Learn about the law of Pennsylvania dog bite cases. We offer free information in this site, including information about what to do if you or child has been bitten, safety advice on how to avoid an attack and information about how a Northwest Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer can help you to use homeowner's insurance to both compensate the victim and minimize expense and inconvenience to the responsible dog owner.
We're animal lovers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C.. But we also know that dogs and other animals can cause terrible injuries, particularly when they bite children. We're dedicated to helping people who've been attacked by dogs get the compensation to which they are legally entitled. As skilled Erie injury lawyers who have helped clients injured by dogs and other animals, we understand how to evaluate these cases and help you obtain the funds necessary to pay for the medical care and, if necessary, surgical care you need to help you to recover from your animal attack injuries.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured as a consequence of a dog bite or some other animal attack, our Erie dog bite lawyers can help. Talk to a Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer today 877-505-9548 or fill out our on-line consult form.
What are my Rights as a Dog Bite Victim?
If you've been attacked and injured by a dog (or another animal) you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, scarring, emotional injury and pain and suffering. Whether or not you are entitled to such compensation turns on a variety of factors, such as where you were injured, whether the dog owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous, how the attack happened and other factors.
Generally, if a dog is loose and bites someone off the owner's property or if a guest is bitten on the owner's property by a dog whose owner knew of the dog's tendency to bite, then the victim is entitled to compensation. It is NOT necessary to prove that the dog has previously bitten someone, only that it has behaved in a way that would put a reasonable dog owner on notice of its tendency to bite.
You can read more about how to determine whether you are entitled to compensation in our article on Liability of Dog Owners or you can contact one of our Pennsylvania dog bite lawyers at 877-505-9548.
Who is Responsible for Animal Attack Injuries?
People who own dangerous dogs (or other animals) are most often primarily liable when their dogs bite other people. These owners must follow strict local and state laws that direct how such animals must be confined for the protection of others.
However, others may also be responsible for a dog's attack. For example, a landlord who knows a tenant is keeping a dangerous dog and who does nothing about it may be liable for the harm the dog causes. Also, someone who has agreed to watch the dog or someone else who has the responsibility of protecting the victim may be responsible.
Ultimately, however, the insurance companies for responsible people most often end up paying to compensate the injured victim.
What if I Know the Responsible Dog Owner?
One aspect of an animal attack case that is different from many other accident cases is the relationship between the dog owner and victim. More than any other serious injury case, dog bites involve people who know and care for one another. The emotional component of these relationships can be difficult to manage. Dog owners often unfairly blame the victim, particularly if the victim is a child. Victims or their parents are often reluctant to "sue" a friend or family member who owns the animal that made the attack. People who are involved in these attacks fear that the dog owner may lose their home, that the dog may be euthanized or that the relationship between victim and dog owner will be destroyed.
Fortunately, most of these fears can be managed by an experienced Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer. Homeowner's or renter's insurance will protect the dog owner so that the dog owner needn't pay anything from their own pocket to compensate the victim. Many dog bite claims are resolved without ever having to file a lawsuit. Of those in which a lawsuit must be filed, nearly all settle without a trial. Not all dogs who bite must be euthanized. If a dog attack victim wants a dog bite case handled in a way that is gentle and which preserves relationships, an experienced Erie dog bite lawyer can take reasonable actions to help accomplish all of a dog bite victim's goals.
Dog Safety Resources
We offer dog safety resources on our site, including information on how to avoid a dog attack, what to do if you've been bitten, dog safety tips for kids, and information for owners on how to prevent your dog from biting.
The Bottom Line
If you or your child has been the victim of a Pennsylvania dog attack the personal injury lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help. Explore our site for more information or call 814-580-5017 or toll free 877-505-9548 for a free consultation with an experienced Erie dog bite lawyer.