A dog bite can be a traumatic experience both physically and emotionally, and the Centers for Disease Control estimate that it happens some 4.7 million times each year in the United States.
Of those millions of bites, almost 20 percent require medical attention, and, as of 2006, approximately 31,000 resulted in the need for reconstructive surgery. Anyone can be a victim, but children from five to nine years of age are dogs’ most frequent targets and the age group most likely to need medical treatment.
Once the injury is treated, victims and their families are often concerned about who is legally responsible for the damage and whether the responsible party must pay the victim’s medical bills or compensate the victim for time lost from work, physical impairment, or pain and suffering.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, talk to the dog’s owner and inform him about the consequences of having suffered a dog bite. If the incident happened in front of the dog owner, and he/she is not cooperating, you can follow a different approach. In such a case, you must not miss writing a letter stating a whole incident even when the dog owner knows about it.
While writing this letter, you should mention:
- Injury details.
- List of expenses due to dog bite.
- Any local state or local dog bite laws.
If you are not aware of dog bite laws in your area, connect with a reputed Dog Bite Lawyer Harrisburg has to offer, who has handled dog bite cases before. They will explain all the details and even dispel some of your doubts.
Along with listing the above-mentioned details, you can also demand the compensation for your loss. Giving a deadline may be helpful. If all else fails, you can file a personal injury case. Here, you will need assistance from a lawyer.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws
Pennsylvania addresses dog bites through both statutes and case law. The statute regulates the duties of a dog owner to keep a dog under control. It provides penalties for the owner of a dog found to be dangerous under the terms of the statute and it provides remedies for people injured by a dog.
The extent of those remedies depends on the severity of the injury. If injuries are not severe, the victim may not be able to recover anything beyond medical expenses. If injuries are severe, the victim may be able to recover additional damages.
Like many other states, Pennsylvania law has moved away from the long-standing rule, passed down from English common law, that a dog was entitled to a free bite before its owner’s liability could be established.
The “one-free-bite” rule was never an absolute, as dogs with known dangerous propensities were often treated differently even if they had never bitten. In addition, other variables must be considered. The owner’s negligence may be a factor. There may be an issue of whether the victim provoked the attack.
Speaking to a Professional Dog Bite Attorney Harrisburg
A dog bite attorney can provide answers to all relevant questions. A Dog Bite Lawyer Harrisburg knows the rules that apply to the victim’s situation.
- Most dog-bite disputes are not taken to court, because most people settle beforehand. If you have an experienced attorney by your side, you may be able to get compensation for your loss without any hassle.
- Does it make a difference if the dog has bitten before? Does the victim’s age matter?
- Do the rules vary according to where the attack happened? An experienced Dog Bite Attorney Harrisburg has to offer can sort through these questions, explain the victim’s rights and determine what sort of compensation might be available.
- Each state takes a different approach to dog-bite liability, so dog bites in Dallas may have different legal consequences from Philadelphia dog bites. Some states regulate dog bites by statute, some rely on court cases, and some use both.
- Each situation is different. Dog bites are governed by elaborate rules, and the situation is frequently complicated by the technicalities of insurance coverage, as insurance is often the source of the victim’s compensation.
A knowledgeable Harrisburg Injury Attorney can help both victims and dog owners navigate this very treacherous area of the law.