Sometimes when dogs bite, they don’t let go. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can end in fatal injuries for unsuspecting animal attack victims – particularly vulnerable children and the elderly. Even when dog bites aren’t fatal, they can inflict serious puncture wounds, abrasions, bruising, broken bones, infection, and permanent scars on victims. As someone who recently experienced a dog bite in Philadelphia, you may not know what next steps to take. Don’t worry – the Philadelphia dog bite injury lawyers at Wieand Law Firm, LLC is here to help.
Every state has different dog bite statutes to decide if and when a dog’s owner is liable for bites and attacks. Pennsylvania follows “strict liability” rules, meaning that if a dog’s owner violates any of the state’s dog confinement laws, the owner will be liable for damages. It does not matter if the owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dog’s propensity for viciousness. This is in contrast to the “one bite” rule many states follow, which will only find an owner liable if the dog has bitten someone before. In Philadelphia, prior bite history does not matter.
As someone with wounds from a dog bite, you need to understand your right to pursue compensation. The dog owner very likely owes you money for your medical bills, physical pain, emotional distress, lost wages from missed time at work, and temporary or permanent disability. Strict liability rules will apply if the dog attacked without provocation – on public or private property. The only time a victim might not be eligible for compensation is if he or she provoked the dog attack, or if the victim was trespassing at the time.
Unless you fall under one of the exceptions, you qualify for financial recovery from the dog’s owner. Unfortunately, you cannot trust many dog owners to pay for your expenses out of pocket. Trying to handle your claim on your own can lead to the owner giving you false information and taking off, or giving you much less money than you deserve for your injuries. Instead, retain our experienced dog bite injury lawyers and let us do the legwork for you.
According to Pennsylvania’s laws, a “dangerous dog” is one that has injured or killed someone without provocation, one that has injured or killed a domestic animal, or one used to commit a crime. To be “dangerous,” the dog must have a history of or a propensity for attacking. Special dog confinement and housing laws apply to dangerous dogs. If an owner of a dangerous dog fails to obey these laws, the owner could be guilty of negligence.
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 claim against the dog’s owner and/or another party. If so, our Philadelphia dog bite injury lawyers will help you file your claim with the right courts and seek maximum compensation. Call (215) 666-7777 today.