Who is Legally Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs, they must actively control their dog, and are likely responsible for injuries. A person who lets their dog roam freely off-leash may be liable for a victim’s medical expenses. In some cases, they may also be held liable for pain and suffering, as well as damages for emotional trauma. A person who owns a dangerous dog may also face criminal penalties. PA does not require all residents to walk their dogs on a leash, however, it is required of all Philadelphia residents. Owners must be alert to potential dog bite incidents, especially if their dog has a history of aggressive behavior. For more information on your lawsuit case eligibility, refer to our complete guide here.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Each specific personal injury lawsuit or civil lawsuit is different. There is no exact formula to calculate necessary compensation. However, there are circumstances that dictate greater potential compensation, such as dog bites involving dangerous dogs, or severe injuries. If you sustained a fracture or required 2 or more sutures from a dog bite you likely are entitled to full compensation. Likewise, if the dog who bit you, has a history of aggressive behavior, even minor injuries may dictate extensive compensation. For more information on potential settlements and a more in depth predictor of potential compensation click here.
What If I Was Bitten By a Relative, Friend or Neighbor’s Pet?
Victims tend to have the belief that if they are bitten by a family member’s dog or neighbor’s dog, they have no plausible case. Victims do not want to sue their friend, relative, or neighbor, and consequently feel deterred from pursuing compensation. If this has happened to you, here is some good news, you would not be directly suing your acquaintance. Typically the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance is held liable for a victim’s injuries, not the individual dog owner.
What Will Happen to the Dog that Attacked Me?
According to Pennsylvania law, a dog that has bitten someone is not required to be put down. However, owners must perform a multitude of legal procedures to house a “dangerous dog.” They must put a muzzle and leash on their dog during walks, provide child-friendly warning signs on their property, and adhere to a number of other regulations. For more information on what happens to dogs, and owners are a dog bite incident, click here.
Should I Talk to the Owner After a Dog Bite?
We recommend that all victims refer the guilty dog owner to their experienced lawyer. The only information we recommend exchanging is contact information and the dog’s license number. Do not write anything to them, or sign anything. For more information on what to do after a dog bite, visit our step-by-step guide here. Following the steps listed, will help victims to ensure the potential for complete damages compensation.
How Long After a Bite Can I File Suit?
Pennsylvania law dictates that victims who have been bitten by a dog have 2 years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If the victim is a minor, the two-year period begins after their 18th birthday.
When Is a Dog Owner “Negligent?”
Proving negligence often involves demonstrating that the dog owner broke one of Pennsylvania’s dog laws. “Dangerous” dog owners must adhere to far more extensive rules and regulations. They are required to actively control their animal, and if their dog attacks someone, they likely will be responsible for complete damages compensation. In cases, with dangerous dogs, negligence doesn’t need to be proven.
What Does “Strict Liability” Mean?
Owners are strictly held responsible for all injuries caused by their dog, regardless of their past. This is defined as “strict liability.”
Contact One Of Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Call our law firm today to evaluate how we may best assist and expedite your dog bite lawsuit process. We have over a decade of experience counseling dog bite victims and believe we are well equipped to assist all affected parties. Our lawyers are currently offering complimentary legal consultations so that each victim may explore their complete legal rights. Contact our office now with any additional questions, or to schedule your free consultation today.