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. It doesn’t even matter if the owner had any reason to believe the dog was dangerous. If you’ve been bitten, you may be able to file a personal injury claim providing 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 are required to maintain reasonable control of their dogs at all times. Owners are required to confine dogs and restrain them with a collar or chain to prevent them from straying. Owing to the state’s Confinement of Dogs Statute, if you been bitten by a dog and can prove the statute has been violated, you may be able to recover damages.
Pennsylvania also maintains a common-law liability for damages if you have been attacked or been attacked by a dog considered dangerous. It simply falls on the owner of the dog to comply with Commonwealth dog laws. 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 you’ve been injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk with a personal injury lawyer to determine what your legal options may be.
What is a Dangerous Dog?
Based on the Dangerous Dog Statute, the definition of a dangerous dog is clearly spelled out:
- Any dog that has inflicted severe injury without provocation either to a person or another domestic animal
- Any dog that has been used in the commission of a crime
- Any dog that has a history of attacking people or domestic animals without provocatio
- Any dog that has a tendency to attack without provocation
What if I own a Dangerous Dog?
The responsibility falls on you as a dog owner. You’re may be required to take these steps:
- 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, the dog must be muzzled and restrained by 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, if the dog has died or if the dog has been 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, consequences can be severe. 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 a death, you may be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor and could get up to five years in prison. If a minor owns the dog, you, as a parent or guardian may be held liable.