Revised Code of Washington (RCW) §16.08.040 imposes strict liability to the owner of any dog for biting a person in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. This means that the owner of a dog which bites a person for the first time will be held liable.
Furthermore, many cities, including Seattle, have municipal codes and ordinances prohibiting dog owners from allowing their dogs to run at large without leashes. For example, Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 9.25 and 18.12 deal with controlling dogs (and other animals.) According to SMC 9.25.084, it is unlawful for the owner to permit his/her dog to be at large or trespass upon the property of another. SMC 18.12.080 prohibits the owner to permit his/her dog to be at large in the parks, except for designated “off-leash” areas.
In addition, SMC 9.25.084 notes that it is unlawful for the owner to permit his/her dog to bite a person on public or private property. It is also unlawful for the owner to permit his/her dog to chase or approach a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack. Id.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog bite, call Buckley & Associates at (206) 622-1100 today for your free consultation with experienced Seattle dog bite attorneys.
We serve clients throughout the Seattle area and the state of Washington from our offices in Seattle and Tacoma.