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Understanding Virginia’s one-bite rule

Several states across the U.S., including Virginia, follow ‘one bite rule’ in determining the civil liability of a pet owner whose animal injured another party. One-bite rule, sometimes called first bite rule, is a legal dogma adopted by the U.S. from England’s early common law. Although a majority of states have modified or rejected the one-bite rule, some still follow this English common law doctrine.

The one-bite rule protects the owner of pets (dogs, cats, or any other domesticated animals) that injure a person from legal liabilities provided that it was their first offense. The principle behind this policy is that domesticated animals are naturally harmless, and the owner would not initially know the propensity of his pet to injure others until the first attack or act of aggression. However, once an animal is determined to be a threat, the onus is on the owner to take the steps necessary to protect others against future harm.

If you have been a victim of an animal attack in Norfolk, Virginia’s one-bite rule may work for or against you. To learn more about how this could affect your situation, contact a dog bite attorney at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., by calling (757) 455-8889 today.

Virginia Beach Office

5500-B Greenwich Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Elizabeth City Office
(by appointment only)
507 E Main St #K
Elizabeth City, NC 27907

If you are looking at this site, you or a loved one has probably been hurt. If that's true, you've come to the right place. Helping people who have been hurt is what we do. In fact, it is all we do. Joe Miller Law is a law firm concentrating exclusively on representing people who are injured by the carelessness of others or those hurt on the job. We provide the highest quality legal services to people who have been seriously injured. We practice Personal Injury law and Workmens' Compensation law in both Virginia and North Carolina.