What to Expect in a Dog Bite Case in Washington, D.C.

Roeser Law Firm: Dog Bite Attorney

Experiencing a dog bite can be a traumatic event, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional scars, and mounting medical bills. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Washington, D.C., it is crucial to understand your legal rights and options. A knowledgeable Washington, D.C. lawyer who handles dog injuries will be well-versed in local laws and statutes, helping you secure the compensation you deserve while holding the responsible parties accountable.

Dog Bite Law in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. follows a “strict liability” rule regarding injuries caused by a canine. This means the dog owner can be held liable for any injuries their dog causes, regardless of whether the dog has a previous history of aggression or bites. Victims do not need to prove that the owner was negligent, only that the bite occurred and resulted in injuries. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the victim was trespassing during the attack or provoked the dog, the owner’s liability might be limited.

Compensation Recovery After a Dog Injury

Compensation in a dog bite case can cover a range of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic damages might cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is essential to document all related costs and impacts thoroughly to build a robust case for compensation.

Initiating a Claim

To initiate a dog injury claim, the process generally begins with a consultation with an experienced canine bite lawyer who will evaluate the incident and determine the best course of action. The attorney will gather evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and any available video footage of the incident. Negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company may follow to reach a fair settlement, although some cases may proceed to trial if an agreement cannot be reached.

How a Dog Bite Case is Handled

A case involving a bite by a dog typically begins with the victim seeking immediate medical attention to ensure their injuries are properly documented and treated. Following medical care, the victim should report the incident to the local animal control authorities to create an official record. This step is crucial as it can help identify whether the dog has a history of aggressive behavior.

The next step involves consulting with an experienced dog injury lawyer who can evaluate the case and determine the best course of action. The attorney will gather evidence, including medical records, photographs of injuries, eyewitness testimonies, and any available surveillance footage. Establishing negligence or liability is key, and this often means proving that the dog owner failed to restrain their pet or that the dog had a known tendency for aggression.

Once sufficient evidence is collected, the attorney will file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance or directly against the owner if no insurance is available. During this phase, negotiations may take place to reach a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome based on the presented evidence and arguments. 

Roeser Law Firm: Dog Bite Attorney

Residents of Washington, D.C., who have experienced a dog attack should be aware of their legal rights and options. At Roeser Law Firm, we offer a free case review to assess your eligibility for compensation. Call us at (202) 660-4070 to schedule a complimentary consultation. Additionally, you can contact us online.

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070