Philadelphia Area Dog Bite Lawyer
Need Help Filing A Dog Bite Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one has been hurt by an unrestrained and dangerous dog or other domestic pet, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.
While, fortunately, most of the approximately 4.5 million estimated dog bites that occur each year are not serious, approximately 800,000 of those individuals who have been attacked by a dog will seek medical attention for their injuries, and roughly half of those are children.
In most states, dog owners are held liable when a person is bitten. Pennsylvania is one such state and imposes “strict liability” on owners for payment of medical bills, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or violated animal control laws. While the state imposes strict liability on dog owners, PA law nevertheless draws a distinction between dogs that have previously bitten and those that have not.
Even if a dog has never bitten before, an injured individual can make claims for medical expenses and possibly for other losses and legal damages, depending on the severity of the injury.
If, however, a dog has bitten before, under the “first bite” rule, a possessor of a domestic animal who has reason to know its dangerous propensities is subject to liability for harm caused to others even if the owner has acted with the utmost care. In simpler terms, if a dog has already bitten or harmed one or more people in the past, the owner has been effectively put on notice that the dog is dangerous and will be considered liable for further injuries caused in most circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a vicious animal, we recommend that you take the following steps to preserve a potential legal claim.
- Find a safe place away from the dangerous dog.
- Identify the dog owner.
- If you do not know the name of the owner, identify their address or a description of the location.
- Call the police immediately, it is important for the police to get involved before someone else gets hurt.
- Go to an emergency room as soon as possible. Even if the bite does not look very serious, there is a danger of infection or scarring, and prompt treatment may help.
- In addition to injury from the bite itself, people are often injured trying to get away from a dangerous dog; e.g., falling. Even if the dog did not bite, you may be entitled to compensation if you were injured under similar circumstances.
- If there are any witnesses, obtain their names and phone numbers.
- Take photographs of the injuries caused by the dog bite.
- If it is safe to do so, photograph the dog as well.
A Dog Bite Attorney Can Assist You with Your Claim
If you were harmed by a dog or other vicious domestic animal and reside in the Greater Philadelphia, PA, area, we can help. Call the experienced dog bite attorneys at Silver & Silver today for a free consultation. We represent cases in and around Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia, PA, and will work hard to ensure you receive just compensation for any injuries or loss.