Retain a Dog Bite Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Whether you’re a parent looking for a dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania because someone’s negligence has resulted in injury to your child, or you, yourself, have been hurt by an unrestrained and dangerous pet, you’ll find the information you need here.
The latest statistics from the AMVA indicate that 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. These incidents result in $483 million in damages annually, with homeowners insurance policies paying out an average of $28,305 per incident. Children account for around half of those injured, with 37% of all victims being between the ages of five and nine. Overall, these attacks claim the lives of roughly 30 people every year.
Thankfully, only minor wounds are sustained most of the time, but around 20% of bites do result in injuries that are serious enough to require medical treatment. Sometimes, the trauma is severe enough to necessitate time away from work, which causes financial losses on top of medical bills. It’s estimated that 27,000 people undergo reconstructive surgery every year to repair damage caused by dog bites, which causes even more strain to those who have been seriously injured. A victim’s way of life may further be impacted by emotional trauma that occurs as a direct result of the incident. In these situations, a dog bite attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can help victims recover their losses and get the treatment they need to be able to move forward with their lives.
Pennsylvania laws are very clear that pet owners have a responsibility to care for their animals, as well as to keep the public safe. When an individual has a legal right to be on the premises, whether as a guest, courier, or in a similar capacity, the animal’s owner can be held liable for any damages it causes. An individual also has a legal responsibility to keep his pet restrained, so that it cannot leave his property or wander freely without a leash. This is true even if the animal has no history of aggressive behavior and has never bitten someone. In these cases, a dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania must simply prove that the defendant is the owner of the animal, that the dog did indeed cause the injury, and that the dog was not provoked.
There are various types of cases that may be brought against a negligent dog owner, and it’s important to make sure that your case is filed properly within the correct jurisdiction. A dog bite attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will ensure this occurs, and will help identify the extent to which the injury has impacted your life. While payment of medical bills is an obvious need deserving of reparations, your dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will look into the time you have missed for work, as a parent or a patient, the impact that the injury has had on a student’s progress at school, any physical property that has been damaged, and more.
Hiring a dog bite attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania serves two main purposes. First, it protects you and your family from suffering a financial burden due to some else’s negligent behavior. Secondly, your lawsuit may be able to protect another individual and family from suffering as you and yours have.
What should I do after a dog bite?
Your primary concern should always be to get any necessary medical attention. This is true whether the injury is the result of aggression, play, or other behavior, simply because disease and illness may spread once the skin has been broken by an animal’s tooth or nail. It’s also important to document the injuries as much as possible, using written words, photos, and videos. If the area where the incident occurred is safe, you should also take photos to serve as evidence. It’s important to move swiftly with your dog bite lawsuit, as evidence will fade fast and a statute of limitations may not allow you to file for damages at a later date.
Do I need to contact the police after a dog bite?
Yes, you should file a police report and also contact your local animal control center.
Will my dog bite lawsuit be a city or state matter?
Various local and state guidelines may be involved in your case. While the state guidelines cover negligence as a whole, the animal’s owner may have violated local laws relating to the breed of the animal, dangerous dog laws, vaccinations, and other policies.
What can I receive payments for and how much can I expect?
No two cases are ever alike. Whereas a dog bite lawsuit over a simple puncture wound may only result in reparations for medical bills if no other complications are present, a severe injury may result in payments for loss of wages, future medical bills/ plastic surgery, pain and suffering, and mental health treatments following an attack.
Will payments come from the dog’s owner or his insurance?
Every insurance policy is written differently. Your dog bite attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will investigate whether a homeowners policy or renters insurance may cover some or all of the costs involved, to ensure that reparations from your dog bite lawsuit are paid by all responsible parties. If the animal was considered to be a dangerous dog prior to the attack, the owner had a legal responsibility to carry liability insurance to protect potential future victims such as yourself.
If you are bitten by a dog, it’s imperative to follow certain steps to ensure your health and to help give your dog bite lawsuit a solid start.
1) Get medical attention.
Your first priority after being bitten by a dog should be to get medical attention, even if you don’t think the injury is serious. Infections are common complications with serious consequences, and having medical documentation will serve as evidence in your case. In more serious cases, swift medical attention can reduce the chances of long-term complications and scarring.
2) Document your injuries.
Take a moment to write down the events as they occurred and take photographs and videos of the injuries and damages.
3) Document the scene.
If it is safe to do so, take photographs and videos of the area where the incident occurred. Gather contact information and statements of anyone who may have witnessed the attack, including the animal’s owners.
4) Contact the authorities.
File a police report and contact your local animal control agency. They will perform their own investigations.
5) Contact a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, your attorney will begin the process of ensuring you receive the reparations you are legally entitled to. It’s important to retain a lawyer as quickly as possible after the event, to ensure no court deadlines are missed and that evidence can be collected. At Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer, we have assembled profiles of some of the area’s leading experts, to help make this step easier. Your attorney will assess the case, gather evidence, and help ensure you receive a fair settlement. Gather any documents you have, and contact a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer promptly, so you can begin building your case and get the reparations you need to begin recovery and move forward with your life.
A dog may bite regardless of its breed or history of aggression. Pet owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their pet does not harm others, but holding them accountable sometimes requires the assistance of a dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While the police may handle the criminal aspect of the event, and animal control may investigate the animal to decide its fate, dog bite victims typically go through a court of law to receive the reparations they need to take care of their injuries.
Some states follow what is known as a “One Bite Law,” in which the owner is held liable or responsible for the attack regardless of whether the animal has acted aggressively before. Pennsylvania is slightly different, in that it has “Strict Liability Laws.” In other words, specific conditions must be met before a victim may receive reparations.
Courts are concerned with four main issues when determining liability.
1) Your dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will need to prove that you or your child were injured by a specific animal, that the attack was not provoked, and that the victim had a lawful right to be on the premises.
2) Your attorney will need to prove that the animal’s owner is the defendant in your case.
3) The dog’s history will also be a consideration. If the dog has a history of aggression, full compensation may be available.
4) If the dog does not have a history of aggression and has never bitten someone without provocation, the level of liability will vary based on the severity of injuries. For instance, a victim who needed sutures, or who was left disfigured as a result of the incident, would be entitled to greater compensation than a victim who received only a minor puncture wound. Your dog bite lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is responsible for proving the degree to which you are injured, so that you may receive adequate compensation to cover the expenses you incur as a result of the injury.
When a dog bites a child, your first priority should be to ensure the child is safe, and then to obtain medical assistance. Even a small scrape can result in a dangerous infection, and children aren’t always able to explain the severity of their symptoms, so medical attention is always necessary.
It’s important to document everything when a dog bites a child.
Because the victim’s testimony may not be helpful in court, it’s essential to gather as much evidence as possible. You’ll need to take photos of the wounds and talk to others who may have seen the attack. Pennsylvania is a difficult state in that you must be able to prove that the attack was not provoked in order to prove the owner is liable, so getting statements and contact information from others who witnessed events is a must. If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the area in which the attack occurred to corroborate stories.
You also need to contact the authorities.
Depending on the animal’s history, the owner may have violated laws that would result in the state pressing charges against him. The police will need to conduct their own investigation, and animal control should be called so that they may intervene to quarantine the animal if necessary.
Select an attorney from Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer promptly.
When a dog bites a child, time is of the essence. Not only is there a statute of limitations in place that will prevent you from filing later, but children are especially vulnerable to lingering emotional trauma. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may be able to receive reparations that will cover the cost of counseling so that your child does not experience long-term issues as a result. Equally, your attorney will take the steps necessary to preserve evidence, improving the chances that you’ll receive the full settlement you’re entitled to.
Some people may attempt to work directly with an insurance company or with the animal’s owner to receive dog bite compensation, but this can have devastating consequences. Oftentimes, the full extent of the injuries does not become known until after a payment is made, and then the victim shoulders the costs involved. Moreover, psychological effects of trauma may not manifest immediately, and agreeing to a dog bite settlement early on will likely make it impossible to seek reparations for damages later.
Your dog bite settlement will vary based upon numerous factors.
No two cases will have the same conclusion, so providing an estimate, or even general guidelines based on previous court cases, is not possible. With that said, the courts will establish that you or your child had a lawful right to be in the location where the attack occurred, and the attack was not provoked. Then, it takes several factors into consideration when determining how much dog bite compensation you should receive.
If the dog has a history of aggression: Owners of animals who have a history of aggressive behavior or that have previously been listed as a “dangerous dog,” are liable for the full amount of damages. This may include medical bills, payments to cover your time away from work, damages to physical property, the cost of counseling/ mental health care, and reparations for pain and suffering.
If the dog does not have a history of aggression: A dog bite settlement for an animal that has never bitten someone and does not have a history of aggression is based upon the severity of the injury. Those with minor wounds are entitled to dog bite compensation for medical costs only.
Victims with more severe injuries, such as those that require several sutures or plastic surgeries, and those that result in disfigurement or disability, are entitled to the same reparations that a victim of a known aggressive or dangerous dog would be.
If you or your child has been injured by an unrestrained animal, you’ll need the help of the best dog bite attorney in the Philadelphia area. Although some states do not require proof that the dog was not provoked, Pennsylvania does, and the defense is highly likely to blame you for your injuries. Depending on how well the defense proves its case, you may be held responsible in part, or wholly, for the incident, which will mean that you’re responsible for paying for your own medical bills and expenses. When you retain the best dog bite attorney, he will gather all the evidence necessary to hold a negligent pet owner responsible for any damage or injury caused.
The best dog bite attorney will help you receive a full and fair settlement
Though various factors will help determine the amount you’re entitled to, you may receive reparations for:
- Medical Expenses
- Time Away from Work
- Mental Health Care/ Counseling
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
Find the best dog bite attorney on Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer
The lawyers showcased on this site have extensive knowledge of how Philadelphia courts handle dog bite cases and can help get you the settlement you deserve. However, as time passes, the memory of witnesses fades and evidence disappears. Your case is also bound by a strict statute of limitations, which means that if you wait too long to seek reparations, the court will not hear your case. In order to receive the maximum amount available, so you can move on with your life and maybe even save others from suffering as you have, you must seek representation as soon as possible after a dog bite. Contact one of the lawyers you see listed here and begin building your case, and rebuilding your life, today.