Unfortunately, not every dog kept as a pet lives up to their reputation as man’s best friend, especially when they think another person or animal is threatening them or intruding on their territory. Fortunately, state law affords a person attacked by a canine the right to file suit against the dog’s owner for their damages.
Making the most of your rights in a situation like this can be harder in practice than you might expect, and guidance from a seasoned personal injury attorney can often be essential to achieving the best possible case result. When you are dealing with injuries and losses caused by any kind of dog attack, speaking with a Reading dog bite lawyer should be among your top priorities.
When a dog bites and injures someone other than their owner, the owner holds strict liability for any medical bills the injured person has for bite-related treatment. This means the owner is automatically liable for those expenses based on the fact that they are responsible for the pet rather than a specific reckless or careless thing they did to allow or cause the attack.
Dog owners whose dog has previously bitten and injured someone may hold strict liability for other losses caused by a subsequent bite as well. Usually, holding a dog owner liable for losses other than medical expenses requires proving they were negligent in some way—for example, they walked their dog in public without a leash or failed to ensure their dog was properly contained on their property. A dog attack attorney in Reading could explain how state law approaches this type of case in more detail during a confidential consultation.
There are two noteworthy exceptions to the strict liability for dog bite injuries, and both may impact responsibility for compensation. First, dog owners typically are not liable for bites that occur because the person was taunting, harassing, or otherwise provoking the dog.
Second, dog owners generally do not hold liability for injuries their dog causes to someone trespassing or otherwise acting illegally on the dog owner’s property. Depending on the circumstances, a person found partially at fault for their own injuries may have their final damage award reduced in proportion to their share of total fault or be barred from getting any money at all.
A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand over a dog bite injury can seek restitution for both economic and non-economic consequences of the incident, including:
As a dog attack lawyer in Reading could affirm, 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524 generally limits a person to two years at most to file suit after initially getting injured, so it is important to take action quickly after being hurt by someone else’s dog.
Being bitten severely by a dog can be an extremely traumatic and even life-changing experience. However, you could recover compensation for every negative effect by taking proactive legal action against the owner of the dog that attacked you with support from a skilled legal professional.
A conversation with a Reading dog bite lawyer could provide you with clarity about your rights and confidence regarding your next steps. Schedule a meeting by calling today.