The New Dog Bite Ordinance
The Seattle City Council passed a new dog bite ordinance which broadens the definition of a “dangerous animal”. Under the previous law, a “dangerous animal” was considered one which caused a “severe injury.” A “severe injury” was defined as death, multiple broken bones, or multiple disfiguring lacerations. These may have required multiple stitches or cosmetic surgery. The victims of the Madison Park attack did not suffer injuries severe enough to meet that threshold.
The City Council’s new Seattle dog bite ordinance broadened the definition of “severe injury.” The new definition requires only one broken bone, or one disfiguring wound which requires medical attention such as sutures or staples. The expanded definition also includes permanent nerve damage.
Insurance Issues With Seattle’s New Dog Bite Ordinance
However, the problem of insurance still persists in cases involving dog bites. As of now, the law only requires a dog owner to carry insurance for potential injuries if that dog has already been deemed a “dangerous dog,” by local law enforcement. However, the vast majority of dog bite claims in Seattle are happening by dogs that are not already “dangerous” under the current law.
In most cases, dog owners do not have insurance to pay for the victim’s medical bills or lost wages caused by the attack. Further, in many cases, dog bite victims accrue thousands of dollars worth of unpaid hospital and doctor bills.
Pursuing dog bite claims against dog owners who do not have liability insurance can be difficult. Any judgment or jury verdict obtained can be potentially worthless if the dog owner is incapable of paying or can file for bankruptcy protection.
The Rights of Dog Bite Victims
When owners properly train and care for their dogs, they make wonderful companions and loving additions to any family. However, not all dog owners look after their pets properly.
If a dog owner is neglectful or careless, their dog can become aggressive and attack people. Lawfully, it’s the owner’s responsibility to deal with the consequences of any dog bite.
Washington’s dog bite statute allows dog attack victims to seek full and fair compensation. Victims can receive compensation for negative health, financial, or other outcomes.
At Premier Law Group we want you to know about what to do after a dog attack and know when you should contact an experienced Seattle dog bite lawyer.
Contact a Dedicated Dog Bites Attorney
Some might applaud the City’s change to the dangerous dog ordinance. However, irresponsible dog owners should be financially responsible for the injuries their dogs inflict on innocent people.
An experienced dog bite attorney who understands local Seattle laws is best suited to represent victims of a serious dog bite or animal attack. At Premier Law Group, we have the attorneys with the experience you need to help you.
We are frequently asked, when should I hire a Seattle dog park liability lawyer? There are a number of advantages to hiring someone right away. The right attorney will help protect your health, emotional well-being, and finances and even your dog right away. At Premier Law Group, our goal is for everyone who contacts us to end up more informed about their legal options – even if we do not end up representing them.
If you don’t need an attorney to settle your dog park accident claim, we’ll let you know. Contact Premier Law Group for your FREE dog park accident case review. Call 206.285.1743 today. And as always, there’s no legal fee unless we win your case.