Pennsylvania Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
Dog bites are in a class of personal injury law all their own. If you have been a victim of a bite, you may wonder if you have grounds for a lawsuit. In the state of Pennsylvania, you most likely do. A Pennsylvania lawyer can help.
How Does Pennsylvania Law Handle Dog Bites?
Under Pennsylvania law, dog bite rules vary a bit depending on your situation:
- A dog owner is strictly liable for all damages caused by a dog that was known to be vicious. The most obvious example would be that the dog had bitten someone before. This is a version of the "one-bite" rule.
- Strict liability also applies in any instance of "severe" injury. It does not matter if the dog had a history of violence.
- For non-severe injuries involving dogs that had not bitten anyone before, you can sue for medical costs only.
Examples of "severe" injury include:
- Broken bones
- Disfiguring wounds
- The need for reconstructive surgery
Because Pennsylvania dog-bite laws are so nuanced, it is crucial that you work with a lawyer who is well versed in these matters. Pennsylvania attorneys handle animal bite cases on a regular basis.
Building Your Case
Your lawyer will want to gather as much evidence as possible to build your case. Key items may include:
- Photos of your injuries, taken soon after the attack
- Medical records of your injuries and treatment
- Copies of your medical bills
- Damaged items, such as torn clothing or shoes
- Paycheck stubs or payroll records, if you are trying to recover lost wages
- Other documents, as needed
You will also need to give a deposition. This is a sworn statement you give under oath. It is your chance to explain what happened.
Where Do You File?
For Pennsylvania dog bite injury claims worth more than $8,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.
If your claim is for less than $8,000 ($10,000 for the Philadelphia municipal court), you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the Pennsylvania District Court or Justice Court (or the municipal court for cases in Philadelphia) that has jurisdiction.
Your attorney can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.
Locate a Local Pennsylvania Dog Bite Lawyer
About 800,000 people in the United States seek medical care for dog bites every year. If you are one of them, you may be due compensation for your injuries and other losses. Call now to speak with a Pennsylvania dog attacks attorney at 877-913-7222.