Dog Bites Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth VA


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2628 Barrett Street | Virginia Beach | Virginia 23452

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Dog bites

Contact W. Ware Morrison Law Group today for a FREE consultation with us:



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Representing victims of animal attacks in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Hampton Roads

While they are widely considered “man’s best friend,” dogs are capable of inflicting serious injuries under certain circumstances. Following the physical and emotional trauma of an animal attack, you need a compassionate and skilled lawyer to protect your legal interests. Relying on decades of combined legal experience, the Virginia Beach lawyers of the W. Ware Morrison Law Group are committed to helping you obtain the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.

Liability for animal attacks

"I am very pleased with Ware Morrison's representation of me both in court and in out of court meetings..."

- Bestoftimes

Over 40 years of experience on your side

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 800,000 people require medical attention for dog bite injuries in the United States every year. Nearly half of the victims are children, with those aged 5 to 9 at the greatest risk for injury.


Virginia follows the one-bite rule, which means that an owner can’t be held liable if the dog had no prior history of attacks. The primary question is whether the owner knew or should have known that the dog was likely to cause that kind of injury, whether from biting, clawing or knocking someone down. If the animal has a history of aggression, has bitten before or has been classified as dangerous, a negligent owner can be held liable for any injuries that result. Factors that may influence whether the owner was negligent include:

State laws on dangerous dogs

Under Virginia law, local counties, towns and cities can enact ordinances governing dangerous dogs — that is, canines that have bitten, attacked or inflicted injury on a person or a companion animal. Dogs cannot be deemed dangerous solely because of their breed.


Once a court designates a dog as dangerous, owners must comply with a number of legal obligations, including:

Animal attacks can result in gruesome injuries and even death. Common injuries include punctures, lacerations, contusions, fractures, infections, disfigurement and amputations. Many bite injuries require reconstructive surgery, and some may even result in permanent disfigurement. The attack can also leave emotional scars, such as extreme anxiety and depression.


Potential compensation in a dog bite lawsuit includes:

While many animal attacks are covered by insurance, it is not wise to deal with adjusters on your own. They know your medical bills are likely mounting and often pressure you to sign a release or settle your claim for far less that it is worth. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf and protect your legal rights.



Contact an experienced lawyer about your dog bite injuries


The W. Ware Morrison Law Group has served the communities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Hampton Roads since 1993. Our knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys understand Virginia’s dog bite laws and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. For a free consultation, call us today at 757.401.4378 or contact us online.

  • Whether the dog was leashed or muzzled

  • Whether the dog was allowed to run loose

  • Whether the owner took steps to contain the dog on the property

  • Whether the owner posted warning about the dog’s aggressiveness

Obtaining compensation after a bite injury

  • Pain and suffering

  • Medical bills and future medical care

  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity

  • Registering with the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry

  • Posting clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property

  • Obtaining liability insurance coverage, to the value of at least $100,000, that covers animal bites

  • Confining the dog indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to prevent its escape or direct contact with or entry by minors, adults or other animals

  • Keeping the dog on a leash and muzzled when off the owner’s property

If the owner fails to comply with these requirements or the dangerous animal attacks again, the owner may face criminal penalties. The injury victim also likely has a strong premises liability or personal injury case.

  • Loss of enjoyment of life

  • Scarring, disfigurement or permanent disabilities