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Category: Dog Bite Injuries

Dec 7, 2018 - Dog Bite Injuries

What Qualifies as a Dog With Dangerous Propensities?

Let an Allentown Dog Bite Attorney Help If you’ve been injured by a dog in Pennsylvania, then you may be entitled to significant compensation under the law.  It’s important to understand, however, that your ability to recover may be affected by the qualification of the dog itself — if the animal qualifies as a “dangerous dog,” then the owner can be held absolutely liable (i.e., must pay full compensation) for the damages incurred by their dog during the attack. Curious how it works?  Let’s explore the basics. Defining a Dangerous Dog Under Pennsylvania Law In Pennsylvania, dog owners are strictly liable for the medical expenses incurred by those who are injured by their dogs.  If the dog showcases “dangerous propensities” or is a “dangerous dog,” however, then the owner may be held fully liable for all the damages caused. A dangerous dog is one who has: Inflicted severe injury on a human being or domestic animal without provocation; Attacked a human being without provocation; Been used in the commission of a crime; A history of attacking human beings and/or domestic animals without provocation; or A propensity to attack human beings and/or domestic animals without provocation. Even a single attacking event may be sufficient to establish a propensity that qualifies the dog as “dangerous” under the law. The bar is not particularly high to establish that the dog was “dangerous.”  In Pennsylvania, it is enough to show that the dog rushed at others in a vicious manner (requiring the owner to […]

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Jul 31, 2018 - Dog Bite Injuries

Pennsylvania Has Additional Requirements for Dangerous Dogs

The state of Pennsylvania implements a hybrid liability system for dog bite injuries — strict liability that covers medical expenses for most dog bites, and dangerous dog liability that covers a much broader range of damages for bites by dogs that are defined as “dangerous” or deemed to have “vicious propensities” pursuant to statutory law. If you have been injured in a dog bite attack, then you may have the right to sue and recover substantial damages as compensation — particularly if the dog qualifies as “dangerous” under Pennsylvania law.  It’s important to note that the owners of dangerous dogs have additional duties so as to minimize the risk of injury posed by their dog.  Their failure to meet these duties will almost certainly improve your chance of success in litigation. What is a Dangerous Dog? Section 502-A of the Pennsylvania Statutes elaborates on those qualities that make for a dangerous dog. A dog will be deemed “dangerous” if it has: Injured or attacked a human without provocation; Injured a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property; Been used in the commission of a crime; A history of attacking people or domestic animals without provocation; or A propensity to attack people or domestic animals without provocation. For example, if the defendant’s dog has attacked people at a public park over the years, then a Pennsylvania court will almost certainly adjudge that dog as dangerous. Once the dog qualifies as “dangerous,” owners are subject to several new requirements. Additional […]

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Jun 29, 2018 - Dog Bite Injuries

Defenses in Dog Bite Lawsuits

In Pennsylvania, dog bite injuries are governed by a unique series of regulations that provide a basic level of compensation to most injured plaintiffs, but that only allows for a significant award of compensatory damages to those plaintiffs who can prove additional negligence on the part of the dog owner.  Recovery may be complicated by various factors — a qualified Allentown dog bite attorney can provide assistance with your injury claims. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, then it’s important that you consider the wide range of defenses that will be used by the defendant dog owner to minimize or possibly even avoid liability altogether.  Understanding these defense arguments will give you a competitive advantage during negotiations and in the litigation process. Dog Not “Dangerous” Under Statutory Law In the state of Pennsylvania, dog bite injuries fall under the strict liability umbrella.  What this means is that you will always be entitled to recover at least “some” damages as a result of having suffered a dog bite injury — generally speaking, however, this is limited to compensatory damages that covers your medical expenses.  Strict liability in the dog bite context does not give you access to damages for wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other significant losses. If you intend to recover a broader range of damages, you’ll have to assert and prove that the defendant’s dog was “dangerous” and that the defendant acted negligently, which led to the injuries at-issue. Thus, defendant dog owners may […]

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Jan 6, 2017 - Dog Bite Injuries

Property Owners and Vicious Animals

Owners of vicious animals that harm innocent people should be held responsible for those injuries.  If you have been attacked by a vicious animal contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss your rights and options under the law. Dog Bite Statistics According to public education website DogBite.org, 34 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in the U.S. in 2015. Most of the attacks came from breeds that have historically been bred for protection, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.  DogBite.org also reports that in 2015, a large percentage of the fatality victims were children 9 years of age and younger. A much smaller percentage were adults under the age of 60.  However, the percentage of fatal attacks by dogs jumped up again for those 60 years old and older. These statistics show that those who are generally least able to protect themselves, but also least likely to be trespassers or criminals, are those most likely to be attacked and killed by dogs. Dog attacks can occur almost anywhere and with any type of dog.  However, dog ownership information for 2015 showed that non-family dogs inflicted the most dog bite fatalities and over two-thirds of all deaths occurred on the dog owner’s property. Dogs tend to be products of their environments and they are often misused and abused to become vicious.  When a property owner trains an animal to attack strangers, he or she must take steps to ensure that other innocent people do not get […]

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