Learn about three different circumstances in which a dog owner in Washington State may not be liable for an injury inflicted on a person by their dog.

Avoiding Liability for a Dog Bite Injury in Washington State

When someone is bitten by a dog in Washington State, should the pet’s owner always be liable for the damages incurred by the dog bite injury? While it may sometimes seem like a dog’s owner should certainly be responsible for his or her dog’s action, this is absolutely not the case. In this article, we will take a closer look at a few different circumstances in which a dog owner may avoid responsibility for a dog attack or dog bite injuries.

  • The dog was provoked before the attack. If a dog is teased, struck, threatened or otherwise abused in the moments before a dog bite or dog attack, the person who provoked the animal may be at fault for the injury instead of the dog’s owner.
  • The dog bite injury victim was breaking the law or trespassing at the time of the attack. Dog owners in Washington are responsible for keeping their dogs in an enclosed area. If someone enters the enclosed area during a burglary or while committing some other crime, they could be responsible for any dog attack that takes place on the property.
  • The dog bite injury victim was overly careless or knowingly put himself in danger. If a person is invited over to another person’s house, but warned that the dog in their back yard may bite, the owner may not be found liable. Similarly, a person who ignores warning signs about dangerous dogs may not be able to collect damages.

It is important to understand that there are not many hard and fast rules regarding dog bite liability – it is always important to look at all of the circumstances of a case and weigh the evidence carefully. For example, a case may be complicated by the fact that a dog already had a known bite history or the fact that the owners trained the dog to attack humans. Because these cases can be complex, it is always recommended that dog owners and dog bite victims alike consult with an experienced, knowledgeable Seattle dog bite lawyer after a dog attack incident.

If you would like to speak with a Washington State dog bite attorney, call the Andrew Kim Law Office today.