West Virginia Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers

Q: What is res ipsa loquitur and how would it relate to a personal injury dog bite case?

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for West Virginia on
Answered on Nov 5, 2018
D. Michael Burke Esq's answer
"Res ipsa loquitur" is a Latin phrase that means "the thing speaks for itself," in other words, an act or injury that does not occur without negligence on some party's fault. An example would be a doctor's cutting off the wrong leg in an operation. Without negligence, the wrong leg is never cut off.

With regard to dog bites cases in West Virginia, a similar doctrine may apply. If the dog is "running at large," in other words, not under its owner/keeper's control or confined, the owner...

Q: My dog bit our neighbor while he trespassed on our property. Can he sue me for his injuries?

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for West Virginia on
Answered on Jun 25, 2018
D. Michael Burke Esq's answer
Your neighbor CAN sue you, but he could have a difficult time winning the case. The nature of your neighbor's trespass, the breed of your dog, and whether or not your dog has a history of biting people could be factors in the case. You should report the incident to your homeowner's insurance carrier. If you will need an attorney, your insurance company will hire one for you.

Q: My dog engaged wt another dog in the neighborhood street he didn’t bite it but was aggressive threatening have mine kill

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for West Virginia on
Answered on Apr 26, 2018
Michelle Johnson Esq's answer
WV has a strict liability dog bite statute that's limited to dogs running at large or off the leash. If the dog is running at large, the victim/s will not be required to prove the owner was negligent. I'm not sure if this answers the question because the question wasn't very clear.

Q: Two different people ran over two of my dogs , in a 15 minute period , while I was tending to my dog whisper a car came

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for West Virginia on
Answered on Apr 8, 2018
D. Michael Burke Esq's answer
It appears from your question that you do not know the identity of either of the drivers. Without knowing who the drivers were, it would be impossible to take action against them. Even if you knew who the drivers were, a civil case would have limited value in West Virginia. West Virginia law considers dogs to be personal property, and the measure of your loss is based on the fair market value of your dogs, in other words what you could have sold the dogs for. You might also be able to make a...

Q: What do i do?

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Animal / Dog Law for West Virginia on
Answered on Nov 19, 2017
D. Michael Burke Esq's answer
You may have a case against the homeowner, as well as a Workers' Comp claim. Have you seen a doctor? You will receive nothing (or very little) if you don't seek medical attention. Our office no longer handles Workers' Comp cases, but the rule used to be that you had to miss at least 4 days of work, as verified by a doctor, before you could receive any benefits for wage loss. Of course, your medical bills should be paid by your employer's Workers' Comp carrier. And I do not think it is your...

Q: Hi I had a person to come and pick up a bull from my farm he kept saying he would

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death, Agricultural Law and Animal / Dog Law for West Virginia on
Answered on Nov 2, 2017
D. Michael Burke Esq's answer
It does not appear that the "bull collector" did anything cause the bull to die, so I do not see how he could be responsible for any damages for the bull's death.

Q: was bit by a dog and it left puncture wounds and bruising. I called police and it is going to court. why?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for West Virginia on
Answered on May 28, 2016
David Alan Wolf's answer
It appears that there is some kind of administrative action pending regarding this incident. There may even be a criminal action but it is most likely just an administrative action. You can still pursue your own civil claim or case regardless of the pursuit or result of the admnistrative case by government officials. Good luck.

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