Dog Bite Claim?
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While dogs are usually safe and loving companions, their owners are responsible for both keeping them out of harm’s way and keeping them from harming others. Sometimes a dog owner is negligent in these duties, and sometimes an owner may even actually encourage dangerous behavior in a dog. An unrestrained, dangerous dog can end up on the loose and suddenly attack an adult or child. A bite or full-fledged attack may result, leaving victims with severe wounds and lifelong trauma.
Injured victims in dog bite cases will need protection during their recovery. They may not know where to turn when they face hospital and surgical bills in the aftermath of a tragic attack. Edith Pearce is the Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer near you who supports and represents dog bite victims. She is also a dog lover and the daughter of a veterinarian. She used to work for insurance companies and knows how they like to short-change victims’ settlements in dog bite cases. A local Philadelphia personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bites can help determine who should be held responsible for a dog attack lawsuit and find the best path to compensation in a claim for damages.
Jump To: Dog Bite Case Statistics for Pennslyvania, Children and Dog Bite Lawsuits, Delivery Drivers & Dog Bites, PA Laws Regarding Dog Bites, Dog Bite Law FAQs, Who Pays for a Dog Bite Injury?, Do I need an Attorney for a Dog Bite Injury?
Recent Dog Bite Statistics for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania ranks in the top ten most every year for dog bite incidents and cases. The Insurance Information Institute ranked the state 7th worst in the nation based on the 777 dog bite insurance claims reported in 2021. These cases added up to an average compensation of $47,353 paid to each victim. That means a combined $36.8 million in dog bite claims paid by insurance companies in 2021.
Dogsbite.org found that each day an average of 1,000 Americans require emergency care treatment for serious dog bite injuries. Annually, about 14,025 Americans are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries. This leads to a great number of dog attack cases, lawsuits, and dog bite settlements.
Children and Dog Bite Cases
Children are at the greatest risk of dog bites. They can’t read the emotions of a dog as well as an adult and may not realize they are in danger of a dog attack. Likewise, a bite that an adult can recover from may prove fatal to a smaller person.
Kids-n-k9s.com compiled some scary data on recent dog attacks on children.
- Around half of all dog bite victims are children.
- Most dog bites involving children are seen between the ages of five to nine.
- 77% of dog bites occur with a dog that is familiar to the victim, either their own or a friend’s dog.
- 80% of dog bites occur in the victim’s own home.
- A 2009 study released at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showed that 51% of pediatric dog injuries treated at that hospital were from pit bulls.
Edith Pearce of The Pearce Law Firm works with child victims and their parents. These delicate cases require special care. The goal for a dog bite lawsuit is to ensure the child gets the best medical attention and that that care is completely paid for. The child’s future physical and emotional health must also be provided for. A child living in fear after an incident for the rest of his or her life is an unacceptable outcome. The cost of psychological counseling and emotional recovery should be included in any dog bite case settlement or award.
Delivery Driver Dog Bites In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law considers a delivery driver to be lawfully on someone’s property to deliver a package, a newspaper of the mail. This usually extends to the portion of the yard necessary to make the delivery. So if a driver is in the back of the yard when a package is usually left on the front porch, then the law might not allow him or her to sue for damages.
Many times, the dog will run out into the street and bite the delivery driver. Since this is a public place, then the driver is allowed to be there and can make a claim for compensation if bitten.
Damages a Delivery Driver can Get Paid After A Dog Bite
If successful in proving negligence, then the victim can get all damages allowed under the law such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost time from work
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Personal property damage (Clothing, etc.)
Pennsylvania Laws Regarding Dog Bites
Responsible dog owners make sure their pets are restrained properly on walks and are secure at home and in their yards. And PA dog bite laws state that it is the law to provide these securities when you own a dog. It’s your responsibility.
Pennsylvania has “strict liability” statutes to cover dog bites. This means that a dog owner can be responsible for an injury even if the pet hasn’t shown aggression in the past. Be aware, if you are wondering ‘how much can I get for a dog bite lawsuit?’ this statute only requires the owner to pay for the medical costs resulting from a dog attack. Emotional anguish and compensation for other hardships aren’t always included in Pennsylvania dog bite cases.
A dog owner may be forced to pay for more than just medical bills if it can be proved in a dog attack lawsuit that they were negligent in the care of their dog. A victim would have to prove the animal was known to be a danger to humans and even with this knowledge the owner failed to restrain the dog properly.
Dog Attack Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions
Will the dog that bit me be euthanized?
In most cases, no. However, Pennsylvania law does allow the local authorities to take control of a dog to make sure it’s not a danger to others. If it has no history of aggression or violence, then it will be returned to the owner. In some rare cases, if the dog is determined to be a danger to the public, the law allows it to be put down.
Who pays for a dog bite injury lawsuit?
Generally, the owner of the dog bears financial responsibility for any damages done by a dog attack. In some cases, the dog might have been under the control of a dog walker or someone other than the owner, and this person might also bear some responsibility. Their insurance policies will usually cover the damages.
Do I need an attorney for a dog bite injury?
Most people have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that will pay for dog bite settlement. However, insurance companies depend on expensive top-tiered attorneys to defend their clients. They may try to prove you were to blame for your bite. They want to pay you as little as possible for your pain and suffering. It’s best to have a competent dog bite attorney on your side who knows the state laws and has been successful in handling recent dog bite cases. This will help ensure you get the maximum settlement amount and have someone looking out for you so you can focus on recovery while we focus on your case. If you’re looking for a Pennsylvania or South Jersey dog bite attorney, contact us today.
Local Help in a Philadelphia Dog Bite Case
Edith A. Pearce Esq. is a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer with proven results. She is an exceptionally intelligent lawyer and is a member of MENSA, the high IQ society. Edith Pearce is not afraid to take on the largest insurance companies and handle the most complex personal injury cases in Philadelphia. Philadelphia dog bite lawyer Edith Pearce is personally involved in every dog bite case the firm handles from start to finish. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file. Click here to download our Complete Guide to Dog Bites.
Contact a Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer Near You
Philadelphia grants a dog bite victim up to two years after the attack to file a claim for damages against a dog owner. Edith Pearce does not recommend waiting this long to file a claim. Evidence, like a gap in a fence or a broken chain, can be repaired. The sooner you file your claim, the easier it will be to document evidence and locate witnesses you’ll need to build your legal argument against the dog’s owner for your dog bite case. An attorney on your side can help you collect these details to build a strong case.
After a traumatic dog attack, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer to protect you and handle your case as you recover. You are not to blame for your injuries and you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay for hospital bills as you heal and try to return to a normal life. Let your attorney make sure your future is completely covered.
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“Working with Edith was a pleasure and would recommend her services to anyone. She was my advocate throughout this lengthy process. I felt heard and supported during the stressful situation. She is a great negotiator and secured a fair settlement.”
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