It’s estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. In fact, approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. (Source: American Pet Products Association 2015-2016 (APPA)).

If you have been injured by an animal in Washington State you may have two separate causes of action.

Strict Liability

RCW § 16.08.040 provides strict liability for the owner(s) of a dog that bites a person while that person is in public or lawfully in a private place – including the property of the owner.

What does this mean? It means that the owner(s) is liable to the person bitten. It doesn’t matter if the dog had never  regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of viciousness.

What does that mean? This graphic explains what this means:

Negligence Liability