Dog bites are a common personal injury with more than 4.5 million people reporting bites and attacks each year across the country. Most dog bite victims are unprepared to defend against dog attacks, leaving them in a vulnerable position. Even letter carriers who are trained to defend against dog attacks and often carry pepper spray to fend off aggressive dogs, frequently find themselves on the wrong end of a dog attack. Dog bite attorneys want to remind you that dogs can attack people of any age, but children, who are especially vulnerable in dog attacks, are attacked more often than other age groups.
Pennsylvania dog bite law
Pennsylvania dog bite law can be complicated and there are a number of factors that affect a dog bite victim’s potential recovery. This is why it is important to find an attorney who is experienced with dog bite and dog attack cases in order to secure a full and fair recovery. See below for important facts related to recovery options.
- Medical bills – In Pennsylvania, dog owners or other people responsible for dogs that bite will typically be required to pay for dog bite victims’ medical bills. Injuries caused by dog bites and dog attacks can be very serious requiring extensive medical care that sometimes involves multiple surgeries. This, of course, means that medical bills can add up quickly. Even when dog bite victims have their own health insurance that covers their injuries, there are often out of pocket expenses such as copays and deductibles that can be very costly.
- Dangerous dogs – Compensation in addition to medical bills may be collected when dangerous dogs are responsible for dog bites. Dogs are considered dangerous in Pennsylvania when they have a history of biting another person or domestic animal. They are also considered dangerous if they had previously exhibited dangerous propensities. Although the dog owner may not volunteer this information, experienced dog bite attorneys will explore this issue during discovery. They may interview people familiar with the dog such as groomers, veterinarians, and other people who may be able to provide information as to the dog’s dangerous behaviors and tendencies.
- Severe injuries – When injuries are severe, victims will generally be entitled to additional compensation. Severe injuries are described as those involving broken bones, stitches, and cosmetic surgery.
- Violations of laws – When a dog owner violates Pennsylvania dog laws at the time the dog bite or dog attack occurs, he or she may be liable for injuries and damages in addition to medical bills. This commonly happens when dog owners permit their animals to roam freely on public property with no leash.