Murphy Trial Law

Can I Sue If I’m Bitten by a Dog?

can i sue if i am bitten by a dog

Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog in Washington State? It’s a traumatic experience that can leave you with not only physical scars but emotional ones too. As a personal injury trial lawyer, I understand how daunting it can be to navigate the aftermath of a dog bite. You might be wondering about your legal rights and whether you can take legal action. The short answer is yes, you can sue if you’re bitten by a dog in Washington State. Let’s dive into the specifics of WA State dog bite law to help you understand your rights and how you can seek justice for your injuries.

Understanding Washington's dog bite statute

Washington State has a specific statute that deals with dog bites. Under RCW 16.08.040, the law is clear: the dog owner is responsible for any damages if their dog bites someone in a public area or lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s property. This liability is enforced regardless of the dog’s past conduct or any history of aggression.


There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as provoking a dog or, in the case of police dogs. Therefore, talking to an experienced personal injury trial attorney is important to discuss your options.

What does this mean to you?

If a dog has bitten you, the law is on your side. You don’t need to prove negligence or fault on the part of the dog’s owner to claim damages. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. However, there are a few key points to consider:


Timing is Crucial: Washington State has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including dog bites. This means you have three years from the date of the bite to file a lawsuit. It’s important to act quickly to ensure your rights are protected.


Documentation is Key: Medical records, photos of your injuries and any scars, witness statements, and a report from animal control or the police can all strengthen your case. Comprehensive documentation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.


Legal Guidance is Vital: Consulting with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases can provide you with the expertise and support you need to navigate your claim successfully.

How can we help?

At our firm, we specialize in personal injury law, including dog bite cases. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a dog bite can take on you and your family. Our team is here to guide you through the legal process, from understanding your rights under Washington State law to representing you in court if necessary. Our goal is to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.


We offer a compassionate and comprehensive approach to each case, ensuring you feel supported and informed every step of the way. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Let our expertise work for you.


In Washington State, the law is designed to protect victims of dog bites. If you’ve been injured, you have the right to seek compensation. While the legal process may seem daunting, you don’t have to go through it alone. We’re here to help you achieve the best possible outcome and support you the whole way.


Remember, your well-being is our priority. If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite, reach out to us for guidance and support. Let’s work together to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

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