If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, our Philadelphia dog bite lawyers at Anapol Weiss can help.Our nationally recognized team of attorneys will work hard to pursue your case; if we don’t win a settlement or a judgment on your behalf, you don’t pay any legal fees. Anapol Weiss is a Philadelphia personal injury law firm here to work for you. Contact us for a free consultation and to discuss how our attorneys can help you.
Contact Our Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers Today
- When To Discuss Your Case With an Attorney
- Compensation in a Dog Bite Case
- Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws
- Liability in a Dog Attack
- Dangerous Dog Law Pennsylvania
- Dog Bite Statistics
Philadelphia is home to nearly 1.6 million people, and sometimes it can seem like there are just as many dogs. Unleashed dogs in the Philadelphia area have the potential to cause severe, disfiguring injuries to those they bite, which can result in expensive medical bills. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Philadelphia, resulting in injuries, contact Anapol Weiss to discuss your possible compensation.
When to Discuss Your Dog Bite With an Attorney
A Philadelphia dog bite incident usually involves a single dog owner as the defendant. The defendant may choose to file the incident under their homeowner’s insurance policy, leaving the injured party to deal with the insurance company for compensation. Dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers can often be overwhelming. An attorney familiar with Pennsylvania’s dog bite laws can approach the insurance companies with the proper knowledge so you can focus on your recovery.
How Much Is Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Many factors determine the amount of compensation you will receive for your dog bite injuries. Consult with a Philadelphia dog bite attorney to determine if you are eligible for:
- Compensation for your medical expenses. Most dog bite victims, regardless of the severity of the bite, are eligible for payment of medical expenses.
- Additional compensation for severe injuries. If your dog bite causes severe injuries, you may be able to sue for additional damages.
- Lost wages or lost future income. If your dog bite is severe and causes you to miss work, you may be able to sue for lost wages. If the bite leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work, you may be able to sue for lost future income.
- Pain and suffering. Dog bites often cause victims to suffer pain from the injuries inflicted. If your bite is severe, you may be able to receive compensation. Sometimes, this can include emotional distress as well as loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages. If you can prove the owner acted in excessive, malicious negligence, the courts may punish the owner financially.
Getting You the Compensation You Deserve
- Our award-winning lawyers have served the Philadelphia area since 1977, earning a reputation of excellence locally as well as nationally.
- Anapol Weiss is composed of six attorneys named the Best Lawyers in America as well as three named Philadelphia Lawyer of the Year.
- Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to help people in the Philadelphia area pursue personal injury cases of all types.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws
Under Pennsylvania law, owners are responsible for at least medical bill payments of any party their dog bites without provocation. Formerly, the law required victims to prove the dog had bitten before, but amendments to this law no longer require a history of bites. If the dog severely injures the victim – defined as a bite causing broken bones, disfiguring lacerations, or any other injury that necessitates cosmetic surgery – the victim may make a claim for medical treatment as well as other losses and damages.
Pennsylvania law states that all dog owners must keep their pets under reasonable control at all times. Owners must also confine their dogs while at home – either indoors or within a fenced yard – and must restrain dogs in public with a collar, leash, chain or other device. Owners whose violation of these laws results in an animal bite to another party are liable for their negligent behavior.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite on Private Property in Pennsylvania?
According to recent statistics, most dog bite injuries occur on the owner’s private property. Even if the victim is on private property, the dog owner is responsible for the dog’s behavior. The only exceptions are as follows:
- The injured party was illegally trespassing on the owner’s private property at the time of the bite
- The victim was somehow provoking the dog, prompting it to bite
These two exceptions may lead to instances in which the owner is not responsible. However, extenuating circumstances often render these cases complicated. Contacting a dog bite attorney may still enable you to receive compensation for your injuries.
Pennsylvania Dangerous Dog Law
The state of Pennsylvania requires dangerous dog owners to register their dogs as dangerous. Dangerous dog owners must also retain liability insurance of $50,000 or more for any possible injuries sustained by others. The owner must keep the dog confined in an enclosure on private property, as well as post a sign clearly warning others of the presence of a dangerous dog.
In public, the owner must muzzle, leash, and properly restrain the dog. Finally, if a dangerous dog escapes or attacks an individual, the owner must notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, the local police department, and the State Dog Warden.
If the owner of a dangerous dog acts negligently, resulting in the dog attacking and causing minor injuries to an individual, the owner has committed a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison. If the attack causes major injuries or death, the owner has committed a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to five years in prison. If the dog has a history of attack, the victim does not need to prove negligence.
Click Here: Database of Dangerous Dogs in Pennsylvania
Dangerous Dogs in Pennsylvania
A dangerous dog is a dog that has:
- Attacked a person without provocation, causing minor or severe injuries
- Attacked an animal without provocation, causing injury or death
- Previously been used in criminal activity
Dangerous dogs are not the perpetrators of all dog bites, and victims should still seek compensation for non-dangerous dog bite injuries. However, the state of Pennsylvania expects owners of dangerous dogs to take several steps to contain their dogs. In addition, dangerous dog owners must warn others that a dangerous dog is present.
Recent Dog Bite Statistics
Dogs bite 4.5 million people every year in the United States, an average of one bite every 75 seconds. Every day, 1000 dog bite victims will seek medical care for their injuries, resulting in bills averaging $18,200. However, experts estimate losses between $1 billion and $2 billion every year, which includes medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Overall, unneutered males cause the most dog bite injuries. Pit bull attacks make up 64% of all fatal dog attacks, leading to breed restrictions in many cities. However, experts have found such restrictions ineffective; Philadelphia citizens should remember that any breed can attack, bite, and cause severe injury.
How Can You Prevent Dog Bites?
- Avoid petting dogs that are not with their owners
- Always seek permission from the owner before petting
- Don’t reach through or over fencing to touch a dog
- Do not pet a dog that is sleeping, eating, sick or injured
- You Should never touch a mother dog or her puppies
- Do not pet a dog playing with a toy
- Keep a distance from dogs that seem anxious, afraid, or aggressive
Dogs often bite individuals they are familiar with, so never assume a dog will not bite, and practice caution to ensure you have kept yourself safe. Instruct any children to follow the above tips and keep children well within arm’s reach in the presence of a dog.