Updated: Jun 16
Summer is the perfect time to get outside. Whether you are spending time outside at home, walking around your neighborhood, or at a local park or trail, chances are you are going to see others enjoying the weather as well. But it’s not just humans who like to enjoy the sunshine - dogs love summer too! With the increase in dogs outside, inevitably there comes an increase in dog bites.
No one expects an injury from a dog bite. While dogs are often considered man’s best friend, you never know if or when a dog may become aggressive. A dog bite or attack can cause serious physical and emotional pain and injures. Victims of dog bites may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss wages, pain and suffering, as well as other legal damages. Dog owners have a duty to prevent their dogs from injuring others, and Pennsylvania law provides strict leash laws that help prevent attacks and injuries. Dog owners that fail to follow these laws can be held liable for any injuries the dog may cause. Pennsylvania holds dog owners liable for unprovoked dog attacks, even if the dog’s owner was not aware of any prior aggressive behavior.
By law, all dogs must be under the control of their owners. Leash laws vary based on local laws and regulations, but it is best practice for owners to keep their dogs on a leash. Be aware that there are places, such as dog parks, that do not require dogs to be leashed.
If an owner's dog is classified as dangerous, the dog needs to be confined. A dog may be considered dangerous if they have previously injured or attacked a person or another domestic animal without being provoked. If the owner is aware of such instances of aggression, they must keep the dog within the house or their yard, on a leash, or reasonably confined at all times.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, there are important steps you should take to help ensure you get the proper compensation you deserve.
First: Identify the owner and the dog. This will allow you to collect their personal information, including their name, address, and other contact information. It is also important to ensure that the dog has received the proper vaccinations. Be sure to identify any other witnesses as well.
Second: Contact the local authorities. Every county in Pennsylvania has a local Dog Warden that assists in investigating dog bites. You can find your local Dog Warden here. You should also contact police or emergency services by calling 911.
Third: Seek medical attention. It doesn’t matter if your injuries are minor or severe. The chances of infection from a dog bite are high, and it’s important to make sure that your injuries are treated.
Fourth: Document your injuries. In addition to medical records, it is important to take pictures of your injuries from the attack. Be sure to take photos of any punctures, scrapes, bruises, as well as any other signs of the attack such as torn or bloody clothing.
Fifth: Contact your Fiffik Law Group attorney. Individuals can seek compensation for injuries sustained from a dog bite for up to two years after the incident. If you or a loved one have suffered from a dog bite, whether recently or within the last two years, we are here to help discuss your options.
Being attacked or bitten by a dog can be a scary and life altering experience, but we are here to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. The attorneys at Fiffik Law Group understand the physical, emotional, and financial damages that arise after a dog bite and are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. We will assist with filing your claim with the insurance company as well gathering evidence to support your claim. Contact us for a free consultation today!