There are dog lovers all over Pennsylvania and many welcome the pets of others. But unfortunately, someone elses dog that seems mild can attack without being provoked, and those injuries are in part caused by a lack of owner responsibility.
This owner negligence can include failure to properly train or care for their pets, failure to warn guests in their home of the dangerous dog, and failure to restrain their pets on a leash or on their property with a fence or cage.
Medical costs associated with injuries caused by dog bites as a result of negligent pet owners can include cuts and scrapes, broken bones, permanent scarring or disfigurement that can be expensive and painful to treat. They can also be permanent, resulting in the loss of income, or psychological damage. Tragically, some dog bites are fatal, especially when the victims are young children
In Pennsylvania, dog bite law states that you could be eligible for compensation after a dog bite if:
The dog was known to be aggressive and dangerous. A pet owner who knew or should have known that his/her pet was prone to violently attack people or other dogs can be found liable for the injuries that result. A dog bite attorney can hire the investigators and obtain the evidence that may be necessary to prove that the dog was a public safety risk, and is the best bet for victims if they stand a chance of proving this crucial test. The dog was unrestrained. Local leash laws and animal control ordinances often require a dog to be leashed in public areas. If an owner has allowed the dog to run free, s/ he can be responsible for dog bites that have occurred because of his/her irresponsibility. Dogs on private property that can attack also must be restrained by fencing.
An expert Pennsylvania dog bite attorney can save victims the difficult process of gathering proof to win dog bite claims.
The proof needed includes:
- Determining if the dog had an aggressive history and posed a risk. Dogs that are prone to biting other animals or humans are an unreasonable safety risk to the community. Pet owners are responsible for warning other people if their dogs are dangerous and liable to attack. If a dog bite victim wants to file a claim, it will be important to determine that the dog which caused the bite injury has previously attacked or posed a threat.
- The dog owner knew or should have known the dog could attack. If the dog that injured a victim has previously wounded someone else, the owner knew the dog was dangerous. If the dog had showed some other sign of aggression, then the owner should have known that the dog was a risk to public. A dog bite attorney can track down the official documentation needed to prove this point, such as medical reports or police reports relating to previous attacks, increasing the chances of a claims success.
- The owner handled the dog carelessly or recklessly. If the dog was allowed to roam free in a place where local leash laws were in effect, the dog owner was negligent in handling the dog and thereby put other members of the public in a dangerous situation. This factor can also be proven if the dog was allowed to roam free on the owners property in situations in which it was likely to attack, or escaped the owners property altogether.
- The owner was legally required to restrain the dog. Local leash laws and county ordinances require pet owners to comply with restrictions to keep dogs from becoming a danger to the neighborhood or community. In addition, some negligent pet owners may be under a court order to restrain their dogs in other places because of a previous history of violent attacks.
- A willfully ignorant pet owner who has allowed an unreasonably dangerous situation to occur should be held responsible. Dog bite victims who have been properly cautious around animals owned by other people should not be the ones to suffer after an attack.
Dogs that are clearly dangerous and have attacked before should not be allowed to wander freely in areas where they should be restrained. A dog bite attorney can help victims recover from the trauma of these senseless attacks when pet owners have not shown the proper care and supervision. If you or a loved one faced serious injuries from a dog bite, an expert Pennsylvania lawyer can help win justice for your family.