Victims of dog attacks face serious physical injuries, permanent scarring, and emotional trauma. Our Norfolk, Virginia-based personal injury firm represents dog attack victims throughout Virginia. We’ve helped children, delivery drivers, postal workers, joggers, pedestrians, neighbors and many others.
Contact Richard Serpe if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We are here to answer your questions and show you how the legal system can help you. Call or text us anytime 757-233-0009 or send us an email.
What should I do after a Virginia Beach dog attack?
- Get medical attention. If you are seriously injured, you should call 911 or seek help from a medical professional to protect your health. As far as personal injury claims go, having your injuries treated and documented by a medical professional will almost always be required.
- Report the incident. Any dog that has bitten or attacked someone is a risk to the health and safety of the public and should be reported. The dog will also need to be quarantined and monitored for rabies. Animal Control’s investigative report can be incredibly helpful to your case.
- Consider contacting a lawyer. An experienced dog bite attorney can do a thorough investigation into the dog owner, handle the insurance companies, and protect your right to fair compensation.
Dog Bite Settlements
Dog bite settlement amounts are based on many different factors. A major factor? Whether or not their is insurance and the policy limits. Policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations. Beware, insurance companies will often make low-ball settlement offers. A Virginia personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, the following may be included in your settlement.
- Pain and suffering: This is the right to compensation for physical pain and suffering and mental anguish you have suffered.
- Loss of Earnings: You may recover for the loss of earnings which you suffered from your injuries.
- Future Loss of Earnings: Your injuries are permanent and have affected your ability to earn income in the future.
- Scarring & Disﬁgurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, the victim may be entitled to recovery for the disﬁgurement. Because these injuries are often in very visible places, victims are often very self-conscious of their appearance.
- Children are frequently bitten in the facial region and require plastic surgery.
- Medical Bills: Damages include any sort of medical expenses that a victim has had to pay for at a hospital, clinic, or to a pharmacy.
Statute of Limitations (Legal Deadlines)
In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances apply and can alter that deadline. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the dog attack to protect your right to compensation.
No Fees Unless We Win Your Case
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t owe us any attorney’s fees unless we settle or win your case.
Contingency fees are paid by the client if a lawyer successfully handles a case. These fees are commonly used in personal injury law where money is being claimed. The fee is deducted from the money recovered in the successful settlement or verdict.
Contingency fees allow the client and attorney to share the financial burden of a case. This creates an incentive for lawyers to work hard for the best possible results. It also shows the level of confidence the attorney has in the case: they wouldn’t take on the client if they didn’t believe they could win! Contingency arrangements are also helpful for clients who might not have the money upfront to hire an attorney.
Virginia Beach Dog Laws & Resources
Virginia Beach city code regarding dog bites and dog attacks contains many provisions regarding proper ownership of one’s pets. Here are a few regulations you should be aware of to keep yourself and others safe.
- Regulations on Dogs at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront & Boardwalk
- Leash Law: Code 5-531, the “leash law,” covers dogs only. When a dog is being walked on any city sidewalk it must be on a lead at all times. Also, dogs being walked on a leash must also be wearing a city pet license.
- Running At Large: Code 5-530 stipulates that no animal may be free to run “at large” within the city limits. So, that means a dog is supposed to be properly contained within one’s residence, either within the house or on a tie-out or chain.
- Dangerous & Vicious Dogs: But what constitutes a vicious dog or dangerous dog?
- Code 5-520 maintains that a “dangerous dog” is one which “has bitten, attacked or inflicted injury” on another person, or even another animal. A “vicious dog” is one that has killed or inflicted severe or serious bodily harm on a human being, as well as one who has continually exhibited dangerous behavior as previously found by a court.