Dog Bite Laws in Virginia

In countless homes, dogs are simply part of the family. A life without them is difficult to imagine. They guard the house against intruders and make everyone happy with their antics. However, owning this pet comes with tremendous responsibility. Although they are meant to protect, they can also be dangerous creatures that can harm those around them. Dog bite laws in Virginia are clear about how to deal with dangerous dogs and how to penalize their errant owners. These can sometimes end up in trial so it is best for both parties to get their respective lawyers for advice and representation.

Statute of Limitations

The first thing to remember is that there is a finite time period within which a case can be filed in court. Dog bites are considered as a personal injury. In cases like this, the injured individual has up to two years to file a claim. The case can no longer be pursued once this period ends without a filing, except for rare situations. Note that the clock will start ticking from the date of the bite. Of course, attending to the medical needs should be prioritized, but the lawsuit should be given attention as soon as the patient is out of danger.

One Bite Rule

In the state, it is assumed that owners bring up their dogs in good faith. There is a presumption that the pets are not aggressive. If their dog bites a person, then they will only be held liable if it can be proven that they already knew about their pet’s violent tendencies. Complainants will usually provide evidence that the dog had already bitten another individual prior to their case to establish prior knowledge. Other forms of evidence may also be admitted by the court. In other states, owners might be held responsible outright whether their dog has a violent history or not in what is known as “strict liability”.    

Negligence Per Se

Owners are expected to use a reasonable amount of care in controlling their dogs such that they will be unlikely to harm others. It does not matter if their pets are aggressive or not. They should be able to restrain them so that they do not cause injury to people. There are local rules and regulations when it comes to using a leash and other forms of restraint, especially when the dogs are in public like streets and parks. If any of these have been violated, then the bite victim can file a negligence claim for compensation for the injury.

Relaxed Laws

The good news for owners is that the state legislature recently passed a law that relaxes police protocol in dog bite cases. Only major incidents will result in summons whereas minor injuries will no longer be covered. For the latter situation, the pet is not considered dangerous if it bites another pet that is owned by the same person, as long as the attack occurred in the pet owner’s property and the veterinarian certifies the injuries as not being serious. For dogs that bite a person, they can still be considered as not dangerous if the outcome is only a minor injury like a scratch or abrasion. If you were bitten resulting in grave injuries, then contact a dog bite lawyer in Richmond, Virginia to discuss your legal options.

 

LINKS:

  1. https://wtop.com/virginia/2017/02/va-house-passes-bill-relaxing-dangerous-dog-law/
  2. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title3.2/chapter65/section3.2-6540/

Common Occupational Diseases

For some professions, it’s almost expected that you’ll encounter something that affects your health. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, for example, and other jobs might require working with dangerous chemicals on a daily basis.

However, that can wear on your body. You’ll need to look out for some of the most common occupational diseases when you’re at work. Otherwise, you could suffer from serious issues that will impact your health and quality of life.

While some of these diseases can be prevented, you may already be experiencing symptoms of one or more of these issues. If that’s the case, reach out for help getting compensated for your suffering.

Contact Dermatitis

When we’re exposed to chemicals and irritants, the first organ to be affected by that exposure is usually the skin. Our skin is sensitive to many chemicals, and it’s hard to avoid them. That’s why around 15 to 20 percent of diseases reported are related to the skin.

Conditions where you’ve been exposed to substances that irritate or cause an allergic reaction are known as contact dermatitis, and most industries have plenty of claims involving these diseases. If you’ve been exposed to a dangerous chemical and your skin was impacted, see your doctor and speak to your lawyer about compensation for occupational diseases.  

Asthma

However, breathing in harmful substances can have a lasting effect on the lungs as well. Many workers find themselves suffering from symptoms of asthma after years of working in certain fields. In jobs where you’ll be breathing in small particles, such as coal dust or chemical fumes, you increase your chances of asthma.

COPD is also common for those exposed to these substances, which is steadily becoming a leading cause of death in America. This disease makes it difficult to breathe, reducing your oxygen intake and affecting your lung’s function. Sadly, this is incurable, so you’ll need to speak to your employer about your options for compensation if your condition worsens.  

Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Usually, hearing loss develops gradually due to loud noises. This is one of the most common complaints for workers. In some positions, it’s even expected to experience some hearing loss, especially those working in factories, on railroads, or in locations where noise is normal.

If you’ve already suffered from hearing loss, however, it can reduce your quality of life. You might miss out on many things that require hearing and may suffer for this loss. But, this isn’t just common: it’s preventable. Many people suffer from hearing loss that could be avoided. While it’s accepted as something that happens to many employee, you may be able to avoid it.

Getting Compensated for Occupational Diseases

Dealing with an occupational disease, but you will have options to be compensated for your suffering. Whether you’re suffering from skin irritation or a debilitating disease like COPD, you should receive compensation for your suffering.

That’s why you’ll need to reach out for help. Lawyers for occupational disease claims can help you get the full compensation you need when you’ve gotten sick on the job and because of the job. If you’re struggling with your claim, get the help you need to fight back while recovering from your occupational disease.