Dog Bite Laws in Philadelphia, PA
Dogs can be some of the sweetest companions we know, but sometimes their instincts cause them to snap at others.
If you have been on the receiving end of a bite from someone else’s dog, dog bite laws in PA can help ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries.
A dog’s owner has many legal obligations to keep others safe from their dog’s potential to cause harm.
Below, you can read about the dog bite laws in PA. And if you think you might have a case, our nationally recognized dog bite attorneys at Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers can enforce your rights against a responsible owner.
PA Dog Bite Laws: Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable for the Hurt Their Pets Cause
Under PA dog bite laws, a dog owner is strictly liable for medical costs and other damages related to harm caused by a dog bite.
There is no “one free bite” in Pennsylvania. An owner does not have to be negligent, and their dog does not need a history of dangerous behavior before the owner can be found liable.
A dog owner is responsible for the aftermath of a biting incident the first time it happens and every subsequent time.
Some Dog Owners Are Also Criminally Liable for Bites
If someone owns a dangerous dog that harms someone, they could be guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. A dangerous dog is a dog that fulfills the following criteria:
- The dog attacked a person without provocation;
- The dog caused severe injury to a person who was not provoking it;
- The dog killed or severely injured a domestic animal while off its owner’s property and without provocation; or
- The dog was used in the commission of a crime.
The dangerous dog also has to have the propensity to attack people or other animals, but that propensity can be proven by a single attack (including the incident in question).
What to Do After Suffering a Dog Bite
After suffering a dog bite injury, there are multiple steps you should take to protect your well-being and your right to recover damages from the responsible party.
If someone’s dog bites you, you should seek treatment from a healthcare professional right away.
If you do not receive medical attention, you risk suffering a serious, permanent injury (including complications from rabies) and jeopardizing your right to compensation.
Collect evidence of the dog bite incident and any physical, emotional, or property damage you suffer. This evidence can include the following:
- Medical records,
- Witness information,
- Information about the dog’s history,
- Copies of reports to authorities, and
- Invoices and receipts.
Gathering the information listed above is not always easy. An experienced dog bite attorney can help you obtain all the relevant evidence needed to secure compensation after a dog bite.
File an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
In many cases, a dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy can cover the costs and expenses associated with your dog bite injury.
If you have the option of settling your dog bite claim with an insurance company, make sure you understand the extent of your medical needs before doing so.
Settling a claim too early could mean you remain financially responsible for latent injuries from the dog bite that appear after you sign the settlement agreement.
If an owner’s insurance company refuses to cover your injuries or does not offer you adequate compensation, you can file a lawsuit against the owner.
You must file your lawsuit within two years of the injury—and since negotiations must happen first, you should not wait to get your case started.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney at Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers Today
At Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers, our dog bite attorneys have the experience and track record you need to win a dog bite case.
We have over 75 years of combined experience, and we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of personal injury victims.
Also, you don’t pay us unless we win money for you. If you are in Pennsylvania and need a good advocate, please call us at 215-999-2244 or contact us online.