Owners of Dogs that Bite Innocent Victims are “Charged With Knowledge of Propensities of the Breed”

Virginia dog bite and animal attack lawyer Doug Landau has helped victims recover compensation for their injuries. However, unlike New Jersey’s “Strict Liability” law for dog bites, Virginia law usually requires “prior notice” that a dog is “dangerous” or likely to bite or attack. At ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., we have used evidence of “prior similar events” to establish “notice” in dog bite cases. These prior acts can be bites, attacks, knock downs, chasing incidents or other threatening behavior. Canvassing the neighborhood can produce evidence of the attacking dog’s pre-injury behavior. In Virginia, another way to get the required “notice” evidence before the jury is to get the “bad dog’s” vet records. We also seek copies of local animal control incident reports on the dog that bit our client. Landau hesitates to use the term “dog bite accident,” because these cases usually involve the dog’s intentional biting and attacking of his innocent clients.

In some dog bite cases, we may hire an expert in establishing certain breeds are more dangerous than others. Under Virginia Model Jury Instruction (“VMJI”) #29.010 “Owner Charged With Knowledge of Propensities of the Breed” states:
“The owner of a (name of breed) must take notice of its general, natural inclinations or characteristics …..”

If you or someone you know has been attacked or bitten by a dog, give us a call at 703-796-9555 today.

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