Dog (or other Pet) Bites
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people each year, sending 386,000 to emergency rooms and killing about a dozen annually. Worse, statistics from the CDC show that the majority of victims of serious dog attacks are children under the age of 10, whose small size, vulnerability and lack of experience with animals makes them especially vulnerable. (Rabies, though rare, is a very serious risk after a dog bite; please see our page on Rabies Facts to learn more.) Under the law, dogs' owners can be held legally responsible for their dogs' vicious attacks; most homeowners' insurance policies cover attacks by a dog or other pet.
If you or someone you love was bitten, you have legal rights, including the right to sue over the costs, physical pain and emotional trauma the attack caused. Different rules apply to attacks by dogs and other animals in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. In our capital city, animals' owners are liable for their pets' first bites, but Maryland and Virginia each have separate notice requirements. Cities, counties, and states may have their own laws about dogs and other pets, including leash laws and limitations on specific breeds. Our dog bite lawyers, who have handled numerous dog bite cases, can help you identify and understand your rights under those laws -- and make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to.
If you or someone you care about was hurt in an unprovoked attack by a dog or another animal, please call us at 866-463-0303 (toll-free) or 202-463-0303, or contact us through our Web site, to arrange a free evaluation of your case.