If you or a loved one has been seriously bitten by a dangerous dog or other domestic animal, you may be hesitant to bring a claim against the animal’s owner. Perhaps you are a dog owner? Below is some information that you may find helpful.
Pennsylvania does not impose absolute liability on a dog owner for harms and injuries caused by their animal. A person injured by a dog or other animal must prove that the owner of the animal acted negligently. Pennsylvania has abolished the One Bite Rule which required dog owners to restrain their animals after the 1st bite. Just because a dog or other animal has proven to be dangerous in the past, does not mean that the owner is liable.
A plaintiff in a dog bite case must show that the owner failed to take proper actions to preclude the dog from acting in a vicious manner. Some factors showing owner knowledge that the dog was vicious include: complaints brought to the owner’s attention, fighting with other dogs, constant confinement of the dog, warning signs on the owner’s premises, and statements by the dog owner about the dog’s behavior.
In Pennsylvania, a dog owner can assert the Doctrine of Assumption of the Risk when someone is injured by their dog or animal. This means that if another person who knew about the vicious or dangerous propensities of the dog and chose to interact or get near the dog, that person assumed or accepted the risk of the dangerousness of the dog and cannot recover.
The most common personal injuries from dog bites and other animal injuries include scarring and disfigurement and broken bones. The animal’s teeth many times cause puncture wounds and ripping and slicing of the skin. Broken bones are often caused by dogs knocking people over.
A dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy may provide insurance coverage to pay the claim of a victim of a dog bite in Pennsylvania. Dog bite cases are not the easiest cases to recover compensation. The Bucks County, Pennsylvania Law Firm of Cordisco & Saile LLC only represents victims of serious dog bites or other dangerous animal injury cases. Serious injuries from a dog bite case would include very bad scarring and disfigurement to visible places on the body, especially the face or badly broken bones which have caused other complications.