Every year nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs, and close to half of those victims are children. 1 in 5 people that are victims of dog bites require medical attention, which equates to about 900,000 Americans that received medical attention for dog bites in the past year.
In 2012, dog bites accounted for approximately one third of settlements of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims. Pennsylvania ranked fifth in states with the most dog bite insurance claims.
Pennsylvania law does not impose absolute liability on an owner for dog attacks, not even in respect to a dog having vicious tendencies of which the owner is aware. The plaintiff will need to prove negligence in order for the defendant to be found accountable for any injuries sustained because of a dog bite. In order to prove a dog bite case, historically the claimant had to prove that the dog had bitten at least once in the past. However, the law in Pennsylvania now is the following: If a dog has any vicious propensities, regardless of whether it has bitten in the past, the dog’s actual bite upon you can serve as the standard for determining whether the owner was negligent.
Liability for a dog attack may even fall to a landlord. A landlord may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by a tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he or she has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises.
Your claim for damages based on your injuries or disfigurement will be based on a theory of negligence, and will be very complex. You need an attorney that has experience in handling the difficulties of these types of claims. We will review the facts and analyze the law to provide you with a thorough evaluation of your claims.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disfigurement from a dog bite, please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr. Attorney Doug Stoehr and Attorney Aaron Ling have experience in handling dog bite cases, and will thoroughly evaluate your claim. Call us today at (814) 946-4100 for a free initial consultation.