Dog bites might seem rare, but over 4.5 million people just in the United States suffer dog bites every year. This is a concerning statistic, both for dog owners and all the rest.
Dangerous dogs don’t always appear that way. Dog attacks are often impossible to foresee during a simple walk in the park. It pays to know current dog laws if you live in the state of Washington.
Keep reading as we discuss what the law says, and what you should do after dog attacks.
What Are Dog Laws in Washington State?
The law does not beat around the bush concerning who is responsible for dog bite injuries. It is the owner of the dog who takes full responsibility.
It doesn’t matter if this was public or private property. If your dog attacks a visitor in your own home, for example, you are responsible.
Further, this law does not protect the ignorance of the owner. The owner may fully believe that the dog was nonviolent and trained. All of that goes out the window once their dog attacks.
Finally, this covers the pets of other people. If your dog attacks or kills another pet, then you would be on the hook for any medical care.
Are There Any Exceptions to Dog Laws?
In a few select instances, the owner is not responsible for injuries that their dog may cause.
First, the owner is no longer liable in instances of trespassing. If you break into someone’s home, and their dog bites you, the owner is not responsible.
This also includes if you intentionally provoked the dog. People who attempt to rile up a dog or attack it without reasons of self-defense are not protected by dog laws.
Finally, police dogs can bite while serving in the line of duty. If a police dog bites you while attempting to chase or subdue you, the police department is not responsible for any resulting injuries.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Dog Attack?
Your first step after any altercation with a dog should be to get medical attention if you need it. Dog bite injuries can lead to severe infections, in addition to the trauma that they cause. Prioritize your medical care above all else.
Second, contact the authorities. Depending on the situation, there may be legal penalties for the owner of the dog.
After this is done, contact a dog bite attorney. You can ask them any questions you want about how to proceed should you decide to press charges.
Find Representation with Maurer Law in Spokane
Dog laws in the state of Washington make it very clear that the owner is responsible for the actions of their dog. That said, there are some exceptions, such as if you are an intruder or if you provoke a dog. After contacting authorities and getting medical attention, speak with an attorney about your next steps.
Maurer Law provides representation to those who are victims of personal injuries, like dog bite injuries. Please contact us ASAP if you are a victim, and we will give you a free consultation.