They say life is better with dogs, and for many, that statement rings true! Though many love their pets, it’s an unfortunate reality that animals can be unpredictable. What a dog owner might know as a sweet and goofy puppy can quickly become vicious, with or without provocation. If hurt during a dog attack, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. The following blog explores what you must know about these incidents and how personal injury attorneys in Pennsylvania can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
What must I know about dog bite injuries if I’m hurt?
If injured in a dog attack, understanding how to proceed is crucial. Generally, the first thing you must do is seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This is imperative, as you may need to get rabies vaccinations, and failure to properly treat a dog bite can lead to severe infections.
You’ll also need to file a report with the proper authorities in your city. This helps ensure you have proof that the injury occurred and also helps other victims of attacks from the same animal.
Who is liable for a dog attack?
Generally, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries that occur to another person or pet as a result of their dog. However, this may only include the medical expenses the victim suffered due to the dog. It would not include lost wages or pain and suffering unless it can be proven that the dog had violent tendencies prior to the incident.
If the victim can prove the dog had violent tendencies and the owner failed to take the necessary steps to prevent their dog from injuring another person, the owner can be held liable for the full injuries the victim endured, including non-economic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life.
Are there any exceptions?
Generally, the only times a victim cannot recover compensation when they are injured in a dog attack is if they were trespassing at the time of the incident or if they were intentionally provoking the dog. Depending on their level of fault in the incident, they may have their compensation reduced or barred if they are found over 50% liable, according to Pennyslvania’s comparative negligence laws.
Trespassers are generally not covered under personal injury law, as they are not welcomed on the property. As such, they are not entitled to compensation if a dog attacks them. If the victim was provoking the dog, such as hitting it, attacking their owner, or intentionally teasing the dog, they may also be barred from recovering compensation.
Though you may feel guilty filing a report and suit against a dog and their owner, it is necessary to do so to protect potential victims of the animal in the future and yourself. Receiving treatment following a dog attack can be costly, so it’s imperative to take the proper steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Friedman Schuman are ready to assist you through the complexities of this process. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.