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Washington, D.C., Dog Bites & Animal Attacks



No one expects to be bitten by someone else’s dog. Yet these incidents do sometimes occur, even in our nation’s capital. If you have been a victim, you may be due compensation for your medical bills and other losses. But dog bite laws can be tricky. That is why it is so important to retain a Washington, D.C. lawyer.

Dog Bite Laws in the District of Columbia

There are two basic approaches to dog bite laws:

  • The “one-bite” rule holds dog owners liable for injuries their animals cause only if they have reason to believe their dogs may be dangerous. The most obvious example would be that a dog has bitten someone before. Thus, “one bite” is free.
  • Strict liability laws hold dog owners fully liable for any injuries their dogs cause. It does not matter if a dog has ever bitten or acted menacingly before.

The District of Columbia uses a combination of these rules. In most cases, the one-bite rule applies. But there is an exception: A dog owner is strictly liable if a dog attacks someone while it is at large due to the owner’s negligence.

What to Expect in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

If you choose to sue for damages, your attorney may request:

  • Photos of your injuries, taken as soon as possible
  • Torn or bloodied clothing, shoes, or other items damaged in the attack
  • Copies of your medical records, detailing your injuries
  • Copies of your medical bills

You may also need to give a deposition, a statement you give under oath. It is your chance to explain, in detail, what happened. Your attorney may try to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Or, if needed, he or she can represent you in court.

Locate a Local Washington, D.C. Animal Attack Attorney

Dog bites cause serious injuries. Your first priority should be getting prompt medical care. Getting in touch with a knowledgeable attorney should be your next move. Call now to speak with a Washington, D.C., dog attacks lawyer at 877-913-7222.