My Dog Just Bit Someone!
All dog owners hope they’ll never be involved in a dog-bite accident, especially one that results in serious injury or death. From the moment your dog bites someone, you have legal responsibilities you need to be aware of to protect your rights and your animal’s future. If your dog has just bitten someone, follow these steps.
Dog bite accidents can be extremely stressful for everyone involved, but if your dog did the biting, you have even more pressure to remain calm. Don’t argue with the victim at the scene. Be polite and apologetic, but don’t admit fault. Get medical attention for the victim if necessary and exchange contact information.
Depending on the circumstances, the victim may have provoked your dog, and you two can agree to forget the accident ever happened. If the victim does want to contact a dog bite lawyer, however, you need a lawyer of your own to protect your rights under Pennsylvania dog bite laws.
UNDERSTAND YOUR RIGHTS
Dog bite laws vary state by state. In Pennsylvania, if your dog has previously bitten someone else or indicated a violent tendency, our dog law permits a victim to recover full compensation for damages. Pennsylvania dog law separates dog bite cases based on the severity of the injuries if your dog has never bitten anyone before – severe or non-severe.
If the victim was severely injured (and needed surgery or suffered fractured bones or disfiguring lacerations), he or she can recover medical expenses and other monetary damages through a lawsuit. The victim needs to prove the dog was unprovoked at the time of the attack, regardless of whether the dog had previously bitten someone else.
A victim who was not severely injured can still make a claim against the owner, but will be eligible only for medical expense compensation. In these cases, the only thing the victim has to establish is that the defendant was the dog’s owner at the time of the attack.
Many circumstances can lead to a dog bite accident, but not all of them are the dog or the owner’s fault. For example, if a dog has a history of violence when he or she feels threatened, and a stranger enters the property without permission and is bitten, it may not be the owner’s fault. If, however, a dog breaks free of its chain and attacks someone, the courts will hold the owner responsible for negligence under the Dangerous Dog Law.
SEEK LEGAL ADVICE
The best way to ensure your legal rights in the event your dog bites someone is to hire a local attorney with experience in dog bite cases. Since state laws vary greatly when it comes to dog bite accidents, it’s difficult to navigate a court case on your own. Find the top dog lawyers in Philadelphia at the Hill & Associates law firm to protect your rights and your animal, and follow the steps toward a successful litigation.
If you believe someone provoked your dog into aggressive behavior and that person is now suing you for damages, discuss your options with a lawyer. It’s important to have capable legal representation to ensure the future of your dog, especially if your dog has a history of violence.
For aggressive and competent professional dog bite representation, contact us at Hill & Associates of Philadelphia. Our dog bite lawyers have represented both sides of dog bite cases and have a firm understanding of how these legal proceedings work in Philadelphia. If someone is taking you to court because your dog bit him or her, call us today at (215) 567-7600 to speak with a representative.