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Dog Bite Laws in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: How they Affect You

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Dog bite laws in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are very clear in assigning responsibility to pet owners when their animals attack. They do, however, take into account how severe the attack was and whether the animal has a history of aggression.

Pennsylvania Follows the “One Bite” Rule

Some states allow animals with no aggressive history to essentially get one free pass in regard to biting, but Pennsylvania does not. The dog bite attack laws hold owners accountable the very first time their animal attacks, regardless of whether the owner has reason to believe the animal may be a danger to others or not.

Dog Bite Law Liability: Animals with No Aggressive History

The law on dog attack for animals with no history of harming someone before is somewhat complex, in that the person who is injured must prove that the pet was not provoked before the incident in order to receive comprehensive coverage. If a severe injury occurred, whether through biting or some other force, the person who was harmed can file a claim against the owner, requesting reparations for medical expenses, losses, damage, legal expenses, and pain and suffering. In order for the injury to be considered severe, the court will want to see proof of broken bones, disfigurement, and/or that multiple sutures or plastic surgery was necessary after the attack.

Dog bite law in Pennsylvania also stipulates that if the injury is not severe in nature, a person can still file a claim, but the reparations are limited to coverage of medical bills only. However, the victim must only prove that the defendant is the owner of the animal, and the circumstances of the incident are largely irrelevant.

Dog Bite Law Liability: “Dangerous Dogs”

If you were attacked by a dog and file a claim, as per the above stipulations, the suit would be considered a civil suit. However, when the animal has a past history of aggression, the animal’s owners may also face criminal penalties, brought forth by the city of Philadelphia or the state of Pennsylvania. When an animal has a history that involves attacking, injuring, or killing an individual without provocation, and off of an owner’s property, it is then referred to as a “dangerous dog.” Owners of these pets have strict requirements that they must follow in order to remain compliant with the law.  For instance, the animal must be in an enclosed area while outside or be muzzled and on a leash.

Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or your child was bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and possibly more, depending on the extent of the damage done and the circumstances. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you prove the extent of your injuries and that the attack was not provoked. In many situations, animal owners and insurance companies will try to settle out of court, but they will only offer a fraction of what you’re lawfully entitled to. To find out what options are available to you, or to see if the settlement option you are being offered is fair, please take advantage of a free consultation with one or more of the skilled professionals listed on Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer today.