Dogs are one of our most trusted and loved companions, and there are millions of dog owners in America. While pets can be cute and cuddly, they can also attack and cause injury to their owners and others. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that dogs bite 4.5 million people each year.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Law:
The state of Pennsylvania’s laws regarding dog bites hold the owner of the dog liable for certain damages depending upon the circumstances. As such, the victim of the dog bite will fall into a specific category, and will be able to file a suit to recover compensation depending upon the category into which he or she falls.
The first category is for victims bitten by a dog that has previously bitten another person or shown intention to do so. This is known as the “one-bite” law. In the case that a dog that has already bitten another person bites a new victim, then the most recent victim is entitled to full compensation under the “one-bite” law.
However, there are also protections in place for those attacked by a dog that has never before bitten someone. In these cases, a victim can file suit to recover compensation for medical expenses alone if the injury is non-severe. But a victim may pursue a claim for medical expenses and other losses or damages if the injury is severe.
A severe injury is defined as an injury that results in:
- disfiguring lacerations that require sutures;
- cosmetic surgery; or
- broken bones.
Victims who may not meet these categories may recover full compensation if the owner acted negligently or violated a law. If you’re unsure whether you fit into any of these categories, consult with us at Stark & Stark.