We hope man’s best friend will be friendly, but too often, irresponsible owners can lead to ferocious animal attacks. These dogs can be familiar or strangers, a small or large breed. They can appear vicious or cute and cuddly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania residents adopted and bought pets to help keep the boredom of quarantine at bay. This rise in pet ownership will likely lead to dog bite incidents as well. Even before the pandemic, there was no shortage of these accidents in our area and a Pittsburgh dog bite attorney can often help you find retribution in these cases.
How Often do Dog Bites Occur in Pittsburgh?
Life can change quickly. You could be strolling your neighborhood or taking a bike ride or walking your dog or visiting a friend, and in a flash, you or your family could be affected by a dog attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people are victims of dog bites each year. One in five victims of dog bites requires medical attention. The most common victims of dog bites are children and are more likely to be severely injured.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Pennsylvania ranked fifth for the highest number of homeowners insurance liability claims for dog bites with an average cost of more than $29,000 per claim. SMT Legal in Pittsburgh can help you navigate these claims.
Injuries and Damages in Pittsburgh Dog Bite Cases
Injuries from dog attacks often occur to the head, neck, and hands. Even minor injuries can result in hospitalization from:
- Open wounds
- Skin and bacterial infections
- Infective arthritis
- Internal injuries
- Emotional trauma, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression
Some injuries may be more severe, causing:
- Permanent scarring
- Long-term treatments
- Multiple surgeries
- Reconstructive procedures
- Skin grafts
- Even death
What to do if a Dog Bites You?
Ultimately, it is the pet owners’ job to act responsibly and manage their pets. When attacks happen, they should pay for mistakes or neglect. Pet owners who fail to prevent attacks should be held accountable, and you should seek damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost time at work, and other damages. If your loved one dies as a result of an attack, you must seek compensation and damages for wrongful death.
Here’s what to do if you or a loved one suffer an attack:
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Identify the dog’s owner, obtaining their telephone number and address. The dog’s medical history is crucial because you may need shots for rabies.
- File a report with your local police department or an animal control board.
- Gather evidence by taking photographs of your injuries and keep all medical documentation. Get the contact information from witnesses of the attack. Ask neighbors or anyone in the area of the attack if they know anyone else who has been bitten by the same dog.
Most importantly, contact our experienced Pittsburgh dog bite lawyers at SMT Legal immediately at 412-765-3345. We are available 24/7. The longer you wait, the harder your case is to win. You may only have days to legally file a claim. Let us provide answers and information with a free case evaluation. We do not charge any fees unless we win your case.