Dog Bite Resources
Dog Bite Resources
What You Need To Know
You have questions. We have answers.
A dog attack can be a traumatizing experience and if you were bit, it can lead to serious injuries or infections. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, you may have questions. Keep reading for answers to commonly asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites
Who is responsible for injuries and medical care from a dog bite?
Pennsylvania has a Dog Law that makes owners and keepers of a dog responsible to have reasonable control over their dogs all the time. They must keep the dog confined on their property, or restrained with a collar, leash, etc. (This is sometimes referred to as the “Leash Law”). If the owner or keeper violates this law, they are responsible for injuries caused by the dog through biting or otherwise. Also, under the Dog Law, if the dog is a “dangerous dog” (a dog that attacked and caused severe injury, or was considered “dangerous” in the past), the owner is responsible for all the harm that dog caused, including pain and suffering, scarring, and medical bills. Harboring or keeping a “dangerous dog” can also lead to criminal charges against the owner. Even where an owner has not violated any law, and where the dog was not “dangerous” or did not cause severe injury, the owner is financially responsible for the cost of medical treatment caused by the dog biting or causing harm to someone.
What if the dog that bit me never bit anyone before?
There is not a “one bite rule” in Pennsylvania. Even if the dog that bit you never bit anyone before, the dog may still have shown a “known dangerous propensity” in the past, making the owner liable for your injuries. If the dog had a history of aggressive behavior, such as rushing at visitors or strangers or growling, this can show that the dog already had a “dangerous propensity” when it bit you.
What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog?
Getting the medical treatment you need for your injuries is critical. Dog bites often involve puncture wounds that can later develop infection, or wounds that result in scarring requiring ongoing treatment and surgery. You should also make sure the bite is reported to the police and local Dog Warden so that they can investigate and file charges if appropriate against the owner or keeper of the dog. Your medical providers will often report the bite to the authorities at the time they treat you as well. You should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury firm to represent you in the lawsuit against the owner of the keeper of the dog. It is also important to understand the Dog Law in Pennsylvania and ensure that your rights are protected. At Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo, we have extensive experience with Dog Bite cases and know how to represent you to get the recovery you deserve.