If you suffer injuries from a dog bite or attack, you may be able to get compensation covering your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The dog owner, property owner, and others may be liable or financially responsible for these costs.
A Lawrence County dog bite lawyer can help identify the parties who are legally responsible for your injuries, prove their liability, and fight to get you a fair settlement or judgment for your losses. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, we can collect evidence of your losses and handle your legal case for you.
Liability of Dog Owners for Dog Bites and Attacks
Dog owners are generally strictly liable for the costs of medical care related to any injuries resulting from a dog bite or attack. However, whether the dog owner is legally responsible for other injuries caused by the dog bite or attack depends on whether the dog owner was negligent or careless in allowing the dog to bite the injury victim.
A dog owner in Pennsylvania can be found negligent if the dog bites or attacks others and causes injuries, particularly if the dog has a past history of attacking or biting others. However, if the dog owner exercised due care to prevent the dog from escaping and harming someone, it may be more challenging to prove liability on the part of the dog owner.
Landlords and Liability
There are instances in which other parties might be liable for a dog bite. A landlord could be liable for a dog bite, but only in limited circumstances. The landlord only can be liable if he or she has substantial control over the premises and knowledge of the dangerous propensities of the dog.
Otherwise, if the landlord has relinquished the premises to the tenant, the landlord generally will not be liable for the actions of a dog owned by the tenant.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite lawyer serving Lawrence County, call 412-661-1400
Civil Liability and Dangerous Dogs
Dogs that attack people without provocation fall within the definition of “dangerous dogs.” Dangerous dogs are subject to various regulations about how their owners should keep them confined and under control so as to prevent them from harming others.
For instance, owners of dangerous dogs must register the dogs in a special dangerous dog registry and maintain either a surety bond in the amount of $50,000 or a liability insurance policy, such as homeowner’s insurance, in the same amount. This insurance or bond is for the purposes of compensating injury victims should the dog bite or otherwise attack someone in the future.
Generally, dog owners must keep dangerous dogs within enclosures with certain specifications. Owners must also keep the dogs physically restrained with a muzzle and leash when outside the enclosure. If the owner allows a dangerous dog to attack, the owner can face the consequences for the offense of harboring a dangerous dog, as well as liability in a civil suit.
Lawrence County Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Statute of Limitations in Dog Bite Injury Cases
Pa. C.S.A. §5524 establishes the statute of limitations for filing personal injury cases in court. Victims of dog bite injuries must file their cases for compensation against all potentially responsible parties within two years of the date that the injuries occurred. Failure to meet this deadline or statute of limitations can result in you being unable to get any compensation for the losses related to your injuries.
However, Pennsylvania law does provide some exceptions to the general statute of limitations. For example, children, who often suffer the most severe dog bite injuries, have a longer time to pursue their injury cases under Pa. C.S.A. §5533.
The two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured minor reaches the age of 18. As a result, these injury victims generally have until their 20th birthdays to file their cases for compensation.
Overview of Dog Bite Injuries
These sources also state that one out of every five dog bites require medical attention or becomes infected, which accounts for roughly 900,000 bites per year. Although some dog bites cause no injury, hundreds of thousands of bites each year do require medical care, which can be costly.
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If you or a family member suffers injuries from a dog bite, you may qualify to collect compensation for the losses related to your injuries. These losses may include payment of medical bills, but also may include lost wages due to being unable to work, as well as compensation for physical pain, suffering, mental trauma, scarring, and disfigurement.
We put your needs first while you are trying to recover physically and mentally from your injuries. At Berger and Green, we can handle any legal claim that you have while you focus on what is most important for you – your family and your health. Call our offices today at (412) 661-1400 and start the process of getting compensation for your dog bite injuries.