Proving Liability If You Are Bit by a Dog in Central PA
In Pennsylvania, dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries their dogs inflict on another person. This means that an injured person does not have to prove that the dog had previously bitten someone else or had dangerous tendencies in order for the dog owner to be held legally responsible.
At Hagelgans & Veronis, we represent individuals who have been injured in dog attacks throughout Central Pennsylvania. Our dedicated legal team can walk you through the legal process and help you gain compensation for your injuries. We have secured millions on behalf of injury victims and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the recovery you deserve. Contact our office today at (717) 295-7009 for a free consultation.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dog Bite?
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a dog owner is responsible for the actions of their animal. In other words, a dog’s owner may be held liable if the animal bites or injures another person.
Many dog attacks occur on the owner’s property. In these cases, an injured party may be able to pursue a claim through the liable party’s homeowner or rental insurance policy. If the dog owner does not have insurance or does not have a policy that covers dog bites, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What Do You Need to Prove Liability in a Dog Bite Case?
Pennsylvania follows a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites. A dog owner may be held legally responsible if their dog bites another person, even if they had not previously bitten someone and they had not acted negligently. There is no need to prove liability in a dog bite case because of this statute.
However, there are limitations to the amount of damages you can receive under this law. For instance, you will only be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses. In order to receive other damages such as for your pain and suffering, you would have to prove negligence.
In addition, you will be unable to recover damages if you provoked the animal or were trespassing at the time the attack occurred.
Does PA Have a One-Bite Law?
Over a dozen states follow what is known as a one-bite rule when it comes to dog attacks. In jurisdictions that have a one-bite law, a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused to another person if they knew or should have known about the animal’s dangerous tendencies. In other words, a dog receives “one free bite.”
While Pennsylvania adheres to a strict liability law for dog bites, an injured party may use a dog’s prior violent behavior to prove that the owner was negligent. Proving negligence can help an injured party receive additional compensation for their injuries.
Injured by a Dog Bite? Contact Our Office.
Were you or a loved one injured by a dog bite in Pennsylvania? Contact our office at (717) 295-7009 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Dog bite laws can be complicated without the help of a personal injury attorney. Call our office now to discuss your legal rights and determine whether you are eligible to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent dog owner.