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Home > Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer > Pennsylvania Dog Bite Lawyer

Pennsylvania Dog Bite Lawyer

If a dog has bitten you, you may have questions about your rights moving forward. If you have sustained injuries that require medical attention, you may be entitled to compensation. If you’re in Pennsylvania, dog bite lawyers from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you recover the damages to which you’re entitled after such an attack.

This page has been written and edited by a team of experienced legal writers . This page was approved by Managing Partner, Michael Saile who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

This page has been written and edited by a team of experienced legal writers . This page was approved by Managing Partner, Michael Saile who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

Dog bites often leave victims with severe injuries, mounting medical bills, and emotional trauma.  Victims can seek compensation from dog owners, but the path to recovery is not always straightforward. Pennsylvania’s dog bite laws can be complicated, allowing the dog’s owner to raise defenses and avoid liability. Thus, enlisting the help of an experienced Philadelphia dog bite injury lawyer is critical. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury in Pennsylvania, the award-winning Pennsylvania dog bite lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC are here to help. Our attorneys have a proven record of recovering compensation for dog bite victims to cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Key Takeaways

  • In Pennsylvania, what you need to prove and the damages you can recover for a dog bite depend on factors such as the owner’s negligence, the dog’s violent propensities, and the severity of your injuries.
  • Defenses dog owners may raise include provocation and trespassing. An attorney can help counter these defenses.
  • Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for dog bite injury claims is two years from the date of injury. 
  • Choosing an experienced dog bite law firm can make a significant difference in proving liability and recovering fair compensation.

Why Choose Cordisco & Saile for Your Dog Bite Injury?

Cordisco and Saile LLC has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including dog bite claims. Our nationally recognized team of attorneys is passionate about fighting for the rights of injury victims.

Our Pennsylvania dog bite lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of serious dog bites and attacks. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a dog bite injury can take. Our dog bite injury attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and determination to thoroughly investigate your case, gather crucial evidence, and build a strong claim for maximum compensation.

We know how to prove liability in complex dog bite cases and are prepared to counter any defenses the dog owner may raise. With our skilled negotiation and aggressive litigation, we will fight tirelessly to hold the dog’s owner accountable and pursue the compensation you need to move forward after a traumatic dog attack.

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Our Dog Bite and Attack Settlements

We have a track record of successfully recovering substantial settlements across Pennsylvania for dog bite injury victims. Some highlights in dog attack cases include the following:

  • $750,000 settlement for a 78-year-old woman who suffered a serious spinal fracture when a dog jumped on her
  • $275,000 settlement for a young mother whose face was severely scarred and disfigured in a vicious dog attack. 

To learn more about our successes, check out our case results. Read our satisfied clients’ testimonials to learn how we have helped other personal injury victims recover from medical and other losses.

Pennsylvania Dog Bite and Attack Laws

Pennsylvania has a complex set of laws governing dog bite liability. These laws incorporate elements of strict liability and negligence rather than following a strict “one bite rule” that absolves dog owners of liability for their pet’s first attack. 

In Pennsylvania, dog owners can be liable for some damages if their dog bites someone, regardless of the dog’s history of aggressive behavior or previous bites. The specific circumstances of the incident and the severity of the victim’s injuries determine the extent of the dog owner’s liability and the damages that can be recovered.

Thus, dog bite victims in Pennsylvania may have a right to seek compensation from the dog owner, even if the dog has never bitten anyone. However, the specific laws governing dog bite liability in Pennsylvania are complex and may require the guidance of an experienced dog bite attorney to navigate successfully.

Strict Liability

In Pennsylvania, dog owners are strictly liable for medical expenses if their dog, without provocation, injures a person while they are lawfully on public or private property. Under this law, the victim need not prove the owner was negligent. However, strict liability only applies to medical expenses. Under a strict liability theory, you cannot recover other economic damages, such as lost wages and diminished earning capacity, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. 


In some dog bite cases, the victim may need to prove the owner was negligent to recover compensation for the full range of damages. Negligent behavior may include violating leash laws or failing to properly secure a dangerous dog. If negligence is proven, the victim may be entitled to comprehensive damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.

Pennsylvania Common Liability Law

Pennsylvania courts have developed a set of rules that apply in dog bite cases, depending on the circumstances involved. Under Pennsylvania’s common law for dog bite liability:

  • If a dog has previously bitten someone or has been classified as dangerous, the owner is liable for all damages resulting from the most recent bite.
  • If the dog has no history of biting or being classified as dangerous, the victim may still recover damages, but the amount depends on the severity of the injuries:
  • For serious injuries involving broken bones or disfigurement requiring stitches or cosmetic surgery, the victim can recover all damages related to the attack.
  • For minor injuries, the victim may only recover medical expenses resulting from the bite.

It’s important to note that Pennsylvania’s dog bite laws have some exceptions and limitations that give rise to defenses for dog owners and keepers. Under these exceptions, an owner may not be liable if the victim was doing the following:

  • Trespassing
  • Committing or attempting to commit a crime
  • Tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog

Given the complexity of Pennsylvania’s dog bite laws, victims should consult with experienced dog bite lawyers who can help them understand their rights and options for recovering compensation. 

dog bite lawyer

What is a dangerous dog?

As stated above, an owner will be liable for all damages if the dog is determined to be dangerous. According to Pennsylvania law, a dog is dangerous if it:

  • Previously injured a human
  • Killed or injured a domestic animal
  • Attacked a human without provocation
  • Was used to commit a crime

However, if the owner or keeper did not properly restrain the dog, the dangerous dog criteria need not be met to establish liability. If you’re confused about whether the dog meets the criteria mentioned thus far, talk to our dog bite attorneys in Pennsylvania for clarification.

Pennsylvania attorneys John F. Cordisco and Michael L. Saile, Jr. pictured before a transparent background
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What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?

If a dog has attacked you in Pennsylvania, here are some steps you should take to protect your rights to recover compensation: 

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Report the attack to local authorities.  
  • Document your injuries and gather evidence.
  • Avoid discussing the incident with the owner or insurance company before consulting an attorney.
  • Contact an experienced Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Types of Damages Recoverable Following a Dog Bite

Dog bite victims in Pennsylvania may be entitled to recover two types of damages:

  • Economic damages: These compensate for the financial impacts of the attack, including medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and property damage.
  • Non-economic damages: These cover the harder-to-quantify impacts on your life, such as pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Victims typically must file a personal injury lawsuit asserting negligence to recover non-economic damages. Consult with our experienced Pennsylvania dog bite attorneys to discuss your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Case?

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including dog bite cases, is two years. Therefore, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury. If you don’t file suit before the two-year deadline expires, you may lose your right to recover damages.

If you have a dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia representing you, the attorney will ensure you meet all deadlines, including the statute of limitations deadline.

Call Our Pennsylvania Dog Bite Lawyers Now

At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our award-winning team of personal injury lawyers fights for accident victims in Bucks County, Montgomery County, the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have a proven record of recovering compensation from the owners of pets that have caused serious injuries. 

If someone’s dog has injured you or a loved one, call us at 215-987-4353 or use our contact page to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with our Philadelphia dog bite lawyers.

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