Dog Bite Lawyer in Erie, Pennsylvania
PA Attorneys Who Help After Animal Attacks, including Dog Bite Injuries
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we are animal lovers. However, we also know that dogs and other animals can cause terrible injuries, particularly when they attack children. We are dedicated to helping people 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 animal injury cases. We will help you obtain the funds needed to pay for medical services, including surgical care, required for your recovery.
For more information about dog bites in Erie, PA, check out our Dog Bite FAQ page.
Injuries from Animal Attacks in Erie, PA
Dogs and other animals can cause a variety of injuries. The most serious are scarring and disfigurement that can require numerous surgeries to repair. Other animal attack injuries include:
- Head trauma and broken bones from being knocked over
- Psychological problems, such as fear of animals or trauma or disfigurement
- Infections and rabies
- Back injuries
Dogs are not the only pets that attack people and cause injuries. Cats, horses, ferrets, birds, and wild animals can also cause harm.
What Are My Rights as a Dog Bite Victim in Pennsylvania?
If you are 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. Determining whether you are entitled to such compensation depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Where the injury occurred.
- Whether the pet owner knew or should have known that the animal was potentially dangerous.
- Whether the animal was on a leash or otherwise confined.
Generally, a victim is entitled to compensation if:
- The dog was loose and bit someone off of the owner’s property, or
- A guest was bitten on the owner’s property by a dog whose owner knew of the dog’s tendency to bite.
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.
Who Is Responsible for Animal Attack Injuries in PA?
People who own dangerous dogs (or other animals) are most often primarily liable when the animal harms other people. These owners must follow strict local and state laws that direct how such animals are to be confined for the protection of others.
Other parties may also be responsible for a dog’s attack. For example, a property owner who knows that a tenant is keeping a dangerous dog and who does nothing about it may be liable for the harm that the dog causes. Additionally, someone who has agreed to watch the dog, or someone else who has the responsibility of protecting the victim, may be responsible.
These can be challenging and sensitive matters – you may even know the dog’s owner. We handle such cases with compassion and attention to the victim’s goals. Also, we are experienced in dealing with the insurance companies that are often responsible for compensating the injured victim.
The Bottom Line: Contact Our Erie, Pennsylvania Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a dog or other animal, the Erie personal injury lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. can help. Talk to a Pennsylvania lawyer today by calling 814-273-2010, or fill out our online consult form. Learn about your legal rights and your options in a free consultation.
Erie, PA Dog Bite Accidents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Dog bite accident cases are not “one size fits all” — every dog bite accident case is different, with specific circumstances surrounding the accident, and varying levels of injury. To gain an understanding of the costs involved in pursuing your dog bite accident claim, the dog bite accident attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphy, P.C. offer a free case evaluation to accident victims, so that we can discuss your case and the compensation you may be entitled to receive under the law and the costs involved.
If you have been in a dog bite accident, it is important to call the police — this documents the accident and will alert emergency responders who can tend to your injuries. Take photos of the scene of the accident, the dog that attacked you, and your physical injuries. Obtain contact information from the dog owner, and note details regarding the dog breed, size, coloring, and name. Consult with an experienced dog bite accident attorney and then report the incident to local animal control.
Most states have laws that hold dog owners responsible for dog bite injuries, even if the dog owner was not negligent and regardless of whether the dog had a history of aggressive behavior. In Pennsylvania, any time a dog bites or attacks someone, the dog owner is responsible for paying all of the victim’s related medical costs. Dog owners are not responsible for paying for other damages, such as emotional pain and suffering or loss of income. The level of compensation in dog bites cases varies significantly depending upon the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim.
Every state has statutes of limitations, which are the legal deadlines for filing civil claims. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a dog bite, which is a personal injury claim, is two years from the time the bite occurred. If you do not file your dog bite claim within two years, the Pennsylvania court will dismiss your case and you will be unable to recover any damages. There are exceptions to this two-year deadline; it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you think you may be unable to meet the filing deadline.
Yes. In most instances, if an individual is asked to go to someone’s house or onto their property to perform work, the property owner has a legal responsibility to take steps to protect that individual from injury. If the property owner has a dog, they are expected to alert you to the presence of the animal or to keep the dog away from you while you are on the property working.