Wilkes Barre Dog Bites Lawyer
Dogs really can be man’s best friend, but they can also inflict serious injury on others. It’s for this reason that dog owners have a responsibility to protect others and ensure their dog will not bite or attack another person. When dog owners fail to fulfill this duty, they should be held liable for providing compensation for the injuries that result. Unfortunately, dog owners are not liable in all dog bite cases. If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a dog attack, a Wilkes Barre dog bites lawyer will help you determine if you can pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
The Law on Dangerous Dogs in Pennsylvania
When a dog has been deemed dangerous under Pennsylvania law, dog owners must meet several requirements. Within the state, there are many definitions of a dangerous dog. These include dogs that have:
- A history of attacking people and inflicting serious injury, such as permanent impairment or disability, without provocation
- Been used in the commission of a crime
- Attacked domestic animals in the past without provocation
When a dog is considered dangerous under these definitions, the owner has many responsibilities. They must register the dog as dangerous and keep the dog confined inside or in a locked and secure outdoor enclosure. If the dog is not in an enclosure outdoors, the owner must muzzle the dog and keep the dog on a leash. The dog must also be under the control of a responsible person when outdoors and not in an enclosure.
Collecting Damages After a Dog Bite
Failure to abide by the requirements outlined by state law could prove that the dog owner was liable for injuries. Full liability is assigned to the dog owner when the dog is considered dangerous based on the criteria found in state law. When dog owners are assigned full liability, they are then responsible for paying for all damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering.
However, even when the dog is not deemed dangerous by law, an attorney can still help victims show the owner should be held liable in some cases. When injuries are not severe or the dog was not previously deemed to be a danger to others, owners can still be held liable for medical expenses, but not necessarily non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
To claim damages after a dog bite or attack, you must do so within two years after sustaining injury. This is the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania and personal injury claims filed after this time are typically barred from receiving compensation.
Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys can Help with Your Claim
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, our Wilkes Barre dog bite lawyers at O’Donnell Law Offices want to help. We know the devastating injuries that can result from a dog attack and we will hold the liable dog owner responsible for paying the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 570-821-5717 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation so we can get started on your case.