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Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws

Date: Jan 14th, 2021 By SMT Legal
Categories: Dog Bite Injury

Due to covid-19, people have been picking up fun habits like stealing all the toilet paper, buying all the bikes, and emptying all the animal shelters. Albeit the animal shelters definitely needed a win, not everyone who gets a dog actually deserves a dog. Our Pittsburgh dog bite attorneys at SMT Legal has seen the traumatizing injuries our furry creatures can cause. We are here to help you through this significant painful time in your life.

Dog-bite Laws

Each state is different when it comes to laws about animals. In Pennsylvania, the dog bite law sets out two main objectives: (1) confinement and (2) bite victims. According to § 459-502. Dog bites; detention and isolation of dogs:

  1. Confinement: Any dog which bites or attacks a human being shall be confined in quarters approved by a designated employee of the Department of Health, a State dog warden or employee of the Department of Agriculture, an animal control officer, or a police officer. The dog may be detained and isolated in an approved kennel or at the dog owner’s property or at another location approved by the investigating officer. Where the dog is detained is at the discretion of the investigating officer. All dogs so detained must be isolated for a minimum of ten days. Any costs incurred in the detaining and isolation of the dog shall be paid by the offending dog’s owner or keeper or both. If the dog’s owner or keeper is not known, the Commonwealth is responsible for all reasonable costs for holding and detaining the dog.
  2. Bite victims: The following shall apply:
    1. The investigating officer shall be responsible for notifying the bite victim of the medical results of the offending dog’s confinement. Any cost to the victim for medical treatment resulting from an attacking or biting dog must be paid fully by the owner or keeper of the dog. The Commonwealth shall not be liable for medical treatment costs to the victim.
    2. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “medical results of the offending dog’s confinement” shall mean, except as provided in subparagraph (ii), information as to whether the quarantined dog is still alive and whether it is exhibiting any signs of being infected with the rabies virus.

If you are attacked by a dog while on public property or lawfully on someone’s private property, then the dog owner is responsible for any and all medical treatment. That can include medicine, physical or mental therapy, and pain and suffering. It does not matter if the owner was aware of the temperament of the dog. All that matters is the dog attacked, caused the injury, and now the party in charge of the dog must pay.

Our experienced Pittsburgh dog bite attorneys at SMT Legal is here to help guide you through the process. Let us focus on getting the compensation for your injury while you focus on recovering from your injury. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 1-888-976-2529.

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