to go through the complex legal system on your own. Contact us today at (360) 543-1010 for your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our skilled dog bite lawyers. We offer evening and weekend appointments and can even come to you if you’re unable to make it to our office.

Walton Law, A.P.C. – Bellingham Office Location

2219 Rimland Dr Suite 301,
Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 543-1010