Pennsylvania Dog Law was written with the purpose of extensively serving the victims of malicious dog bites. Therefore, nearly all dog bites will lead to some form of compensation from the dog’s owner. Minor injuries such as flesh wounds, or bruises are likely to result in compensation for medical bills and precautionary disease testing. However, for individuals that were more severely injured, there is a far greater potential for compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and various other forms of mental trauma. In addition, if you were bitten by a dog with a history of biting people, you likely will be entitled to maximum financial compensation. Furthermore, before taking any legal action, it is beneficial to contact an experienced dog bite attorney.
5 Key Steps In Securing Maximum Compensation From A Dog Bite
- Judge the severity of your injuries.
- Document your wounds and information on the dog/dog owner.
- Seek medical assistance
- Report the incident
- Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer
It is vital for potential future dog bite lawsuit cases to follow these steps directly. Consequently, we will explain each step in greater depth below.
1. How Seriously Are You Injured?
No matter the setting of your dog bite incident, immediately after being bitten is the best time to judge your medical complications. Regardless, if you were bitten by a 10-pound puppy or a 90-pound adult dog, there are likely underlying wounds that are not visible to you. If the most severe injury you sustained is a mild bruise, you are most likely safe from potential infections and diseases. However, we still encourage you to sanitize the affected area with soap and water and re-evaluate the injury after a few additional hours. Any minor cut sustained in a dog bite incident likely presents extensive complications compared to a bruise. The potential for the spread of illness, or disease is largely increased. As a result, even if you have sustained a minor flesh wound, we encourage you to seek medical attention to ensure that no disease was transmitted via the bite. This process can be simplified by the dog’s owner, through the inclusion of recent tetanus and rabies vaccination information.
2. Document Information From The Incident
If the dog that has bitten you is with their owner, it is appropriate to exchange names, insurance information, and the dog’s vaccination history. It is also important to document the testimony of any nearby witnesses, as well as their contact information, so an experienced attorney can follow-up at a later date. Victims must also document their wounds, we encourage the inclusion of pictures of your wounds, as well as photos of the responsible dog. If you are traumatized and cannot be near the animal, or cannot take a picture for any other reason, we recommend providing a description of the animal. Key details to include are the dog’s breed, color, size and any other identifying features.
3. Seek Assistance From A Medical Professional
If you were bitten by any dog, we recommend you seek medical help immediately. Of course, if a dog bite results in devastating, or severe injuries, they should be treated urgently by emergency medical personnel. However, even minor injuries should be evaluated by a trained physician. Dogs can easily transmit diseases when they bite, so it is extremely important if they’ve broken your skin, that you’re evaluated for illnesses and diseases. After being treated by a doctor, we recommend that you request copies of your medical records for future use in lawsuits or insurance claims. Furthermore, victims should follow all instructions from their medical professional, such as necessary vaccinations, or applying antibiotic ointments, or bandages. If your dog bite incident resulted in 2 or more stitches, you are eligible for maximum compensation according to Pennsylvania law. This comes as a result of Pennsylvania Dog Law Section 102, which states that bone fractures or wounds needing multiple sutures are considered serious injuries. Any serious injury afflicted to a dog bite victim makes them eligible for maximum compensation.
4. Report Your Dog Bite Attack
Depending on where you live in the greater Philadelphia area, you will have a different organization to report to. We encourage all victims who live in Philadelphia County to contact the Philadelphia division of the Division of Disease Control as soon as possible at 215-685-6748. For victims living in suburbs, or rural areas, contact your local SPCA or police department. It is not necessarily as important who you report your incident to, the most important thing is to ensure it is reported, and that it is reported by you personally.
5. Contact A Philadelphia Dog Bite Attorney
Whether your dog bite incident results in a pending lawsuit or an insurance claim, we recommend that you contact an attorney before speaking to either liable party. Therefore, if an insurance agent contacts you, we urge you to direct them to an experienced dog bite lawyer for the smoothest potential legal process. However, prior to referring them to your lawyer, ask for insurance company’s name, contact information, and your case’s claim number. Other then those specific questions, we recommend that you decline to answer additional questions, settlement offers, or meeting dates. Instead contact the best available dog bite lawyer, and take the first step in securing the financial compensation that you deserve. Damages compensation may stem from medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and several other factors. Contact our law firm to schedule a complimentary legal consultation, and learn how our highly skilled, experienced personal injury lawyers can best assist you in your pursuit of legal justice.