The Wieand Law Firm, a Philadelphia dog bite 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
Every state has different dog bite statutes that determine when a dog’s owner is liable for bites and attacks. Dog bite laws in PA hold that a dog’s owner is liable if they violate any of the state’s dog confinement laws. An owner is liable for damages when a person is severely attacked, or if the dog has previously been considered dangerous.
Strict Liability Statute
Pennsylvania follows a strict dog bite liability statue. A dog’s owner is liable for their dog’s aggressive acts regardless of any history of violent behavior. Therefore, under dog bite laws in PA, an injured victim does not need to prove the owner’s fault to obtain compensation for bite-related medical expenses.
A Philadelphia dog bite law firm, such as the Wieand Law Firm, is knowledgeable of the strict liability statute and dog bite laws in PA. Pennsylvania has enacted these laws under the concept that an owner should take precautions to prevent a potential bite, even if the dog has not demonstrated past aggressive behavior. If the dog bites, the owner is liable for the attack.
It does not matter if the owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dog’s propensity for viciousness. The dog bite laws in PA contrast with the “one bite” rule many states follow, which will only find an owner liable if the dog has bitten someone before. In Pennsylvania, prior bite history does not matter. A dog bite injury lawyer can seek compensation from the owner’s insurance policy to get compensation for your injuries.
Exceptions Under the Dog Bite Laws In PA
Pennsylvania law provides some exceptions to the strict liability dog bite statute. You may be ineligible for compensation if:
- You were trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the attack
- You intentionally provoked the dog. Examples of provocation include stealing the dog’s food, abusing the dog, or hurting its owner
Working dogs, such as police dogs and service dogs, are also exempt from the strict liability statute while on duty. However, a dog bite injury lawyer could help you pursue a dog bite lawsuit if the attack occurred while the dog was not on the job.
Compensation Under Strict Liability Statute
Dog bite laws in PA restrict the type of damages you can receive under the strict liability rule. Under strict liability, the dog owner is only liable for compensation for your dog bite related medical costs. Victims are not able to collect compensation for pain and suffering unless they are able to prove that the dog owner was negligent in a dog bite lawsuit.
PA Dog Confinement and Control Statute
The dog bite laws in PA include a statute regarding dog confinement. This statute, 3 PA. Stat. § 459-305, states that dogs must be confined to the premises of the owner and firmly secured by a collar or chain to prevent straying beyond the premises.
Dog Bite Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Dog bite laws in PA allow severely injured victims to file a Philadelphia dog bite lawsuit to obtain compensation for their medical expenses, as well as other losses such as pain and suffering, if the owner was negligent. To win a lawsuit, you must prove the following:
- The dog owner was aware of their dog’s violent behavior
- The dog owner did not properly control the dog
Evidence, such as video footage, witness testimonies, or accounts from previous victims can provide support that a dog’s owner was aware of their vicious behavior.
Dog bite laws in PA require a dog owner to keep their pet under control and contained to their premises. Providing evidence that a dog was roaming freely during the attack may help demonstrate the dog owner’s negligence.
If a dog owner was negligent, a Philadelphia dog bite law firm can help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries with a dog bite lawsuit. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, physical pain, emotional distress, lost wages from missed time at work, and temporary or permanent disability.
Dog Bite Laws in PA for Dangerous Dogs
If a dangerous dog attacks you, you can file a dog bite lawsuit to obtain compensation for all damages. Pennsylvania defines a dangerous dog as one that has, without provocation:
- Killed or severely injured a person
- Killed or severely injured a domesticated pet away from the owner’s property
- Attacked a person
- Has been involved in a crime
These dogs must also have a history or tendency to attack people or pets without provocation. Owners of dangerous dogs are required to take special precautions. According to a Philadelphia dog bite law firm, owners of these animals must keep the dog confined and post signage warning others of a dangerous animal on the property. Owners are required to keep the dog on a muzzle while walking them, register the dog with the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and purchase liability insurance.
If a dangerous dog escapes the owner’s property, the owner is responsible to notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, the State Dog Warden and local law enforcement.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Law Firm
Every year, thousands of people visit emergency rooms with injuries from dog attacks. Others die in brutal dog attacks. If you’re a victim or family member, consult with us about the merit of your case during a free, no-obligation meeting. We can let you know if we believe you have a dog bite lawsuit against the dog’s owner and/or another party. If so, our Philadelphia dog bite law firm will help you file your claim with the right courts and seek maximum compensation. Call (215) 666-7777 today.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can occur anywhere on the body and range from mild to severe. Common injures that stem from dog bites can include:
- Puncture wounds from the dog’s teeth
- Nerve Damage
- Tears of tissues and muscles
- Broken bones
- Complications such as infections
Contact a dog bite injury lawyer if you have suffered one of these injuries to get more information about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.
Steps To Take After a Dog Bite Attack
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite attack, it’s important to act quickly. The dog bite injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm recommend taking these steps following a dog bite:
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries
- Contact local police or animal control to report the dog bite
- Obtain contact information of any witnesses of the attack
- Take photos of your injuries if possible and save evidence such as the clothes you were wearing when the attack occurred
- Contact a Philadelphia dog bite injury lawyer to file a claim and protect your rights to obtain compensation for your injuries
A dog bite injury lawyer can get you compensation for your damages by investigating your case, researching the dog’s history of attacks, presenting evidence, preparing documents, and negotiating with insurance companies. The dog bite injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm are seasoned trial attorneys who can take your case to court, if necessary, to get you the money you deserve.
Treatment and Recovery from Dog Bites
Immediately after a dog bite, seek medical treatment for your injuries. Medical doctors may recommend a tetanus shot or order diagnostic testing. Then, your doctor can help determine the extent of your injuries and recommend follow-up care.
Serious dog bite injuries can require extensive treatments and include care from multiple specialists, such as neurologists, plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, or hand specialists. In addition to physical injuries, many dog bite victims suffer psychological injuries such as debilitating anxiety that can require counseling. Medical and psychological support expenses for dog bite injuries can be astronomical. Our Philadelphia dog bite law firm will fight vigorously to obtain full compensation for your injuries.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Because all dog bite cases are unique, it’s important to speak with the experienced dog bite injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm about what your case may be worth. The attorneys at our firm will analyze all the evidence in your case, including your medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future income to determine a value for your claim. A claim’s worth can depend on a variety of factors, including the liable party’s insurance coverage, any comparative negligence in the case, and the evidence to support your claim.
You may be able to pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Hospital Bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medication costs
- Projected future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
Children and Dog Bite Attacks
Children account for approximately 50% of all dog bite victims. In fact, dog bites are one of the most frequent causes for an emergency room visit for a child. Over 75% of the dogs belonged to the victim’s relative or friend.
Many times, parents of an injured child hesitate to pursue litigation when the defendant is a friend or loved one. However, for very serious cases, a lawsuit may be necessary to help get the compensation needed for the child’s injuries.
In many cases, dog bite injuries may be covered by the dog owner’s insurance policy, such as renters or homeowners insurance. When insurance coverage is available, a case may be able to be settled without the need of a dog bite lawsuit.
Dog Bite Lawsuit Against Third Parties
In certain circumstances, a dig bite victim may have a legal claim against a party other than the dog’s owner. For example, dog trainers, breeders, or sellers may have liability in certain scenarios. For example, you may be able to sue a dog training company for your injuries if they were negligent and used improper training techniques.
Contact the Wieand Law Firm Today
Navigating dog bite claims can be a daunting process. Contact Wieand Law, a Philadelphia dog bite law firm, to obtain competent legal representation with proven success negotiating maximum compensation for personal injury claims. Call 215-666-777 or send a message via the online form to speak directly with an attorney.
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