If you suffered a dog bite in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, you might be wondering whether you may be able to receive compensation from the person who owned the dog that hurt you. The short answer is yes; Pennsylvania law holds dog owners responsible when their pets bite another person and cause injury.
Pursuing compensation can seem overwhelming for many dog bite injury victims, especially if the attack was severe. A Clearfield dog bite lawyer from Berger and Green can assist you with determining what amount of compensation you may be owed and asserting your legal rights.
Why You Should Consider Working With a Lawyer After a Dog Attack
There are many reasons why you should consider working with a lawyer after a dog bite injury. First, you are probably dealing with painful injuries and major disruptions to your daily life. Even a minor bite can require you to take time off work or refrain from doing things that you usually take care of on a daily basis like cooking, childcare, and cleaning.
We Can Investigate Your Case
While you focus on your recovery, a dog bite accident lawyer from our firm can investigate your situation and get to the bottom of what happened. Some dog bite attacks are clear when it comes to ownership and liability, but others may be more complicated.
If you are close with the owner of the dog that attacked you, seeking compensation can make things awkward and uncomfortable. Involving an attorney from our firm can help keep emotions from boiling over.
We Can Deal With the Insurance Companies
You may be able to file an insurance claim with the owner’s insurance carrier or your own insurance carrier. Many insurers have exclusions in their policies for certain breeds of dogs, however, or they may want to avoid having to pay for your claim just to save money.
A lawyer from our firm can make sure that the insurance company plays by the rules. We can handle all calls and emails from the insurance companies and represent your best interests throughout your dog bite case.
Other Services We Can Provide
A few other things that your lawyer will take care of on your behalf include:
- Making sure that your case is filed on time
- Gathering evidence
- Negotiating for a settlement
- Preparing for trial
- Appearing in court on your behalf
- Preparing you for a deposition or recorded statement, if necessary
- Explaining how the laws apply to your situation
- Answering your questions
- Keeping you informed about the legal process of your case
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Clearfield, call 412-661-1400
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Dog Owner
You may be able to pursue compensation from the dog owner in a personal injury lawsuit. This may require you to show that the owner neglected to control the dog appropriately, i.e., by failing to keep it on a leash.
In some cases, the dog may have already been designated as “dangerous,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). If an owner has a dangerous dog, there are many different safety measures that the owner must comply with to ensure everyone’s safety. This includes registering the dog, confining it in a proper enclosure, and keeping a muzzle on the dog at appropriate times.
A failure to comply with these safety measures may establish the negligence and liability of a dangerous dog owner.
Defenses That May Be Used Against Your Dog Bite Claim
To try to avoid liability for your injuries, the dog owner may argue that you provoked the dog or that you were already injured when the attack happened. If the owner can show that you also acted negligently at the time of the accident, it may compromise your ability to recover damages. An example would be trespassing in a yard where the dog was confined.
A Clearfield dog bite lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether the dog that attacked was registered as a dangerous dog and build your personal injury case against the dog owner.
Clearfield Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Damages for Dog Bite Injury Victims
Dog owners in Pennsylvania may be held liable for the medical expenses that result when their dog bites or otherwise injures another person. This means that the owner must pay for the victim’s reasonable medical expenses, including:
- Emergency transportation fees
- Physical therapy
- Doctor’s appointment copays
If you have not seen a healthcare provider after being attacked, it is a good idea to get treatment so that you can make sure your injuries heal properly. This will also help create a record of the injuries and expenses that you sustained as a result of the attack.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are able to show that the owner acted negligently in controlling their dog and that this led to the attack that injured you, you may receive compensation for your injuries and your related damages. These may include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Disfigurement or scarring
Keep a list of your expenses and notes about how the dog attack has affected your life. This information may be helpful if you decide to pursue a lawsuit, insurance claim, or other action against the dog owner.
Contact Us Now for a Free Case Evaluation
For more information about working with a Clearfield dog bite lawyer, contact Berger and Green now. We provide a free consultation so that you can ask questions about your situation, how much your case may be worth, and whether one of our attorneys can assist you.
Note that, per Pa. C.S.A. §5524, there is a general two-year deadline on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Missing this deadline could mean that your lawsuit gets dismissed, so don’t wait any longer. Dial (412) 661-1400 now.