Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dog Bites in Pennsylvania

Dogs are everywhere nowadays- in stores, on trains and planes and at parks and beaches. So, it is quite common to see a dog during your daily routine. Like many of us, you may be tempted to make contact with this pooch in some way. Whether it is a seemingly harmless scratch on the head or a more involved petting, you should know that you might be putting yourself in danger. Not all dogs are friendly, and even dogs that are considered friendly have the ability to seriously injure a person, even when unprovoked. The good news is that if a dog injured you, you do have rights and you may be entitled to compensation.

Like most other states, the State of Pennsylvania has laws specifically pertaining to dog bites. These laws provide that if a dog bites you the dog’s owner may be liable for your injuries. Some dogs are considered dangerous under these laws. In order for a dog to be considered dangerous, it must have actually have injured another domestic animal or a human being or have been used to commit a crime. The dog must also have a history of violent behavior or the propensity to act viciously. If a dog that is considered dangerous bites or attacks you, the owner will likely be held liable for your injuries.

But, a dog does not have to be labeled as dangerous in order for you to be compensated. In any cases, if the dog’s owner is found to have failed to act reasonably in preventing the dog from injuring a person, the owner can be found liable in a personal injury action. If a dog is labeled as dangerous it increases the chances that you will recover damaged for your injuries. This is because Pennsylvania’s law is one of strict liability. This means that the owner of a dangerous dog, or a dog that causes severe injury, will be held liable without proof of fault. In other words, the injured party need only prove that the injury occurred and not that the owner acted negligently.

Being bitten or attacked by a dog can cause serious physical and emotional injury and you should be compensated for your losses. If you have recently had a run in with a dog that resulted in your injury, contact a skilled personal injury attorney today to discuss your case.

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