In Washington, anyone who owns a dog that has threatened to bite needs to think very seriously about keeping the dog. Washington dog bite laws favor the victims of dog bites, and knowledge of a dog’s dangerous tendencies will not be looked at favorably by a judge or jury, according to a dog bite lawyer in Spokane, WA.
Washington Dog Owners Are Responsible If Their Dog Bites Someone
In Washington, “strict liability” applies when someone is injured by a dog bite. The owner of the dog is responsible for controlling it and will be held liable for the injuries even if the dog had never bitten anyone before. Some states basically allow a dog one free bite, but Washington is not one of those states.
Washington’s dog bite statue specifies that a dog’s owner is liable if:
* The dog was not provoked by the injured person;
* The injured person was bitten while he or she was lawfully in a private place (such as a home) or was in a public place.
Landlords, Tenants and Dogs
Is a landlord liable if their tenant’s dog bites someone? No, the landlord is not liable even if the landlord knows that the tenant is keeping a dangerous dog on the property. The same rule would apply even when someone was hurt by a tiger that a tenant was keeping. The owner is liable for damages, not the landlord.
Defining “Owner” Can Be Crucial to the Case
In one case, a granddaughter bought a dog and left the dog with her grandparents. They cared for the dog for three years, but the granddaughter never relinquished ownership and intended to have the dog live with her in the future. In this case, the court concluded that ownership would include not only someone who purchased the dog, but would also apply to someone who had the exclusive care of the dog for a long time.
The Statute of Limitations
In Washington, a dog bite lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date of the bite. Any lawsuit filed later than three years will not be heard by the court.
If you have been seriously injured by a dog, you need an experienced dog bite lawyer in Spokane, WA. Visit Deissnerlaw.com to request a FREE meeting; bring your paperwork and they will consider your case.
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