If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Snohomish County, you may be facing painful injuries, mounting medical bills, and emotional trauma. The experienced Snohomish dog bite attorneys at Walton Law can help you hold negligent dog owners accountable and fight for the compensation you need to heal and move forward.

Why Select Walton Law for Your Dog Bite Case

Walton Law is a prestigious personal injury and employment law firm with a presence in Snohomish County. The firm has garnered numerous accolades for its exceptional legal services. Christopher C. Walton, our founding attorney, is a distinguished trial lawyer who has been consistently recognized as a Super Lawyer since 2013.

At Walton Law, we have an impressive history of successfully advocating for canine attack victims throughout Snohomish County.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Snohomish have secured substantial settlements and favorable court rulings for clients who have endured severe injuries, permanent scarring, and disfigurement resulting from dog attacks. We possess the expertise, means, and unwavering commitment to handle even the most intricate cases and formidable defendants.

Damages Recoverable in Canine Attack Cases

If you have suffered injuries from a canine attack in Snohomish County, you may be entitled to recover damages for:

  • Healthcare costs, encompassing emergency care, surgical procedures, and rehabilitative therapy
  • Lost income and diminished future earning potential
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological distress and emotional trauma
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Damages for wrongful death (in cases of fatality)

The monetary worth of your case will be influenced by various factors, including the gravity of your injuries, the magnitude of your economic losses, and the convincing nature of the evidence against the dog owner.

Our seasoned attorneys will meticulously evaluate your case to ascertain the total compensation you are entitled to and tenaciously strive for the most favorable resolution on your behalf.

Washington’s Dog Bite Laws

Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S. News 2023Washington holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries their dogs cause, regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression or the owner knew of any vicious propensities. This means that if a dog bites you in Snohomish County, you can hold the owner responsible for your injuries and damages, even if the dog never bit anyone before.

There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the victim was trespassing on private property or provoked the dog. However, in most cases, if you were lawfully in a public place or legally on private property when the attack occurred, the dog owner will be liable for your injuries.

Proving Liability in a Dog Bite Case

To win a dog bite case in Washington, you must typically prove the following elements:

Ownership of the Dog

The first element in a dog bite case is establishing that the defendant owned the dog that attacked you. This means proving that the defendant had legal ownership, custody, or control of the animal at the time of the incident.

In most cases, ownership can be demonstrated through evidence like dog licensing records, veterinary bills, or witness statements confirming that the defendant was the dog’s primary caretaker.

If the defendant was walking the dog, had the dog in their home or yard, or was otherwise responsible for the animal, they will likely be considered the legal owner for liability purposes.

Establishing ownership shows that the defendant had a legal duty to keep the dog under control and prevent it from harming others. Without proof of ownership, you cannot easily hold someone responsible for a dog bite injury.

Proof of the Dog Bite

The second element in a dog bite case is proving that you were actually bitten by the dog in question. This may seem obvious, but you need clear evidence of the attack and the resulting injuries.

Evidence of a dog bite may include:

  • Medical records documenting the injuries and treatment
  • Photographs of the injuries taken immediately after the attack and during the healing process
  • Torn or bloodied clothing from the attack
  • Witness statements confirming that the dog bit you

In some cases, the dog owner may try to argue that you were not actually bitten or that your injuries were caused by something else. Having strong documentation of the bite and your injuries can help counter these defenses and establish the dog owner’s liability.

Lawful Presence in the Place of the Attack

The third element in a dog bite case is showing that you were lawfully in the place where the attack occurred. This means that you were not trespassing or otherwise breaking the law at the time of the incident.

In Washington, you are generally considered lawfully present if you are:

  • In a public place, like a park, sidewalk, or street
  • Legally on private property, such as when you are invited to someone’s home or are conducting business at a store or office
  • Performing a legal duty, like delivering mail or reading utility meters

If a dog bit you where you had a right to be, you can hold the dog owner liable for your injuries. However, if you were trespassing or committing a crime at the time of the attack, the owner may argue that you contributed to your own injuries and should not be entitled to compensation.

Lack of Provocation

The fourth element in a dog bite case is showing that you did not provoke the dog before the attack. Provocation can be a defense to a dog bite claim, as the law recognizes that even a normally gentle dog may bite if it is threatened, harmed, or harassed.

Walton Law A.P.C. TeamExamples of provocation may include:

  • Hitting, kicking, or otherwise physically abusing the dog
  • Teasing or taunting the dog with food or toys
  • Entering the dog’s personal space or territory despite warning signs or the owner’s instructions
  • Intervening in a dog fight or attempting to break up a scuffle between animals

In most cases, simply petting a dog, walking near a dog, or interacting with a dog in a normal and non-threatening way will not be considered provocation. However, if the dog owner can prove that you provoked the animal, it may be more difficult to recover compensation for your injuries.

Proving these elements can be challenging, especially when dealing with uncooperative dog owners and insurance companies.

At Walton Law, we have the skills and resources to investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a strong claim on your behalf. We work with animal behavior experts, medical professionals, and other specialists to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the owner’s liability.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Snohomish County, taking the right steps after the attack can make a big difference in your case.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Seek medical attention right away, even if your injuries seem minor. Dog bites can cause serious infections and scarring.
  • Report the attack to Snohomish County Animal Services and request a copy of the report.
  • Get the dog owner’s contact information and insurance details, if possible.
  • Take photos of your injuries and any torn clothing or other damage from the attack.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills, incident reports, and other documentation related to the attack and your injuries.
  • Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible for advice on your legal rights and options.

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

Contact a Snohomish County Dog Bite Attorney

Christopher C. Walton, Snohomish County Dog Bite Attorney Lawyers

Christopher C. Walton, Snohomish County Dog Bite Attorney

If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Snohomish County, we are here to help. Call us today at (866) 338-7079 for a free consultation with one of our skilled dog bite attorneys. We’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and discuss how we can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

Don’t wait – the sooner you call, the sooner we can start working on your case. Call (360) 543-1010 now to take the first step toward justice.

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

6100 219th St SW #480
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone: (360) 543-1010