While dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend, they also have the potential to severely harm you. In fact, dog bites are sometimes severe enough to affect you physically and emotionally for the rest of your life. If you were seriously injured or disfigured by a dog attack, the dog bite lawyers in Pittsburgh at Berger and Green can help you go after the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We work to protect your rights, file your claim and lawsuit, pursue your financial award, and manage the logistical aspects of your case. Contact our office today for a free legal consultation with a dog attack lawyer.
How Our Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorneys Work for You
Our attorneys have successfully represented dog bite victims for over 40 years. Insurance companies will offer you the lowest possible amount, but we will fight to win the maximum settlement for your injuries.
We provide a wide range of legal services for our clients who have suffered at the hands of a negligent dog owner. These services include:
We can use pictures and videos of your injuries as well as medical records and bills to establish that your injuries are connected to the dog bite. Evidence can also highlight the financial damages you deserve.
Filing Your Claim and Speaking on Your Behalf With the Insurance Company
Our lawyers will handle filing your dog bite claim with the insurance company. We are familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use to downplay a victim’s injuries and devalue their claims. If we need to negotiate for a fair settlement, we will.
The insurance adjuster might refuse to agree to a reasonable payout. In this case, we will not hesitate to take the case to court and continue the fight for your adequate financial award.
If witnesses saw the dog bite you, and you have their contact information, we can reach out to and speak with them about what they saw. They may have valuable information to share that can benefit your dog bite case.
Evaluating Your Damages
Our dog bite injury lawyers will inform you of the types of damages you can recover and evaluate them so that you have an idea of the compensation you could receive.
We will leave no stone unturned in our journey to obtain the justice and compensation you deserve after a preventable dog bite. We will also keep you updated and informed throughout your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
Recoverable Damages in Dog Bite Claims
Bites can cause injuries severe enough to require medical attention and even result in long-lasting problems, like nerve damage or scarring. In addition, dog bites carry the risk of life-threatening conditions like rabies, sepsis, or staph infections. Attacks can also have consequences beyond bites, like broken bones, bruising, or head injuries from falling.
If you suffered any of these injuries at the hands of a negligent dog-owner, you may have the right to be made whole after a dog attack in Pittsburgh or across the state of Pennsylvania. To ensure your damages are accounted for in full, our lawyers will separate them into economic and non-economic damages.
This compensation is for your financial losses. Our attorneys will use paystubs, financial and medical records, receipts, and quotes to prove their financial worth.
Some examples of economic damages in dog bite cases include:
- Healthcare expenses and future medical fees
- Cosmetic surgery to correct disfiguring injuries
- Costs of mental health counseling
- Prescription medication fees
- Canes, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and other medical equipment
- Loss of income and reduced earning capacity
- Household expenses and childcare fees
You also have the right to compensation for non-economic damages. These do not have a concrete financial value, so the dog attack attorneys at our firm will quantify them according to your personal experience.
You may qualify for non-economic damages like:
- The emotional impact of permanent scarring or disfigurement caused by the attack
- Emotional trauma surrounding the terror of the attack
- Physical and chronic pain and suffering from your injuries
- Reduced quality of life
You Can Potentially File on Behalf of Others
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), each year, dogs attack approximately 4.5 million people in the United States, and most of those victims are children. In some cases, dog attacks are fatal, either due to physical injuries or from complications like infections.
In these scenarios, family members can potentially file a claim or suit on behalf of a loved one. For example, if your child was injured due to a negligent dog-owner, you can pursue compensation on their behalf. According to Pa. C.S.A. § 8301, Pennsylvania also allows spouses, children, or parents to seek wrongful death damages. Our attorneys can help identify who should file your case.
Pittsburgh Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
How You Are Compensated for Your Dog Bite Through Insurance
A Heliyon study found that 80.2 percent of dog bites occurred at home, so many dog bites involve the family dog or a dog with whom you were familiar. These claims are sometimes covered by an insurance policy, so even in these circumstances, you should not hesitate to explore your compensation options.
Generally, your choices include filing a claim with the liable party’s insurer, typically a homeowner’s policy.
Depending on who is found liable for your damages, you can potentially file a claim with their insurer. For instance, if the pet owner is at fault for your damages, and they have homeowner’s insurance coverage, you can file a claim with their insurance company. We can help you navigate this process if it applies.
How You Are Compensated for Your Dog Bite Through Civil Action
In some cases, filing a civil lawsuit against those responsible for your dog bite injuries and damages is in your best interest. Depending on the circumstances, at trial, you can recover your damages in their entirety, including maximum compensation for your suffering.
During lawsuit proceedings, we continue to negotiate a settlement, and many cases settle before reaching the trial stage.
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you can contact our experienced dog bite injury attorneys as soon as possible to determine your legal rights for obtaining maximum compensation.
How Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws Apply to Your Case
Under Pennsylvania law, dog owners are held strictly liable for victims’ medical expenses, even if the owner wasn’t careless and the dog didn’t previously display any vicious tendencies. All it takes is one bite, and a pet owner is responsible for paying your healthcare costs.
However, a dog bite injury lawyer from our firm can determine if the pet owner was also negligent, such as by letting the dog off the leash or where the dog has a history of viciousness for which the owner is aware. If so, you can potentially seek compensation for more than your medical losses. Moreover, if the dog was previously declared a “dangerous dog,” and the owner failed to maintain control of the animal, you can hold the owner liable for both economic and non-economic damages.
An Important Deadline to Know in Your Dog Bite Case
In Pennsylvania, if you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner, you generally have two years to do so, according to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524.
This may seem like plenty of time, but constructing a strong case takes a while, so you do not want to wait to take action.
A lawyer with our firm can get started as soon as possible. That way, we have fresh evidence to display and can get in touch with any witnesses to the incident. In addition, the sooner you allow one of our lawyers to get to work, the sooner you can get compensated.
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Our Dog Attack Attorneys Take Cases on a Contingency-Fee Basis
You do not have to worry about whether you can afford our services. The personal injury attorneys at our law firm accept dog bite cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you will not pay us any money upfront or out of pocket. If we do not win your case, you do not pay anything. Our dog bite attorneys in Pittsburgh take their fee from the settlement or court award secured for you.
What to Do If a Dog Bites You in Pittsburgh?
First of all, take care of yourself or your loved one—seek medical attention immediately. Prompt medical treatment can help prevent you from suffering additional complications later. By extension, this can also help you avoid higher medical costs.
Not only does this step ensure you receive treatment for your injuries, but seeing a doctor also creates records of those injuries. This valuable evidence can establish what losses you suffered as well as prevent the other party from casting doubt on your condition.
Gather Pertinent Information
Our firm can look into your case and even consult investigators to obtain information and evidence. However, if possible, after your experience, try to gather any evidence you can.
- Identify the dog involved in the attack
- Get the name, address, and telephone number of the dog’s owner
- Try to obtain homeowner’s insurance and dog license information from the owner
- Get witnesses’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers
- Take photos of all injuries sustained in the attack
Consult Berger and Green immediately before signing anything, speaking with any insurance companies, or accepting any money. You have the right to review your options, talk to your legal representation, and have us speak on your behalf.
Contact Berger and Green Today for Legal Help Following a Dog Bite
Bitten by a dog and unsure whether you have a claim? Contact one of our dog bite lawyers in Pittsburgh for a free consultation. Let Berger and Green help you go after what is yours. We Fix Broken Lives!