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Can You File A Lawsuit If Someone Bites Your Dog?

Posted on June 3rd, 2024

Can you file a lawsuit if someone bites your dog?

We consider our dogs to be cherished members of our families, and the thought of someone intentionally hurting them is unthinkable. But what happens when another person or animal attacks or bites your dog? Can you take legal action to seek justice and compensation for your losses?

In many cases, the answer is yes. Washington law allows you to sue the owners of other animals or any individuals who intentionally harm your dog, depending on the circumstances.

Can You Sue If Another Dog Bites Your Dog?

In Washington State, dog owners are held strictly liable for any damages their pets cause, including injuries to other animals. This means that if your dog is attacked and injured by another dog, the owner of the aggressor is responsible for covering your veterinary expenses and other related costs—even if they had no prior knowledge of their dog’s dangerous tendencies.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. If your dog was trespassing on private property or if you provoked the attacking dog, the owner may not be held liable. Additionally, police dogs acting in the line of duty are generally exempt from this law.

What If a Human Attacks Your Dog?

It’s important to note that people have the right to protect themselves, others, and their property from aggressive dogs. However, this does not give anyone the right to harm a dog without provocation or if they have felt threatened by the animal in the past. If a human attacks your dog, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them.

The law treats animals as property, meaning that owners are typically limited to economic damages when their pets are harmed. For example, you can sue to help pay for veterinary treatment for your injured dog. Courts generally allow compensation for reasonable expenses, which depends on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries and the dog’s overall health and age.

There are situations where additional compensation may be available. If someone intentionally injures your dog or acts with malicious intent to cause you emotional distress, you may be able to seek damages for your own suffering. In the case Womack v. Von Rardan, a Washington appellate court awarded a cat owner $5,000 for the emotional distress she experienced after three boys set her cat on fire. 

Discuss Your Options with a Washington Dog Bite Lawyer

If your dog has been injured by another person or animal, you have the right to seek justice for the harm that you and your pet endured. However, these laws can be complex to navigate alone, which is why you need a Washington dog bite attorney on your side.

Your attorney will work tirelessly so that the people responsible for harming your dog are held accountable for their actions. They can help gather evidence to support your case, understand the legal options available to you, and advocate for your rights in court. 

Do not let someone get away with harming your beloved companion. Contact a Washington dog bite lawyer today from Colburn Law to discuss your case and learn how they can help you seek justice for your pet.