Most everyone loves dogs. But if you've suffered personal injuries relating to a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation from the owner of the dog. Moreover, it doesn't even matter if the owner had any reason to believe the dog was dangerous. So if you've suffered a dog bite, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation relating to medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Talk with a dog bite lawyer at our personal injury law firm to see if you can take legal action.
Pennsylvania Laws are Strict Relating to Dog Bites
In Pennsylvania, dog owners must maintain reasonable control of their dogs at all times. As a result, owners must confine dogs and restrain them with a collar or chain to prevent them from straying. Owing to the state's Confinement of Dogs Statute, you may be able to recover damages if you can prove a violation of the statute.
Pennsylvania also maintains a common-law liability for damages if a dangerous dog attacks you. It simply falls on the dog owner to comply with Commonwealth dog laws. In addition, even if the dog has never bitten anyone and your injuries are severe, you can file a claim for medical expenses plus losses and legal damages. Without serious injuries, you may still file a claim for medical expenses.
Dog bites are serious business. If a dog has injured you, you can seek compensation. Talk with a dog bite lawyer to determine your legal options.
What is a Dangerous Dog?
Based on the Dangerous Dog Statute, the definition of a dangerous dog includes these elements:
- Any dog that inflicts severe injury without provocation either to a person or another domestic animal
- If you use a dog to commit a crime
- Any dog that has a history of attacking people or domestic animals without provocation
- Any dog that tends to attack without provocation
What if I own a Dangerous Dog?
The responsibility falls on you as a dog owner. You may be required to take these steps. A dog bite lawyer at a personal injury law firm can clarify your responsibilities.
- Register your dog as dangerous
- Maintain liability insurance of at least $50,000
- Maintain a proper enclosure and proper signage indicating that a dangerous dog is on the property
- When outside the owner's property, muzzle the dog and restrain it with a leash or chain
- Owners must notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, State Dog Warden, and local police if the dog is loose or has attacked another animal or person. They must also notify the bureau if the dog died, was sold, adopted, or given away.
Liabilities Relating to Dangerous Dogs
Make no mistake. If you're the owner of a dangerous dog that has caused a personal injury, the consequences can be severe. Talk to a dog bite lawyer promptly. So you need to pay strict attention to dog statutes. For starters, if a dangerous dog attacks a person or domestic animal, as the owner, you may be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor and can face up to two years in prison. If the attack is severe or results in death, you may be guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor and could get up to five years in prison. If a minor owns the dog, you may be held liable as a parent or guardian.