An animal attack can be quite unexpected and devastating, especially from a dog that you didn’t expect to be dangerous. The majority of the time, a person who has been bitten by a dog will have both physical and psychological wounds. Dog bites can be especially traumatic for children, but adults are also vulnerable to dog attack.
These types of dog attacks are not uncommon. In fact, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Pennsylvania had the fifth most dog bite claims in the nation in 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Humane Society of the United States, say there are nearly five million dog bites every year in the United States leading to a range of injuries and even some fatalities. These figures are not surprising considering that nearly 80 million American homes own dogs.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should contact a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney with the expertise and know-how to obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Dog bites can be divided into three different categories: puncture wounds, lacerations, and crushing wounds.
Dog bites can cause what’s legally described as severe or non-severe injuries. The most common type of dog bite is the simple puncture wound caused by a single bite, but there are other types that are more severe and cause lifelong disabilities. Severe dog bites typically cause severe cuts and/or broken bones that may require surgeries and stitches. There may be nerve damage or there could be permanent scarring at the site of the bite. Dog bite victims will also need to be checked for rabies.
The one thing that all types of bites have in common is they require immediate medical care because even small punctures can become infected and cause serious health problems. This medical care can easily become costly—and this is where a lawyer for dog bites can greatly help.
It is also important to note that the shame and social self-consciousness that result from scarring can be devastating for victims. Some victims of severe bites may also need plastic surgeries. This can lead to depression and other mental health issues. In some situations, additional physical therapy may be required in addition to surgery and other medical treatments.
Although the majority of states have rules that impose strict liability on dog owners in the event of a bite – meaning that the dog owner is automatically liable – this is not always the case. In Pennsylvania, an animal owner must pay for all medical costs of an injured victim regardless of who was at fault for the bite to occur. However, to prove a dog owner’s negligence for the bite, a victim must prove the owner knew the dog had “unmistakable vicious tendencies” and failed to take reasonable steps to control their animal. If you think you have a case, you should call a personal injury lawyer in PA that can create a custom and fully informed plan of action.
Additionally, Pennsylvania has a leash law, which if the dog owner is proved to have been in violation of, could lead to the owner also being liable for the injuries if not being on the leash led to the attack.
Overall, in 2018, there were 780 dog bite claims in Pennsylvania, which paid an average of $35,424 per claim and totaled over $27 million in liability claims, according to the PA Insurance Department.
Victims of dog bites must file claims within two years after the attack. Keep in mind also because many dog bite victims are children, that minors must file their claims within two years of reaching the age of 18.
If you or your loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, Googling lawyer near me is not the proactive approach—call a skilled Pennsylvania dog bites lawyer right away. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to investigate your claim.
Let us help you hold the dog owner accountable for your injuries. Call Ananin, Chermol, Khattar, Fishman, PLLC at 866-MY1LAWYER or visit 1lawyer.com to fill out our contact form.