Virginia does not have a Dog Bite Statute.
An injured person can recover damages for injuries caused by a dog against its owner if the plaintiff proves the owner’s negligence caused the injury.
In Virginia, the governing body of any county, city, or town is free to enact a local dangerous and vicious dog ordinances. If a county chooses to enact such laws, the state requires, at a minimum, the following:
A "dangerous dog" is a dog that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or a companion animal (other than a dog) or one that has killed a companion animal. When a dog bites or attacks another dog or cat, the attacking dog will not be deemed dangerous if no serious physical injury, as determined by a veterinarian, has occurred; if both dogs are owned by the same person, if such attack occurs on the property of the attacking or biting dog's owner or custodian; or for other good cause as determined by the court; or if the attack occurred while the dogs were hunting or participating in an organized lawful dog handling event.
A "vicious dog" means a dog that has killed a person, has inflicted serious injury on a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a bodily function; or has continued to exhibit the behavior which resulted in a previous finding by a court that it is a dangerous dog.
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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.