Liability has been defined as “Legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions,” and it plays an integral role in Philadelphia dog bite cases, because the liable individual must shoulder the responsibility of any damages that arise from the incident. With that said, there is no real single definition for “dog bite liability types,” as each person may be looking for any one of a number of things.
Dog Bite Liability Types By Law
There are various laws in Philadelphia that may determine a dog owner’s liability.
The One Bite Rule: Many states will protect owners, and grant them some leeway if the animal has not attacked before. In these states, the owner may bear little to no responsibility for medical bills or other losses if the animal has no history of aggression. In Philadelphia, the owner is held liable, or responsible, for medical bills the very first time it hurts someone.
Strict Liability: There are also states that require victims to prove that the owner behaved negligently, whether by encouraging the animal to attack or failing to secure it with a leash. Pennsylvania is generally considered a strict-liability state, because the owner is held responsible, even if he did not behave in a negligent manner.
Dangerous Dog: Pennsylvania is also unique in that it has separate dog bite liability statutes for owners of known dangerous dogs. Animals with an aggressive history are subject to different licensing rules, and anyone injured by a known dangerous dog will qualify for greater compensation, even if the injuries are minor.
Types of Pet Liability Insurance
On top of the different legal dog bite liability types, there are various types of companies or plans that offer pet liability insurance for owners, and these pay out the majority of pet liability claims for dog bite victims. It’s important to note that the owner is still the responsible party, though through his personal contract with an insurance company, his policy will pay the damages.
Homeowner’s Policy: Usually, it’s the pet owner’s homeowner’s policy or renter’s insurance that offers dog bite liability coverage, though each policy has its own restrictions and guidelines.
Umbrella Policy: Sometimes, a pet owner may have coverage under another policy that will make payments if his animal injures someone. These are referred to as “umbrella” policies, because they cover a wide range of things. For example, a comprehensive auto insurance policy may cover the pet owner’s responsibilities as well.
Dangerous Dog Policy: Anyone can purchase general pet liability insurance, though owners of known dangerous dogs are required to have special pet liability insurance to cover potential injuries caused by their pet as part of the state’s dangerous dog statutes.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite liability types can be confusing, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows which laws and regulations apply, as well as which policies may cover dog bite liability, in order to ensure that a fair settlement is awarded. If you or your child was injured by someone’s pet, contact one of the attorneys listed on Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer for your free consultation today.