Resources

Category: Dog Bite Injuries

Mar 15, 2021 - Dog Bite Injuries

Avoiding Dog Bite Issues: Traits to Train Out of a Puppy

Getting a new puppy is like welcoming a new member to the family. Everyone enjoys holding, cuddling, and playing with the new puppy, especially the children. It feels to them as if they’ve received a new friend and playmate. Having a new puppy can generate a positive new atmosphere in a house, and everybody feels a bit happier.

Read More

Jan 13, 2021 - Dog Bite Injuries

Insurance Limitations on Certain Dog Breeds

The question is: are certain breeds of dogs genetically predestined to be aggressive, or is aggression purely an environmental issue, i.e., a matter of treatment and training? There is somewhat of a split among the experts. According to dog expert Cesar Millan, on his website Cesar’s Way, “I deal with a lot of red zone dog behavior cases, and I often hear people incorrectly blaming the breed. Any breed can cause trouble. The difference between an aggressive chihuahua and an aggressive pit bull is that the bigger breeds can cause proportionately bigger damage.” Furthermore, The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) states in an article on their website entitled “Are Certain Breeds of Dogs More Aggressive Than Others?” that the study did not prove that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous than others but simply proved what veterinarians have long believed: that nearly any dog can be aggressive, or non-aggressive, based on its early training, socialization, and environment. On the other hand, according to the APA Guardian, “It is undeniable that some breeds are naturally more aggressive than others.” And, oddly enough, some list the diminutive chihuahua as the most aggressive breed of all. In any event, if you have a dog that was involved in an aggression incident or have suffered an injury from being attacked by a dog, contact an Allentown dog bite lawyer for help. Insurance Companies’ Response It has become commonplace for insurance companies to reject or restrict homeowner insurance coverage of certain dog breeds that […]

Read More

Jan 8, 2021 - Dog Bite Injuries

Dog Behaviors That May Lead to Attacks

Man’s best friend. That phrase is often completely accurate, particularly for the elderly and children, or people who live alone. Commonly, a dog as a pet is someone’s only companion, not just their best friend. This is why aggression in dogs is such an emotional hot button. No one wants to see their best friend put down for a single act of aggression. If you have a dog that was involved in an aggression-related incident or have suffered an injury from being attacked by a dog, contact an Allentown dog bite lawyer for help. Why Do Dogs Become Aggressive? Most experts will tell you what it is not caused by, despite common belief: breed type. The only difference between an aggressive lap dog and an aggressive pit bull is the amount of damage they cause. Dogs become aggressive for a variety of reasons: Injury and Illness. If a dog that has never shown any sign of aggression suddenly begins growling, snapping, or biting, it may be caused by a disease or illness, such as arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations, and even cognitive issues, like cognitive dysfunction or brain tumors. Your first trip should be to the vet. Fear. A scared dog can easily develop aggressive behavior. Most dogs only exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense that they are in danger, cannot escape, and feel the need to defend themselves, such as when they are backed into a corner. Many rescue dogs come from a past filled […]

Read More

Dec 29, 2020 - Dog Bite Injuries

Recovering Damages When You’ve Suffered a Dog Bite

Speak to an Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer Today If you’ve been seriously injured in a dog bite attack in Pennsylvania, then you may be wondering what you can do to recover damages.  After all, it may not be immediately clear whether you’re entitled to sue the owner — especially if the dog’s aggression surprised their owner. Fortunately, those who have been subject to a dog bite attack are almost guaranteed some form of compensation. Let’s take a closer look. Medical Expenses Covered Outright In Pennsylvania, when a plaintiff is injured in a dog bite (or another type of dog attack) scenario, they are entitled to sue the owner and recover damages to cover their medical expenses related to the dog attack.  This coverage is granted in accordance with “strict liability” principles.  In other words, it’s not necessary for you — the plaintiff — to prove that the owner was at fault.  All that’s necessary is that you were, in fact, attacked and injured by their dog.  This guarantees at least some form of compensation in most cases. The key limitation here, however, is that recovery is limited to medical expenses only.  If you’d like to recover for your other damages (i.e., pain and suffering, wage loss, etc.), then you’ll have to prove that the owner was negligent. Owner Negligence Owners can be found negligent if you show the following: that the owner knew about the dog’s vicious tendencies, and that the owner was negligent in failing to control or otherwise […]

Read More

Jul 9, 2020 - Dog Bite Injuries

How to Avoid Dangerous Dogs

Man’s best friend? Maybe. But not necessarily your best friend. Dogs can be dangerous, and the statistics are startling. According to Petpedia, over 4.5M people are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in 36 fatalities in the U.S. in 2018. You have a one in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite or attack. If you have been injured in a dog attack, an Allentown dog bite lawyer can help. Still, the statistics don’t change the fact that pet dogs provide comfort, companionship, and protection for millions of people. 38.4% of the overall households in the U.S. have a pet dog. Dogs are also valuable contributors to our society as a whole, used for everything from guidance for the handicapped, to companionship for wounded veterans, to sniffing out contraband, explosives, and even missing people. Identifying Dogs That May Be Dangerous Recognizing that a particular dog may be dangerous is the key to avoiding dog attacks. Most people understand that certain breeds, like pit bulls or Dobermans, are often dangerous and should be avoided. However, mixed breeds are second only to pit bulls in causing dog-related fatalities. Most dogs will provide signals that they do not wish to be bothered, including: Raised hair. When a dog is in an aggressive mood, its hair and sometimes its tail will be raised. This can be seen from a distance, so it is a good clue to be aware of. Exposed teeth. Dogs that are showing their teeth are telling you they are […]

Read More

Oct 3, 2019 - Dog Bite Injuries

Pennsylvania and Limited Strict Liability for Dog Bites

In Pennsylvania, the law is quite plaintiff-friendly with regard to dog bite injuries.  If you’ve been injured in a dog bite accident, you are practically guaranteed some amount of damages as compensation.  Still, those damages may be limited unless you can prove that the defendant’s dog was uniquely dangerous or that the defendant acted negligently, thus contributing to the injuries you suffered. Pennsylvania Employs a Hybrid Liability System Pennsylvania dog bite liability can seem rather complicated upon first impression.  Let’s break it down into its component parts for the sake of clarity. Strict Liability No matter what, if you are bitten by a dog and thereby injured, you will be entitled to damages for your medical expenses.  For example, if the defendant has their dog tightly leashed, but the dog suddenly and unexpectedly jumps at you and bites your hand, you would be entitled to whatever medical expenses you incur as a result, even if the defendant had the dog properly restrained and the dog did not have a dangerous disposition. Of course, medical expenses are not generally sufficient to cover all the losses associated with a serious bite injury.  Dog bite injuries can give rise to a range of damages that include wage loss, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. So, how can you recover the full range of damages that would properly compensate you for the suffered losses?  You’ll have to prove that the dog was dangerous — in other words, had vicious propensities — or that the […]

Read More

Apr 9, 2019 - Dog Bite Injuries

Exotic Animal Bite Injuries and Liability

Dog Bite Attorney in Allentown, PA Have you been injured in an exotic animal attack — at a zoo, garden, circus, or even in a residential area where the animal has a permitted individual owner?  Depending on the circumstances of the injury, Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action against the owner for damages. Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we have successfully litigated numerous animal bite cases, with significant results obtained through settlement and trial.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you pursue your claims. Exotic Wildlife Ownership is Limited and Strict In Pennsylvania, exotic wildlife possession is extremely limited and highly-regulated.  An exotic animal may only be possessed by public zoological parks/gardens, nationally-recognized circuses, and individuals with the necessary permits. Individual permits are granted for each exotic animal, and the individual must have at least two years of hands-on experience in a licensed facility, as well as house the animal in a safe and sanitary manner that adequately protects the public from the dangers of such wildlife. If an exotic animal owner fails to satisfy the legal requirements, they could be exposed to civil and criminal penalties. Imposing Liability As a foundational matter, it’s important to understand that exotic animal owners must exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack.  Failure to do so could give you — the injured plaintiff — a right to sue and recover damages for the suffered losses. Whether the owner is liable will […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Page 1 of 212
nbta badge super lawyers badge avvo badge rising star badge Million Dollar Advocates Forum Peer Review Rated paaj champion badge NAOPIA

WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

"I was injured in an accident and my truck was totaled. The guy who hit me had a low insurance policy. I reinjured my neck and shoulder in the accident. I thought nothing could be done since the guy had hardly any insurance and I had a previous condition, but Jonathan Russell from Drake, Hileman & Davis was able to get me a nice cash settlement!"
Posted By: Brent

Drake, Hileman & Davis

Get Answers

Complete our contact form and get a response within 24 hours.