Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Dog Bite
A dog bite can cause severe injury and permanent damage. The medical expenses can be costly, and that may only be the beginning of your losses. You have the right to seek reimbursement for your injury if the dog owner’s negligence resulted in the attack.
If you were bit by someone’s dog, you might have a personal injury claim. An Altoona dog bite lawyer can help you seek compensation for your financial losses due to the dog bite. Call Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 with any questions you have.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Altoona, call 412-661-1400
Eligibility To Pursue Compensation
The state of Pennsylvania has strict laws about owners’ liability. Owners must be in control of their pets at all times. The dog must be on a leash or in confinement to stop the dog from wandering off and out of the owner’s control. Off-leash dogs and poor fence maintenance are two common ways dog bites happen.
If the dog has a history of biting, you will likely have a stronger case. Dogs that were previously violent are dangerous, and the state requires owners to register them. The court may fine the owner punitive fees for repeat biters.
Dangerous dog owners must also have insurance coverage that meets the state minimum. This insurance covers any expenses the owner would be liable for should their dog inflict harm.
Owners are responsible for the harm their animal causes. However, there are some exceptions, such as police service dogs on duty when the attack occurs.
If a civilian’s dog harms you or your loved one, the owner must pay for your medical bills. This liability is based on either:
- Your severe injuries
- Dangerous propensities, such as a history of biting without justification
- Negligence, like not having the dog on a lease
To receive compensation for your losses other than medical bills, you and your legal team will need to show that the owner’s actions or inactions resulted in a very serious injury.
For example, a dangerous dog is confined by a wooden fence in the backyard. However, the latch on the gate broke weeks ago, and the owner never fixed it, resulting in the dog escaping. While free, the dog bites a child’s arm, causing it to break.
The owner knew about the dog’s tendencies to be violent and failed to keep the public safe by keeping the animal contained. In addition to the physical injury, the severity of the attack could cause the child mental and emotional trauma.
If you or your loved one were bit by a dog, speak to our team at Berger and Green about seeking compensation.
Altoona Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Compensation for Recoverable Damages
You can receive compensation for your injury if we prove that the owner violated local laws and was negligent. The state requires owners to pay the medical expenses, even if the bite is not as severe.
Your healthcare bills will include your initial treatment for the wound and any follow-up care. Depending on the severity of your injury, this may mean therapy, surgery, and rehabilitation. You should consider all anticipated medical expenses.
Medical expenses are just a few of the losses you might be able to request for reimbursement. If your injuries are severe, such as broken bones, you may seek compensation for other losses.
Your mental health costs are part of your lawsuit award. An animal attack can be terrifying, especially for young children who are most often the victim, according to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP). Counseling and therapy can help victims process and cope with emotional and mental trauma like:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety and panic
- Fear, specifically a fear of dogs
Emotional anguish is just as real as physical suffering, which is why the law allows you to sue for pain and suffering. Unlike bills and invoices with monetary figures, pain and suffering damages are non-economic. An Altoona dog bite lawyer from Berger and Green can help you establish a figure for your lawsuit. Call us today at (412) 661-1400.
You can also request reimbursement for any forfeited earnings due to the dog bite. For instance, you can ask for compensation for past and future wages if the attack prevents you from working.
Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite is a personal injury case since you suffered harm because of someone else. In these lawsuits, you are demanding the owner take financial responsibility for the damage their animal caused. Personal injury lawsuits protect your rights and finances.
In Altoona, Pennsylvania, you have two years to start legal proceedings against the dog’s owner, according to 42 Pa. C.S.A. §5524. Personal injury cases usually settle out of court.
If the dog owner has insurance, representatives from the company might offer you an amount to drop the case. The insurance company does not want to pay claims, and they might give you an amount that does not cover all of your losses. As your Altoona dog bite lawyer, we can negotiate on your behalf and fight for the highest compensation possible.
The state puts a burden of proof on dog bite victims that requires them to show evidence that the other party’s negligent actions resulted in the dog attack. Some pieces of evidence often used in animal attack cases include:
- Photos and videos
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- The animal’s history
- Law enforcement reports
This evidence can also show the type of injury you suffered. For instance, photos of the bite and x-rays may illustrate the broken skin and fractured arm. Common injuries from dog bites include the following:
- Bruising and puncture wounds
- Broken bones and nerve damage
- Eye and face injuries
- Scars and disfigurement
- Emotional and mental harm
We can fight on your side to seek fair compensation. We can negotiate with insurance companies and tell your story in court. Focus on your recovery, and we can handle the case. Contact our team at Berger and Green by calling us at (412) 661-1400 about your dog bite.