Dog Bite

Bellevue Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bite Lawyer in Bellevue for Dog Bite Victims

Owning a dog can be one of the greatest joys in life. Their love is unconditional. But with the great privilege of dog ownership comes significant responsibility. Dog owners have a strict duty to guarantee that their pets do not cause harm to an individual. 

If you have ben injured by a dog bite and have any legal related questions, please feel free to reach out to Charles McNeese and Adam Trotsky for a free phone, video, or in-person consultation. We look forward to answering any of your questions.


Dog Bite Law in Washington State

Owners of dogs in Washington state are held responsible for the actions of their dogs.  RCW 16.08.040 states “the owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former
viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”  This is a change from the one bite rule, which requires an owner of an animal to have prior notice of a dog’s propensity for violence.  An owner can still use the defense of provocation by the victim.  RCW 16.08.060 states “proof of provocation of the attack by the injured person shall be a complete defense to an action for damages.” 

Establishing Liability

The following questions will help determine if a dog bite claim exists:

1) Can the owner of the dog be identified?

2) Does the owner have insurance to cover the damages caused by their dog?

3) was the victim lawfully upon private property or public property?

4) Did the victim do anything that an objectively reasonable person would find to be provocation for the dog attack?


The majority of pertinent dog bite law has been codified in RCW 16.08.010 to RCW 16.08.100. While a dog owner is responsible for their dog and their dog’s actions, a key question in these types of cases is whether there is insurance available to the injured party to make a claim against. If the dog owner has either homeowner’s insurance or rental insurance, there is a strong likelihood there will be insurance to cover the damages sustained by the injured party.

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