A dog bite is a traumatic event that may result in serious injuries. Often a dog bite will result in permanent scarring, nerve damage, and a significant risk of infection. Many times there is psychological harm that lasts well beyond the physical injury.
In Pennsylvania, dog owners are legally responsible for the behavior of their pets. In most dog-bite cases, the owner’s home insurance policy will pay the injured person’s medical bills, their lost wages, and for their pain and suffering associated with the attack.
Proving liability in dog bite cases: To prove that the dog’s owner is responsible for an injury due to a dog attack or dog bite, negligence must be proven. Some of the ways to do this include:
A) Proving that the dog was “at large” when it attacked its victim. In other words, the dog was running loose off of the owner’s property or not on a leash.
B) Proving that the victim was attacked while the victim was lawfully on the dog owner’s property, it must additionally be proven that:
- the dog had a history of unprovoked attacks.
- the victim was not informed of the dangerous nature of the dog.
- the owner did not protect the victim from the dog. “Beware of Dog” signs are evidence that the owner was aware of the dangerous nature of the dog and failed to take precautions to ensure the dog did not attack.