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Who Is Liable If an Off-Leash Dog Causes an Accident? Tell Us Your Story

Who Is Liable If an Off-Leash Dog Causes an Accident?

who is responsible if a dog causes an accident

Dogs are loyal companions and protectors, but these furry friends can be dangerous without proper supervision. Not only can they bite people or cause property damage, but off-leash dogs also cause many accidents in Philadelphia. 

So, who is responsible if a dog causes an accident? Can you file a lawsuit against the owner?

If you were hurt in a car crash, call Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers. We’ve seen all types of car crash cases imaginable, including dog-related incidents. Our lawyers know what it takes to prove personal injury claims and will work hard to get you compensation for your crash.

Who is Responsible If a Dog Causes an Accident?

Under Pennsylvania’s negligence laws, owners are generally responsible for their dog’s actions. You may be able to file a lawsuit against an owner if you can prove the following elements of negligence: 

  • Duty. Owners have a duty to take reasonable measures to ensure their dog doesn’t harm anyone or cause property damage. 
  • Breach. An owner who forgets to close a gate or drops their dog’s leash breaches this duty. 
  • Causation. A loose dog may run into traffic, causing an accident if you hit your brakes or swerve off the road.
  • Damages. You need to suffer actual damages from the accident, such as physical injuries, property damage, or mental anguish.

Speak with Rosen Injury Justice Lawyers if you aren’t sure if your case meets these requirements. Our team is familiar with proving each of these elements in car accident cases and is happy to review your claim.

What to Do If a Dog Causes an Accident

How you respond after a car accident can affect the success of your claim and how much compensation you can receive. Follow each of these steps to put yourself in the best position in case of a legal dispute.

Get to Safety 

If you find yourself involved in an accident caused by a dog, prioritizing safety is paramount. Move to a safe location away from the dog, especially if it is aggressive or poses a threat. Once in a secure area, assess the situation and take note of any visible injuries or damages. If so, you have the right to seek medical attention.

Contact Law Enforcement 

Notify local law enforcement about the incident. Law enforcement can document the details of the accident and ticket the liable party for potential legal violations. The responding officer will also prepare a police report that will be vital for proving your claim.

Report the Incident to Animal Control

Provide a detailed report to Philadelphia Animal Control. Include all relevant information about the incident, such as the dog’s behavior, the owner’s information, and any injuries sustained. Do your best to find the responsible party for the dog who causes the accident. Reporting the incident puts the city on notice about the dog and may help prevent future accidents from occurring.

Gather Evidence

Document the scene thoroughly by taking pictures or videos of the accident site, any injuries sustained, and the dog involved. Collect witness statements, if possible, including contact information. This evidence can be crucial in legal proceedings by providing valuable support for your claim. 

Exchange Information

Treat the situation as you would any other accident involving vehicles. Exchange contact information with the dog owner and gather details such as their name, address, and insurance information. Having this information on hand can simplify the process of filing claims and seeking compensation for damages.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if injuries seem minor at first, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Dog bites or other injuries can lead to infections or complications if left untreated. Additionally, obtaining medical documentation is vital for any potential legal actions or insurance claims that may arise from the incident.

Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer 

It’s best to meet with an attorney with experience litigating personal injury cases shortly after your accident. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights. Most important of all, they will help you pursue appropriate legal action to get you compensation for the crash.

Damages Available for Dog-Related Injuries

You can seek compensation from the dog owner for any damages you sustain from the accident. Common damages in these cases include:

  • Medical expenses, 
  • Car repair costs, 
  • Lost income, and
  • Emotional distress.

The value of your claim depends on the extent of your damages and your ability to prove them. Our firm can not only help calculate your total compensation claim but will also fight hard to get you every dollar you deserve.

How Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers Can Help

You need a team of experienced attorneys by your side after a dog-related car crash. Our lawyers understand the legal complexities of these cases and will fight to get you the best outcome possible. We will manage all aspects of your personal injury claim so you can focus on recovering.


Our firm will quickly begin collecting evidence so we can find out who is responsible. We will review key documents such as police reports, witness statements, and medical evaluations. After this, our firm will analyze the evidence to identify the liable party and establish a clear link between their dog and your accident.

Settlement Negotiation

Settlements allow us to get you compensation without having to go to court and make your case public. Once we build your claim, we will present it to the other side and propose a settlement offer. This usually leads to several rounds of negotiations with insurance companies and their attorneys. Our firm will negotiate fiercely to get you the highest possible settlement for your accident. 

Trial Advocacy

While not common, some car accident cases go to trial. Should your claim go to court, our team will spend countless hours preparing convincing arguments to present to the judge and jury. We will explain why the dog owner is liable under the law and how the evidence supports your compensation claim.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers is here to answer any questions you have about your case. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have helped clients collect millions of dollars for their injuries. Working with us is the best way to hold the dog owner liable and get justice for your accident.

Call today to schedule your no-cost consultation. 

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