Any dog breed may be involved in a bite or attack. Dog bites might involve dogs familiar to the victim or may involve dogs the victim has never seen previously. Whatever the circumstances, you might be wondering who is responsible for medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering related to the attack. You might be unsure of your rights under the law and what action you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Understanding Pennsylvania laws pertaining to dog bite cases can help you prepare yourself to present your case to an insurer or a court. Because this type of case can become complicated and the dog’s owner may raise defenses, enlisting the help of Philadelphia dog bite lawyers may be beneficial to your case.
Pennsylvania’s Dog Bite Laws
If a dog has previously bitten another person or is otherwise classified as dangerous, then the owner of the dog is liable for any damages you sustained as a result of the most recent bite.
But if the dog did not previously bite another person or is otherwise considered dangerous, you still may recover damages, but the amount of damages will depend on a few details of the incident.
If you suffered serious injuries in the attack, then you can recover all damages related to the attack. Serious injuries are those involving broken bones or disfigurement that requires stitches or cosmetic surgery. If you suffered minor injuries, then you may recover only damages related to your medical bills resulting from the dog bite.
But some dog bite cases may prove that the dog’s owner was negligent and therefore responsible for the attack. In this case, the victim might be able to recover compensation for all damages related to the attack. An example might be an owner who violates a leash law or other dog control law, leading to the attack.
With so many stipulations and legal avenues to recover compensation, it’s important for bite victims to consult Philadelphia dog bite lawyers about the details of their case.
Defenses You Might Face in a Dog Bite Claim
In some cases, a dog owner may use various defenses to argue that he is not liable for your injuries or other damages. Some common defenses used in dog bite cases include provocation or trespassing.
If the owner of the dog can prove you were injured due to illegal activity such as trespassing or intending to commit a crime, you may need to prove that your presence at the scene was warranted or invited. In addition, the owner may claim that you provoked the animal by teasing or trying to harm it, causing the animal to react.
Make sure you prepare for these defenses if you’re filing a dog bite claim. Dog bite attorneys in Philadelphia can help you address these defenses through legal argument and evidence.
Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases
Pennsylvania personal injury law includes a statute of limitations of two years from the date of injury on all cases. If you plan to file a dog bite or animal attack case against the responsible party, you will need to be sure you do it prior to expiration of the statute of limitations. After the two-year deadline expires, you may be barred from recovering any damages.
If you have a dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia representing you, the attorney will ensure you meet any and all deadlines, including the filing deadline.
Get Help from Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC
Cordisco & Saile LLC helps people with cases against dog owners whose pets have caused serious injuries. If someone’s dog has caused you severe injury, call us at 215-642-2335 or use our contact page to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with our Philadelphia dog bite lawyers.