Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP
District of Columbia D.C. (202) 796-3291
Virginia VA (703) 498-2928
Maryland MD (301) 637-4614
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Experienced at winning cases for people who need justice
Washington DC Personal injury law firm

Washington, D.C. Dog Bite Lawyer

Over four and a half million Americans are affected by dog bites each year. Approximately 20% of those dog bite injuries require medical attention. If you or someone you loved has been bitten by a dog, you may have the right to seek compensation. Discuss your case with an experienced dog bite attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Why Pick Us to Represent You?

  • Our firm has more than 38 years of experience advocating for victims of dog bites.
  • If we do not win your case, then you do not owe us a penny.
  • We have successfully recovered over $1 billion in compensation for our injured clients.

Common Dog Bite Injuries in Washington, D.C.

Dog bite attacks commonly cause the following injuries:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Bone fractures
  • Eye injuries
  • Scarring
  • Head and Neck Injuries
  • Face Injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Tendon damage
  • Emotional and psychological distress

If a dog has an infection, a bite can lead to these serious medical conditions:

  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • MRSA
  • Capnocytophaga spp.
  • Pasteurella

Washington, D.C. Dog Bite Laws

The District of Columbia does not have a specific statute regarding dog bites, but laws are in place for owners to supervise and remain in control of their dogs (DC § 8–1808). This means that even if a dog bite occurs outside of the owner’s presence, that doesn’t let them off the hook when it comes to liability (DC § 8-1812).

Civil lawsuits involving dog bites in D.C. are typically brought under the legal theory of negligence. To show negligence, plaintiffs must successfully prove the following four elements:

  1. Duty – The dog’s owner owed a legal duty to keep control of their dog.
  2. Breach  – The dog’s owner failed to control the dog with reasonable care.
  3. Causation  – The failure to use reasonable care resulted in the owner’s dog causing injury.
  4. Damages – The plaintiff was injured and suffered losses.

The types of damages a dog bite victim can pursue compensation for, include: medical bills, injury-related expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What to Do After a Dog Bite in Washington, D.C.

Being attacked by a dog can leave a person terrified and in shock. Knowing what steps to take after being bit can help prepare you if an incident ever occurs:

  • Take Care of Your Injuries

    • Minor wound – Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a bandage.
    • Deep wound – To stop the bleeding, apply pressure. If the bleeding persists, you experience a loss of function, can see muscle or bone, and/or experience excruciating pain, call 911.
  • Seek Medical Care

No matter how minor the bite is, see a doctor. There could be underlying issues, especially if the dog has any kind of infection. Plus, the medical records will be vital when pursuing legal action.

  • Write down the Facts

Once you are able, document the details of the attack. Write down the name and address of the dog owner as well as any witnesses. If possible, take pictures of your injuries, the location where the incident occurred, and of the dog.

  • Report the Bite

Consider reporting the bite to your local animal control agency and/or the police department. This will help with documenting your injury, which will help with your dog bit case. It could also protect other potential victims.

  • Contact a Washington, D.C. Dog Bite Attorney

Discuss your injury with an attorney to find out what your legal options are for obtaining compensation. When pursuing a dog bite claim, an attorney can protect you from insurance companies that will attempt to say you were partially at fault in order to deny your claim, or from a lower settlement offer than what you deserve.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

Our dog bite attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP have significant experience representing dog bite victims. We will work tirelessly to obtain compensation for you so that you may focus on recovering. Call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.