A close-up of a brown dog biting a man’s hand

Although pets are often considered part of the family, sometimes they can become aggressive and cause serious injury. Our Lehigh Valley dog bite lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices are well-versed in the nuances of Pennsylvania dog bite laws. We have successfully recovered maximum compensation for clients in all types of animal attack cases. Our skilled and compassionate legal team is dedicated to helping clients receive the compensation and justice they deserve.

Dog Bite Laws in Pennsylvania

The legal concept of strict liability is usually applied to dog bite cases in Pennsylvania. This means an animal owner is responsible for any injuries their pet causes, regardless of whether the dog has bitten before or whether the owner was aware it had aggressive tendencies. An owner may be liable if someone is injured after being knocked down by a dog as well.

Pennsylvania dog bite law also makes some important distinctions when it comes to recovering compensation for a bite or attack. If an animal inflicts non-severe bites, typically the owner is only liable for the injured party’s medical expenses. In cases involving severe injuries such as broken bones and lacerations that require stitches or plastic surgery, a dog owner may also be liable for damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Dog bite laws in Pennsylvania also specify that for an owner to be liable for a victim’s injuries, the animal must have acted without provocation. If an owner can demonstrate that the injured party provoked the dog, they may not be liable for damages. Additionally, an owner may be released from liability if the injured party was trespassing when they were bitten.

Each case is unique, and pursuing a dog bite lawsuit can involve complex legal issues. Our dog bite lawyers offer free case evaluations and work on contingency, so you won’t incur any up-front costs or pay attorneys’ fees unless our personal injury attorneys recover compensation for you.

Types of Injuries Sustained in Dog Attacks

Dog bite injuries vary widely in level of severity. Sadly, animal attacks on children and adults can sometimes lead to catastrophic injuries or death.

Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Puncture wounds and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Tendon and muscle damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Scars
  • Disfigurement
  • Psychological injuries such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression
  • Rabies
  • Other types of infections

Many dog attacks, especially those involving children, result in long-term physical and mental health conditions. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite, it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention. Serious injuries may require costly treatment such as multiple plastic surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation services, and ongoing nursing care.

Injured victims who suffer from disfigurement, scarring, chronic pain, or traumatic brain injury may face serious physical, emotional, and social hurdles for many years after a dog bite. These types of problems can keep them from enjoying life and even deter them from working, going to school, and performing daily activities. Our Pennsylvania dog bite lawyers know how to calculate both economic and non-economic damages and pursue the full and fair amount of compensation you need to protect your health and your family’s financial stability.

Recovering Compensation in Dog Bite Cases

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover dog bite damages, but recovering compensation can be challenging. Insurance companies often try to put the blame for dog bites on the victim. That’s why you need an experienced dog bite lawyer who understands how to effectively approach these types of claims. Our tenacious attorneys are familiar with their tactics. We aggressively advocate for your rights and won’t back down until a reasonable settlement is reached. If an insurer refuses to offer a decent settlement amount for your claim, we can file a dog bite lawsuit and litigate your case in court. Common types of damages that may be recovered in dog bite lawsuits include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent disability

In cases where a dog owner’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, an injured victim may be entitled to punitive damages. These types of damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter them and others from committing similar acts in the future. If you’ve lost a loved one in an attack, our dog bite lawyers can assess your case and determine whether a wrongful death claim may be appropriate.

What to Do If You’re the Victim of a Dog Bite in Pennsylvania

If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog bite, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your rights. If possible, identify the dog owner, get their contact information, and seek medical attention right away. Take photos of the scene and your injuries, and keep any evidence that could support your claim, such as torn or bloody clothing. Report the incident to animal control or your local police department. Make sure to keep all medical records, bills, receipts, and incident reports.

Contact a dog bite lawyer to find out if you have a viable claim. Our dog bite attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, determine who may be liable for damages, help you understand dog bite laws in Pennsylvania, and guide you through the legal process every step of the way.

Contact a Lehigh Valley Dog Bite Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, we understand how difficult it can be to move on with your life after a dog bite injury. Call our Lehigh Valley dog bite attorneys at 610-867-2900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve personal injury clients throughout the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania.

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