Recovering Damages When You’ve Suffered a Dog Bite

December 29, 2020

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:

  1. that the owner knew about the dog’s vicious tendencies, and
  2. that the owner was negligent in failing to control or otherwise restrain the dog.

Whether the dog had “vicious tendencies” is a circumstantial question, and the court will evaluate the facts overall to determine whether the dog has aggressive tendencies.  For example, a dog that has been involved in other dog attack incidents may be considered vicious.

Whether the owner was negligent in failing to control their dog is also a circumstantial question for the court, but it’s worth noting that Pennsylvania law requires that owners keep their dogs restrained.  For example, if an owner is walking their dog in a public park without a leash, that would likely be considered negligent behavior (failing to restrain and control the dog in accordance with the law).

Contact an Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer for Help

Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our team has decades of experience working with a range of injured plaintiffs in the state of Pennsylvania — including those who have been harmed in a dog bite incident.

We understand that the litigation process can be confusing, or even intimidating for first-time plaintiffs.  As such, we take great care to involve the plaintiff at every stage of the litigation process, keeping them fully-informed and prioritizing their needs, goals, and concerns at all times.  This client-centered approach gives us key insight into how best to navigate the dispute, empowering us to secure significant results.

If you’d like to speak with an experienced Allentown dog bite lawyer at our firm, call us at 888-777-7098 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.