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Doug Landau
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Showing dog owners’ negligence after an animal attack

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Another avenue that may enable an injured victim to recover for a dog attack in Virginia is to prove that the owner of the dog was in violation of a leash law or another ordinance or rule that is designed to protect the public from dogs. Both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, for example, have laws that prohibit dogs from roaming freely. Continuing yesterday’s discussion of harmful animal attacks, where there may not be evidence of a dog bite or scratch from the canine’s paws, violation of public safety laws may enable an injured victim to show unsafe behavior on the part of the pet’s owners. Likewise, bringing an animal into an area where such pets are prohibited (other than seeing eye dogs, guide dogs, etc.), can also provide for an avenue to show negligence on the part of the potentially liable dog owner.

Once a victim proves that the owner had knowledge that their dog could be dangerous or that they were in violation of a local ordinance, then the door is open to recover for the injuries—both physical and emotional—that actually were caused by the dog attack, even if those injuries are not actually a bite. Where a dog chases a runner or walker from the safety of the W&OD Trail who then falls would be such an example. Another example is where an unleashed dog runs out into the middle of the bike path and stops, causing a cyclist to hit the brakes hard andcrash would be another example. Lastly, where an unleached big dog growls, snaps and lunges at a jogging stroller, without provocation, causing it to tip and harm the infant inside, the injured child’s parents could bring a negligence claim against the dog’s owners.

It is important in these cases to get experienced legal counsel. Dog bite cases require timely investigation, and the investment of manpower and resources. There often is not a court hearing like we often see in traffic accident cases. Herndon and Leesburg dog bite lawyer Doug Landau has gone to court on behalf of dog attack victims, even in cases where the injured victim was not bitten, in order to pursue restitution and reimbursement for the harms the unleashed, dangerous and sometimes vicsious dogs have caused. Often times the losses caused by these animals ar ethhe results of unsafe decisions and actions by their handlers. Landau has also reviewed files where the lawyer did not properly investigate the case promptly, and where written statements where given by the victims that hurt their claims. If you have been injured as the result of an animal attack, call an experienced attorney so that you can get help promptly.

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  1. Doug Landau says:
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    A California reader writes, “I’m the plaintiff in a lawsuit in a dog bites case. i already went to trial and won, but the owner files an appeal.whats your advice on what i should do ?” First, I would suggest that you talk to your lawyer about whether there is any merit to the appeal. Then you and your legal counsel can make an informed decision as to whether or not to fight the appeal, settle or take other action. Many states have pre- and post-judgment interest that is greater than the rate available at most banks, so the defendant may owe even more money if your verdict is affirmed on appeal ! Good luck, Doug Landau