Tacoma Dog Bite Lawyer
Did a dog bite you? Did the bite cause injuries requiring medical attention? If so, contact Park Chenaur and Associates right now.
A dog attack can be traumatic and lead to severe injuries. Deep lacerations and puncture wounds often require stitches. Rabies and tetanus shots are also necessary to prevent you from getting the viruses. The experience can have long-lasting effects, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At Park Chenaur and Associates, people know us as lawyers our clients can trust. We have represented those harmed by others’ wrongdoing since 1999. You can count on us to fight for you. Call us for a free consultation with our Tacoma dog bite lawyers to learn more.
Why Choose Park Chenaur and Associates?
For over 20 years, the legal team from Park Chenaur and Associates has protected the rights of injured clients in Tacoma. Our conveniently located office is less than two miles from State Route 16, so you can see us when you need us. With our 24/7 availability, a live person can always speak with you by call or text.
There are multiple reasons clients come to us for help after a dog bite injury, including:
- Experience. We have decades of experience handling personal injury cases involving dog bites and attacks. We know how to hold dog owners liable and recover the compensation owed to victims.
- Convenience. You shouldn’t have to deal with any responsibilities other than treating your injury. We aim to simplify the process by relieving you of the burden of pursuing compensation. We’ll handle every aspect of your case.
- Personalization. We understand you’re dealing with an emotional and stressful situation. We empathize with what you’re going through and provide personalized attention to help you overcome the challenges you face.
- Proven results. Our proven track record of success shows how hard we work for our clients. We want to achieve the best possible outcome and do whatever it takes to try to meet your legal goals.
- No upfront fees. We take dog bite injury cases on contingency. We know the financial strain of paying expensive medical bills. You shouldn’t worry about whether you can afford a lawyer. We don’t collect our legal fees and costs unless we secure compensation for you.
Let Park Chenaur and Associates provide the representation and guidance you need during this difficult ordeal. Call us today for your free consultation.
Dog Bite Laws in Tacoma
According to Washington Revised Code 16.08.040, the owner of a dog that bites someone on public property or who is lawfully in a private place is liable for the injured person’s losses regardless of the dog’s former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of the viciousness.
The only exception to this law is if a dog handler uses a police dog in good faith while fulfilling official duties. The handler has immunity from liability if the injury results from the use of a police dog or accelerant detection dog.
A dangerous dog:
- Kills a domestic animal off the owners’ property without provocation;
- Causes a person severe injury on private or public property without provocation; or
- Was potentially dangerous in the past after injuring a human, the owner received notice of their potentially dangerous dog, and the dog aggressively attacked, bit, or endangered the safety of another person again.
A dog owner can’t allow a dangerous dog outside of a proper enclosure unless they restrain the dangerous dog with a muzzle and substantial leash or chain. The muzzle must not injure the dog or interfere with its respiration or vision but prevent it from biting another animal or a person.
City-specific laws also impose leash ordinances and other requirements for dog owners. The Tacoma leash law requires owners to restrain all dogs on a leash less than eight feet long or confined at all times to the owner’s property. The only exception is if the dog is in a designated area that allows it to remain off-leash, such as an off-leash dog park.
You must comply with a strict deadline to sue someone for the injuries their dog causes. In Washington, the statute of limitations allows a three-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you have three years from the date of the dog bite to initiate your lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
Common Types of Dog Bites and Injuries
The Dunbar Bite Scale classifies the severity of dog bites based on the dog’s behavior and the type of injury a person or animal sustains.
The scale separates dog attack injuries into:
- Level 1. The dog is aggressive, but their teeth don’t contact the person’s skin.
- Level 2. The dog’s teeth contact the person’s skin. However, the injury is a minor nick, but not a puncture of the skin.
- Level 3. A single bite leaves one to four punctures with no puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. A laceration in one direction might also result from the owner pulling their dog away or the person pulling their hand away.
- Level 4. The dog causes one to four puncture marks to the skin with at least one deeper than half the length of the canine teeth. Lacerations in both directions and deep bruising around the wound can also occur.
- Level 5. An incident involving multiple attacks causes at least one level 4 bite during each attack or multiple bites with at least two level 4 bites.
- Level 6. The dog is extremely dangerous, mutilating the body and causing death.
Dogs can cause more than puncture wounds during bites and attacks.
The most common injuries include:
- Torn tissue and muscle
- Eye injuries
- Nerve damage
- Psychological trauma
- Head and neck injuries
- Bone fractures in the hands or arms
- Facial wounds and disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
Dog bite injuries can lead to complications, such as infections. The two most common are rabies and tetanus.
The RABV virus can infect a person when it enters broken skin or the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth, or eyes. Typically, the symptoms of rabies don’t appear until several weeks after the virus enters the body.
When the virus reaches the central nervous system, symptoms can develop, such as:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Itching, numbness, burning, or pain at the bite wound
- Vomiting and nausea
As the virus progresses, acute neurologic symptoms start. They can be furious or paralytic. Furious symptoms occur in intervals between periods of no symptoms.
These symptoms might include:
- Pupils differing in size
- Aggression and agitation
- Facial paralysis
- Fast breathing
- Fear of water or drinking
- Racing heart
- Muscle twitching
- Excessive salivation
Paralytic symptoms can include:
- Neck stiffness
- Weakness, especially in the affected body part that spreads to other body parts
- Tingling or other strange sensations
Tetanus is a nervous system disease caused by a toxin-producing bacterium. The incubation period is between three and 21 days, with an average incubation period of ten days. Generalized tetanus is the most common type causing symptoms that gradually worsen in a couple of weeks. Typically, symptoms start at the jaw and progress down the body.
The most common tetanus symptoms include:
- Jaw cramping
- Difficulty swallowing
- Heart rate and blood pressure changes
- Painful muscle stiffness
- Sweating and fever
- Sudden, involuntary muscle spasms
Dog Bite Injury Compensation
The dog that bit you might belong to a friend or family member, which can make asking for money for your injuries and expenses awkward. This is a good reason to hire an attorney. Your attorney can file a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to cover your medical bills and other expenses. You and your friend can let your lawyer and the insurance company handle it. However, the available insurance coverage might not be enough to compensate you for all of your losses.
A business owner might be liable for a dog bite or attack if the incident occurs on their property. For example, you can pursue action against a restaurant owner for allowing a dog on their premises that injures you.
You can also file a lawsuit against the owner or another liable party if you’re within the required statute of limitations.
The money you receive in a claim or lawsuit might compensate you for:
- Emergency room visits, prescriptions, and other medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Loss of earning
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
Calculating the value of a dog bite injury case is more complicated than you think. Even though you can determine someone’s total costs by totaling all the related billing statements, receipts, and invoices, monetizing non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, is challenging.
Various factors might affect the amount of compensation you could get in your case, such as:
- Amount of available insurance coverage
- Nature and severity of the injury
- Total expenses from the dog bite
- Duration of necessary medical care
- Permanent disfigurement, scarring, or complications from the attack
- Availability of evidence establishing liability
- The estimated cost of future medical treatment
- Emotional or psychological effects of the incident
- Disruptions to daily life, including canceled vacations and missed work
A Tacoma dog bite lawyer from Park Chenaur and Associates can help determine the compensation you deserve. We know how to maximize the value of a dog bite injury claim with valuable evidence that shows the severity of the injury and associated losses.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Arguing about a settlement with an insurance company can be stressful for the victim of a dog bite. It can be overwhelming to deal with, especially if you don’t know how to advocate for yourself and negotiate a fair settlement.
A common misconception about insurance carriers is that they’re on the victim’s side. They’re not. Their goal is to save money by avoiding paying claims whenever possible. They don’t want to offer a significant settlement. That means they might look for evidence to justify a lowball offer or denied claim.
You should hire a Tacoma dog bite lawyer from Park Chenaur and Associates. Let us communicate with the insurance adjuster to avoid unnecessary delays and obstacles. If you attempt to deal with the insurer yourself, your chance of inadvertently saying something they use against you is high. When we handle communications with the insurance company for you, that won’t happen. You can count on our team to aggressively seek maximum compensation and try to achieve a favorable result in your case.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
You likely already sought medical attention for your dog bite injury in an emergency room. Getting the wounds cleaned and stitched up is critical.
The next thing you should do is hire Park Chenaur and Associates.
Follow your initial physician’s recommended treatment plan if you require follow-up care. You must attend every appointment until you heal or your doctors release you from their care. Insurance companies view gaps in treatment as valuable evidence against dog bite victims. They can use inadequate or inconsistent medical records to justify a low settlement offer because the injury doesn’t appear serious.
Documenting your injury in a journal can help your case. You should write down every symptom and indicate whether any worsen while performing specific tasks. It’s also a good idea to keep track of every doctor’s appointment, X-ray, medical procedure, and other treatment you receive. Maintain copies of those records and bills and forward them to us.
You should not worry if you can’t obtain case-related documentation. We can do all of that for you. Our extensive resources allow us to acquire the evidence to prove your injury occurred during a dog bite and that someone else should be liable.
Although social media might be part of your daily life, avoid it while your case is pending. Posting about the incident, your injuries, and related facts can negatively affect your financial recovery. The insurance company or defense attorney might use your posts to blame you for the attack or argue that your injury isn’t as severe as you say. You must prioritize your recovery over your online activity.
Pursue Compensation With a Dedicated Tacoma Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog bite injury can have long-term consequences. You might be unable to work, participate in your favorite activities, and care for your family. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
Park Chenaur and Associates can assist with your claim against the dog owner and get your life back on track. Call us 24/7 at (253) 345-2555 or complete our online form for a free consultation if you sustained a dog bite injury in Tacoma.
Tacoma Office Location:
3517 6th Ave,
Tacoma, WA 98406,
Phone: (253) 345-2555