Americans love their dogs. Domestic pets can be great additions to any family. Sadly, they are still animals and can have unpredictable behaviors. When pets attack, the injuries can be catastrophic, leaving permanent and irreversible injuries. Dog bites can require surgeries and skin grafts, leading to expensive and prolonged hospitalizations.
Further, children are more likely to be victims of dog attacks because they may not fully understand the risk or notice the signs of a triggered or aggressive animal. When someone is bitten and suffers a serious injury, it is important to reach out to an Allentown dog bite lawyer right away. While not every dog bite requires legal action with a personal injury attorney, it is worth noting that some bites may result in infections and even the transmission of diseases, which may not manifest for some time.
The law can be complex when it comes to holding pet owners accountable for dog bites. However, state law is clear. Under Pennsylvania Code § 459-502(b)(1), dog owners or anyone entrusted to keep or handle the dog on their behalf are statutorily liable for the harm their dog causes.
Some states apply the one bite rule, meaning when a dog has never been aggressive before, then the owner will generally not be liable the first time it attacks. This is not the case in Pennsylvania. Instead, strict liability is applied, meaning when a person’s animal hurts someone, that owner is liable for paying for the damages caused. An attorney in Allentown could further explain the laws involved in dog bite claims.
For those who suffer a dog bite in or around the Allentown area, a skilled lawyer may be able to assist in recovering money for medical bills, lost wages, and more. However, there are certain exceptions to keep in mind. For example, the two most common ways a person can end up not receiving compensation after a dog attack are when they provoke or harass the dog, triggering it to attack, and when they are trespassing or violating a law by being in the area where the dog bit them.
Antagonizing a dog can mean a lot of things, but usually, this includes actions like:
While there are many ways a person could provoke a dog to bite, this is a key defense dog owners and their attorneys often use to avoid liability.
The law sometimes treats children differently than adults. For instance, a child may not be treated as a trespasser in some situations where an adult would be. The court often considers whether a reasonable child would understand the risk. The facts of every dog bite are unique, and judges may vary in how they apply the law from one part of the state to another.
Figuring out whether a person has a valid claim for injuries can be much easier when working with an Allentown dog bit lawyer who frequently handles these cases. State law only gives someone injured by a dog two years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit, so having an attorney will reduce the chance of missing key deadlines and losing out on compensation altogether. Call now to discuss your case and legal options.