Even the most loving and genuinely docile dog can become dangerous under the right circumstances, and unfortunately, many Pennsylvanians have found this out the hard way. The Commonwealth ranks fifth among all states when it comes to the number of dog bite claims within its borders for 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our Philadelphia serious injury attorney is ready to help dog bite victims seek fair and just compensation for their injuries.
According to the III, there were 787 dog bite attacks in Pennsylvania in 2020 that were serious enough to warrant a claim, with claims averaging $45,134. Pennsylvania is not alone in her woes by any means though. Across the United States, there were 16,991 dog bite claims with claims totaling $853.7 million.
The III notes that there are close to 77 million dogs residing in 63 million households across the country, and millions of people are bitten by dogs each year. Most dog bite victims are children, and children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to dog bite attacks and mauling incidents. Of the 350,000 or so non-fatal dog bite injuries that were sufficiently serious enough for a visit to the emergency room in 2017, children ages 2 and below accounted for more than 10,000. Some notable stats on dog bites across the country:
In Pennsylvania, a dog owner is liable for any medical bills that result when their dog attacks a person. If a dog owner is careless in controlling a dangerous dog, then the owner may also be responsible for the victim’s other losses, and they may even face criminal charges related to the attack.
Pennsylvania’s strict liability in dog bite attacks is limited to medical expenses only. Under the law, other damages, including lost wages and pain and suffering, are not automatically considered the dog owner’s responsibility. However, if it is shown that the dog owner did not exercise control over the dog and had knowledge that the dog had a tendency to be vicious, then dog owners can be held liable for additional losses. The state considers dangerous dogs to be dogs that have:
Keep in mind that owners who fail to keep their dogs restrained may be in violation of state law and therefore, negligent. In fact, according to Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture, dogs are considered to be personal property, and as such, dog owners are responsible for any damages that their dogs cause.
A Philadelphia serious injury attorney with Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. can help you maximize your dog bite claim and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Reach out to us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.