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How Does Pennsylvania Law Address Dog Bite Injuries?

Posted on in Premises Liability

Wexford, PA dog bite lawyer

In 2019, it is estimated that there are roughly 63 million dogs that are designated as pets in the United States. Looking further into that number, around 36 percent of households own at least one canine. Known as man’s best friend, dogs are expected to be playful animals; however, personal injuries can occur from dog bites. A victim may seek to hold a canine's owner responsible for dog bite injuries. In many cases, a premises liability claim may be brought against a property owner to recover compensation for the damages suffered in these types of injuries.

Consequences of Dog Bites

Being bitten by a dog is a fairly common occurrence, but nearly one in five people who suffer a wound after being bitten by a dog have to seek medical attention. Injuries that arise from a dog bite can range from bruises and cuts to broken bones, loss of limbs, or bacterial infections. Out of the diseases that may be contracted from a dog bite, the most common include rabies, Capnocytophaga bacteria, Pasteurella, MRSA, and tetanus.

Reducing your risk of injury and illness should be the first course of action taken after a canine attack. Minor wounds may be addressed initially by cleaning the cut and applying antibiotic cream and a bandage, while a deep wound may require a trip to the emergency room for stitches. Seeking medical attention is always recommended to ensure your safety and well-being.

Pennsylvania Regulations for Dangerous Canines

The determination of whether or not a dog is deemed to be dangerous in the state of Pennsylvania is reliant on a multitude of key factors. The dangerous dog label could be enforced if the canine:

  • Has severely injured a person without provocation on public or private property;

  • Killed or severely injured a person’s pet without provocation while off the owner’s property;

  • Attacked a human without provocation; or

  • Was used to assist in a crime.

This classification can also be applied if the canine has a history or inclination of attacking domestic animals and/or humans. 

If a dog has been deemed dangerous, the owner must meet certain requirements to protect others against injury, and they could face criminal charges if an injury occurs because these requirements are not met. An owner of a dangerous dog will typically be liable for damages resulting from a dog bite, including medical costs, pain and suffering, or lost wages. However, even if an animal has not been deemed a dangerous dog, the owner may be liable for medical costs or other damages, depending on the severity of the injuries and the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Contact an Allegheny County Premises Liability Attorney

Victims who suffer from dog bites can go through an extensive recovery period, and a dog's owner may be held liable for the financial damages a person experiences. At Colianni & Colianni, LLC, we provide compassionate legal help with personal injury claims, and we work to ensure that our clients are able to receive the financial compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our dedicated Pittsburgh dog bite injury lawyers, call our office today at 412-943-0007.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/

https://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp

https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Animals/DogLaw/Dangerous%20Dogs/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.animallaw.info/statute/pa-dog-law-chapter-8-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s502

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