Dog bite injury cases are one of the most common types of premises liability incidents that occur in Pittsburgh. While most people do not think about injuries that could occur due to a dog bite, the reality is that these incidents occur more often than most people think. However, states around the country handle liability in dog bite cases differently. Do you know how Pennsylvania law handles dog bite cases? At the SMT Legal, our Pittsburgh dog bite injury attorneys want to discuss this issue with you so you know where to turn and what kind of compensation you can receive.
What does strict liability mean?
Most states have strict liability statutes in place that hold dog owners responsible for injuries caused by a bite, even if the dog does not have a history of biting anybody or being aggressive and even if the dog’s owner was not negligent.
Pennsylvania has a limited version of the strict liability dog bite law used in other states. If a dog in Pennsylvania bites or attacks somebody, then the dog’s owner is responsible for paying the victim’s medical costs. However, the law applies only to medical costs sustained by the victim and not other expenses such as lost wages, general household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and more. In general, the medical expenses will be paid through the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy.
The only way for a dog bite victim to obtain compensation aside from medical expenses from the dog owner is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner for their negligence in the case. The courts in Pennsylvania have established guidelines for what it takes to prove negligence in these situations. The dog bite victim must prove that the owner:
- Knew that the dog had “unmistakably vicious tendencies,” and
- They neglected to properly control the dog.
Negligence, under thee guidelines, can be incredibly difficult to prove for victims. For a dog bite victim to secure any compensation aside from their medical bills for these cases, it is important for victims to work with a skilled and experienced Pittsburgh dog bite injury attorney.
Injuries from dog bite incidents can be severe, and often include:
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Severed arteries, veins, muscles, or tendons
- Broken fingers or hands
- Amputations of the fingers
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
We can help after a dog bite injury in Pittsburgh
If you or somebody you love has been bitten and injured by a dog in Pittsburgh, you may need to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. At the SMT Legal, our qualified attorneys are ready to step in and assist so you can get the compensation you are entitled to. This can include:
- Coverage of all dog bite-related medical bills
- Any household out-of-pocket expenses caused by the incident
- Any lost income if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages