Dog Bite Laws in PA: What to Know

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite attack, it’s important to understand how dog bite laws in PA will affect your ability to seek maximum compensation for your injuries. Dog bites are a major cause of emergency room visits each year. They can cause serious injuries such as lacerations on the face and arms, broken bones, and serious wounds that result in permanent disfigurement. This article will provide information about the dog bite laws in PA that may affect your personal injury claim and educate you on the legal resources available from a Philadelphia dog bite law firm.

The Wieand Law Firm represents victims of Pennsylvania and New Jersey dog attacks. Dog bites can inflict serious puncture wounds, abrasions, bruising, broken bones, and permanent scars or disfigurement. If you have been the victim of a vicious dog attack, you may be able to file a dog bite lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. Trust your legal representation to a Philadelphia dog bite law firm that is knowledgeable dog bite laws in PA.

Dog Bites Laws in PA

Dog bite statutes vary from state to state. The dog bite rules in PA hold an owner liable for damages if they violate any of the state’s dog conferment laws. An owner can be liable for damages if the dog severely attacks a person, or if the dog has a history of dangerous behavior.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites

A dog’s owner is strictly liable for their dog’s aggressive acts whether or not they have a history of violence. Dog bite laws in PA allow the victim to obtain compensation for medical expenses related to their dog bite injuries.

A Philadelphia dog bite law firm can help you pursue a claim under the strict liability statute. Dog owners should take safety measures to prevent a potential bite, even if the dog has not been violent in the past. When a dog bites, it’s owner is liable.

Other states have a “one bite rule” in which the owner is only liable if the dog has a previous history of biting. According to Pennsylvania law, prior bite history is irrelevant and a victim can seek compensation from the owner’s insurance policy for their medical expenses.


There are some exceptions to the strict liability dog bite laws in PA. A dog bite victim may be ineligible for compensation if:

  • they were trespassing at the time of the attack
  • They intentionally provoked the dog by teasing it, hurting the dog, stealing the dog’s toys, or hurting its owner

A dog bite injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim or file a dog bite lawsuit if your attack did not happen under one of these exceptions.

Compensation for Injuries Under Strict Liability

Dog bite laws in PA limit the type of damages you can receive under the strict liability rule. Under strict liability, victims are only able to collect compensation for medical expenses incurred from the dog bite. Victims are only able to collect compensation for pain and suffering by demonstrating that the dog’s owner acted negligently.

Pennsylvania Dog Confinement Laws

Statute 3 PA. Stat. § 459-305 lists the laws regarding dog confinement. PA dog confinement and control laws require that dogs be confined owner’s property and firmly secured by a collar or chain to prevent straying beyond the boundaries of the property.

Dog Bite Lawsuit in Pennsylvania

Dog bite laws in PA allow seriously injured victims to file a Philadelphia dog bite lawsuit to obtain compensation for both economic damages, such as medical expenses, as well as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. To win your case, you must demonstrate that the dog owner was aware of their dog’s violent behavior and did not properly control the dog.

Proving Negligence in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

To prove your case, you will need evidence to support your case. Evidence may include security tapes, witness testimonies, or statements from previous victims that support that the dog’s owner knew about the dog’s history of violent behavior

Dog bite laws in PA require the owner to keep the animal under control and on their property. Providing evidence that a dog had escaped the owner’s property and was not under their direct control may also support your case.

If a dog owner was negligent, a Philadelphia dog bite law firm file a lawsuit and obtain maximum compensation for your damages. These damages may include   compensation for medical bills, physical pain, emotional distress, lost wages from missed time at work, and temporary or permanent disability.

PA Dangerous Dog Laws

Under dog bites laws in PA, you can file a dog bite lawsuit to obtain compensation for all damages if you are attacked by a dangerous dog. Pennsylvania defines a dangerous dog as one that has, without provocation:

  • Killed or seriously injured a person
  • Killed or seriously injured a domesticated pet outside of their owner’s premises
  • Attacked an individual
  • Has been involved in a commission of a crime

Dangerous dogs must also have a history or tendency to attack people or pets without being provoked. Owners of dangerous dogs are required by law to take special efforts to keep others safe. Owners of dangerous dogs must keep the dog confined and post signs warning others of a dangerous dog. Owners must use a muzzle on the dog while walking them. They must also register the dog with the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and purchase additional liability insurance. A Philadelphia dog bite law firm may file a lawsuit if the owner fails to follow these laws and the dog hurts someone.

Dog Bite Lawsuit Against Third Parties

In some situations, a victim may be able to file a lawsuit against a party that is not the dog’s owner. For example, you may be able to sue a dog training business for negligence. Contact a Philadelphia dog bite law firm for more information if you believe you have a case against a third party for your injuries.

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

All dog bite cases are different. Talk with the knowledgeable dog bite injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm about the potential value of your case. The attorneys at our firm will analyze all the factors of your case, including your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and disfigurement to determine a value for your claim. A claim’s worth can vary depending on the liable party’s insurance coverage, any comparative negligence in the case, and the evidence available to support the claim.

Philadelphia Dog Bite Law Firm

The Wieand Law Firm offers free consultation with an attorney for individual who have suffered a dog attack. Our dog bite injury lawyer can discuss the merits of your case and help you understand your legal options. Navigating dog bite claims can be a complex and overwhelming process. Our Philadelphia dog bite law firm will help you take the necessary steps to file claim with the right courts and seek the best possible compensation for your damages. Call (215) 666-7777 today to speak with a dog bite injury lawyer at the Wieand law Firm.


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