While dogs are purported to be man’s best friend, some dogs just aren’t friendly. When they attack an adult or child, they can cause catastrophic injuries. Unfortunately, dog bites aren’t rare in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
If you or someone you love was injured by a dog bite, it’s important to contact an attorney at SMA Law Group as soon as possible. We’ll help explain your rights and determine whether you have a personal injury claim. If you wait too long, you may lose out on your right to compensation. Call our office at 1-888-9-SMALAW to work with an experienced Allegheny County dog bite attorney who will fight on behalf of you and your family.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
If you’re bitten by a dog in Pennsylvania, the following steps should be followed to solidify your claim:
- Call the Cops – Because people love their pets, a dog bite situation can be emotionally charged and complicated when conflicting stories about the incident arise. When you call the police, you’re involving an independent party who can interview everyone and determine what really happened.
- Get Contact Information – Take down the name, address, and phone number of the dog owner and any witnesses who may have seen the attack happen. They may need to be interviewed at a future date.
- Write Down the Facts – The judge will want to know whether the dog was behind a fence, where the attack took place, and what time it happened, so taking notes at the scene is imperative.
- Take Pictures – When you take pictures of where the dog was kept, your injuries, and the animal, you’re collecting evidence to be presented at court and giving yourself a better chance of receiving compensation for your injuries. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case.
- Get Medical Help – It’s better to err on the side of caution. Seek medical attention for a dog bite, even if it seems minor. It’s always best to let a doctor decide.
- Get Legal Help – The legal team at the SMA Law Group understands your pain and will help you build a stronger case against the owner of a vicious dog.
Dog Bite Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania dog bite law for first-time canine offenders is split into two categories: severe and non-severe injuries. Severe injury includes any physical harm that causes broken bones or disfiguring lacerations that require cosmetic surgery or sutures. If you’ve been severely injured due to a dog bite, you can make a claim against the dog’s owner and seek compensation for medical costs, legal damages, and all other losses. You must, however, prove that the dog attacked you without provocation. In this instance, it doesn’t matter whether the dog has ever attacked another person.
If your injuries are non-severe, you can still make a claim against the owner, but you may only collect for medical expenses. You don’t need to prove that the dog wasn’t provoked. You must only prove that the defendant is the owner in order for them to pay you in full for your medical bills.
How an Allegheny County Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
When you hire a lawyer at the SMA Law Group, we will deal directly with the owner’s insurance company so you don’t have to. Plaintiffs with an attorney recover about three times more money than those who deal with an insurance company on their own. We’ll help you file a claim and walk you through the entire process so you can live more comfortably knowing you have enough money to pay for emergency room visits and long-term care.