Dog bites represent one of the most common personal injury claims in Pennsylvania and the country. But unfortunately, victims of a dog attack in PA are not always aware of their rights.
Regarding damages, compensation, and liability, laws surrounding dog bites vary by state. According to Pennsylvania law, a dog owner may be liable for injuries from a dog attack. Failing to keep their dog on a leash or to prevent it from viciously attacking an individual are typical examples of dog owner negligence in Pennsylvania.
A dog bite is no laughing matter. Most dog attack victims suffer an injury that is serious enough to require that they seek medical attention. Often, the injuries are severe, and common injury sites include the neck, head, and face. As a result, dog bite victims sometimes require expensive reconstructive surgery. In addition, some dog attack victims, particularly children, suffer permanent facial scarring from the dog bites they suffer.
It is not uncommon for dog attack victims to also suffer emotional scarring. For example, dog bite victims often suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and other long-term traumas.
Common Injuries Associated with Dog Attacks in Pennsylvania
While some people will walk away from dog attacks with relatively minor injuries, far too often, dog bite victims require life-saving medical care as the result of severe injuries. The most common dog attack injuries include the following:
- Puncture Wounds: It is not uncommon for a dog bite victim to suffer a puncture wound from a dog’s teeth. Puncture wounds are deep and difficult to clean, putting dog bite victims at risk for infection.
- Broken Bones: The tremendous force of a dog bite, particularly among larger dogs, has been known to break bones, especially in children.
- Scaring: Children are especially vulnerable to scarring from dog bites.
- Face Injuries: A facial injury from a dog bite can affect a victim’s looks, their ability to function, and even their spirit, leading to emotional distress and depression.
- Nerve Damage: A deep and tearing dog bite can cause nerve tissue damage, resulting in limited sensation and function.
- Rabies: Whenever an animal bites someone, that victim is at risk for contracting rabies. If doctors cannot confirm that the dog has its rabies vaccine, the victim must be vaccinated against the disease, which is an excruciating process.
Even what may seem like a relatively minor puncture wound or cut from a dog’s bite could lead to expensive medical treatments and complications like severe infections. So no matter how insignificant it may seem, anyone who has suffered a dog bite should seek immediate medical attention.
Can Dog Bite Victims Sue for Compensation in Pennsylvania?
According to dog bite laws in Pennsylvania, dog attack victims are usually entitled to compensation for their medical costs. In addition, dog bite victims may be able to recover other expenses such as lost wages or pain and suffering.
The settlement amount in a Pennsylvania dog bite case can vary and depend on the following factors:
- How severe the injury is
- The extent of any necessary medical treatments
- Whether or not the dog bite victim will require future medical treatment
If the injuries you sustained in a dog attack have caused you to lose wages due to missed work, you may also be awarded compensation for lost income or any future income losses.
As mentioned above, dog bites usually result in significant trauma, especially among children. Therefore, in such cases, pain and suffering compensation may be available.
Why You Should Hire a Dog Bite Attorney in Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a dog attack, you will want to hire a personal injury law firm with experience in dog attack cases. Although hiring a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney will not negate the emotional and physical damage a person suffers in a dog attack, an experienced dog attack lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
The PA and NJ dog bite attorneys from Thistle Law can help. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who suffered personal injuries from various accidents, including dog attacks.
Call the attorneys at Thistle Law today by dialing 215-525-6800, or fill out our contact form here.