Dogs are popular pets in Philadelphia, but they can cause serious injuries when they attack people or bite. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to take care of their dogs while visiting dog parks, walking in public, or walking through the neighborhood.
If a dog bites someone on your property, you, as the dog owner, could be liable for the injuries. If the attack happens on someone else’s property, their homeowners insurance may cover the costs.
In Philadelphia, the dog owner is liable if his or her dog bites or attacks someone. Dog owners have a duty of care towards others whether it’s inside or outside the home. Consult a knowledgeable Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer if you or your loved ones have suffered from a dog bite and need help.
Who Is Liable When A Dog Bites A Person?
In Philadelphia, dog owners are held accountable for their dogs’ actions, including the welfare of the dogs. A dog owner’s liability under Pennsylvania law depends on the severity of the injury. Dog owners in Philadelphia are held strictly liable for medical costs caused by the dog bite. Other costs, like lost wages or pain and suffering, depend on whether the victim can prove the dog owner was negligent.
If a dog bite causes a severe injury, a victim can receive damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical costs, permanent scarring or disfigurement, physical therapy, psychological trauma, rehabilitation treatment, and sometimes loss of consortium. If the injury is not severe, a claim can be made for medical damages.
Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Injuries from a dog bite can be serious depending on the size of the dog and the extent to which the dog has attacked someone. Some of the most common injuries that a person may face from a dog bite are:
- Fractured bones
- Tissue damage
- Death in case of serious attacks
Some individuals experience psychological trauma which comprises stress disorder, emotional withdrawal, or other trauma. In such cases, expensive medical treatment is required such as surgeries and counseling. Victims will want fair compensation for all damages and injuries caused to them.
Some of the laws that govern dog bites in Philadelphia are as follows:
- It is the responsibility of a dog owner to control their dog including confining and restraining them.
- If a dangerous dog attacks a person without provocation, then the dog owner will be held liable.
- If a dog has a history of attacking animals and humans even without provocation, the owner may be liable for medical costs and other damages.
In all these cases, a dog owner will be paying for the damages a dog attack has caused.
Steps to Take After A Dog Bite
After a dog bites a person then he or she must take some steps for his or her safety. Firstly, the person must try to seek medical attention. If the person thinks that he has sustained a minor injury, then he must still see a doctor. This is because the wound might become infected with rabies or other diseases. Always inform the hospital that you have been injured by a dog bite so that they offer you the appropriate treatment.
After receiving medical treatment, the next step you must take is to report the attack to law enforcement. It is the law enforcement who will decide whether the dog must be removed from the possession of the owner if the dog is causing a serious threat to the public.
If you have time, then you must document certain important information. Create a list of the following facts:
- Dog’s description such as breed, any marks on the body
- Identify the dog owner
- Collect the dog owner’s name and contact information
- Any particular details of the accident that you remember
- Any photos that you can capture of injuries sustained
All this information will help you to collect evidence for a strong case. A competent attorney will be able to guide you and discuss your case to help you seek much-needed compensation.
Under Pennsylvania law, a victim of a dog bite generally has two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. This means you must get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can to discuss your case. A dog bite victim has enough on their plate and should not need to worry about the legalities of the case. The attorney will help you with a sound strategy and inform you on what evidence is needed for a strong claim.
How Much Compensation Do You Get After A Dog Bite?
In Philadelphia, if you have been a victim of a dog bite then you could receive compensation for your pain, suffering, and injuries including medical expenses and lost income. Dog bite laws can be complex, so you will need an experienced dog bite attorney to help you win your case.
In some cases, individuals can get compensation based on many factors such as the severity of the dog attack, what kind of injuries you have sustained, and other important parameters. A bit of legal advice is always helpful because attorneys work with full dedication and have enormous experience and knowledge on how to move forward with these kinds of cases.
Some insurance companies may try to negotiate with you and offer you some settlement offers. However, you must not sign any documents before consulting an attorney with experience in personal injury cases. Once you accept a settlement offer, then you will not be entitled to any compensation in the future.