What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by a Strange Dog?

There are more than 4.5 million people bitten by dogs in the United States every year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. At least half of those bitten are children and more than 800,000 of those bitten require medical attention. Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims. More unnerving dog bite statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reported that dog bites were one of the leading causes of nonfatal injury to children ages one to 14 between 2001 and 2013. A dog bite Injury to a child can result in severe and life-changing injuries and lead to years of medical expense and recovery. A child bitten by a dog, even if not seriously, can leave the child emotionally traumatized and fearful of animals.

A dog bite victim may be able to recover dog bite compensation for their injuries. This can include payment of medical expenses, lost wages, and also any pain and suffering caused by the attack. If a dog bites you, contact a Wilkes-Barre or Philadelphia dog bite lawyer today to discuss your options. Although a homeowner’s insurance company may offer you a settlement, it may be much less than you deserve, so call the dog attack lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today. We can also help if your dog was attacked and seriously injured by another dog.

Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws

Dog attack law and dog bite laws differ by state. Pennsylvania dog law covering Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre says that a dog owner will be strictly liable if they had knowledge of their dog’s violent tendencies. If the dog owner did not know, they will be liable for all damages for serious injuries, but only have dog bite liability for medical damages for non-severe injuries. A dog owner is responsible for serious injuries caused by a dog regardless of whether a dog has bitten before unless the dog has been provoked. Pennsylvania’s “Dangerous Dog Law” requires dog owners to have more control over dogs that are considered to be “dangerous”. It also requires criminal penalties for those who violate the law. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture states that a “dangerous dog” is one that has attacked, inflicted severe injury to, or killed a human being or a domestic animal without provocation while off an owner’s property. The owner is negligent if the dog is considered a “dangerous dog” and is not restrained properly. Dog owners are generally not liable if the victim was trespassing, ignored clear warning signs, or was provoking the dog.

Pennsylvania applies “strict liability” when dogs attack. This means there is no such thing as the “one bite rule” in PA. If the dog is provoked, or if the person bitten was trespassing, the liability may change. A victim who is seriously injured by a dog may seek payment for medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages, legal damages and other losses. However, the victim must prove that the dog bit without being provoked. If you or your child have been bitten or seriously injured by a dog, call the Pennsylvania dog bite attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for a free consultation. We know the law on dog bites in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre.

Dog Bite Injuries

  • Lacerations
  • Nerve Damage
  • Contusions
  • Eye Injuries
  • Dog Bite Infection & Disease
  • rabies / pasteurella / hepatitis
  • Amputation
  • Fracture/Crushing
  • Neck and Back Injuries
  • Scarring
  • Emotional Trauma/PTSD
  • Death

Facial injuries as the result of a dog attack and dog bites are very common, causing tens of thousands of injuries in the U.S. each year. A Dog bite injury to the face can result in severe scarring that can require numerous painful plastic and cosmetic surgeries. This can impact the victim’s ability to work and earn a living. For the victims of dog attacks, it is important to know your rights before accepting an insurance settlement, so call today.

Aggressive Dog Breeds

  • Pit Bull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • Mastiff/Bullmastiff
  • Boxers
  • Huskies and Malamutes
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Great Danes and other Large Breeds
  • Chow Chows

Research by DogsBite.org on dog bites by breed and dog attacks resulting in death found that pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 74% of the total recorded dog attack deaths in the U.S. in 2014. They also accounted for 74% of all fatal attacks during the 10-year period of 2005-2014.

Why do dog’s bite?

Some dogs bite out of fear or in an attempt to protect personal belongings or property. An animal may also bite when injured, sick or distressed or when a person inflicts pain by accidentally stepping on it. Dogs may also bite during rough play.

What to do when bitten by a dog

If a dog bites you, you should seek immediate medical dog bite treatment. A doctor will be able to better analyze the extent of your injuries and ensure you receive the proper treatment for dog bites to prevent dangerous infection. Gather information on the animal from the owner, including the dog’s immunization records, and report the incident to your local animal control authorities. Reporting dog bites are important. You should also make a complete record of the incident and take the contact information for any witnesses. There is a statute of limitation in dog bite cases, so call a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney when the incident occurs. Speak to a Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre dog lawyer before speaking to any insurance company.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association

  • Never leave a child or a baby alone with a dog
  • Socialize your dog as a young puppy, so it feels at ease around people
  • Don’t put your dog in a position where it feels threatened
  • Train your dog
  • Keep your dog healthy and up to date on all vaccinations
  • Neuter your pet
  • Be a responsible pet owner
  • Teach children and toddlers to be careful around dogs
  •  Teach children not to approach a strange dog
  • Don’t run past a dog, they naturally chase things
  • Never disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
  •  If a dog approaches you to sniff, stay still
  • If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a strange dog
  •  If you fall or are knocked to the ground by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your head, neck, and face.
  • If you do get bitten, be sure to get the proper treatment for a dog bite.

Choose the right lawyers for dog attacks in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre

We all love our pets, however, we realize that some animals can be a danger if not properly trained and controlled. Under Pennsylvania law, dogs must be kept under proper and adequate control. This means they must be leashed or confined to an owner’s property. The victims of dog attacks and dog bites that are caused by the negligence of dog owners are entitled to full compensation for their injuries. The dog bite compensation amount is based on the severity of the injuries and the level of pain and suffering. A dog attack lawsuit can ensure you get the compensation you deserve. The dog bite law firm of Fellerman & Ciarimboli is experienced in Pennsylvania dog bite case law and prepared to fight for you.

Hire a Lawyer. Call the Pennsylvania dog bite injury attorneys today for a free consultation

Contact the free consultation lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today to learn how a dog bite lawsuit can help you get the justice you deserve. We realize how traumatic a dog attack can be, and understand your pain and suffering. We have successfully negotiated dog bite lawsuit settlements for our clients. Our experienced team of injury lawyers is here to help you and your family 24/7. Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations for dog bite cases, so your lawsuit must be filed within two years of the attack. If the victim is minor, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s eighteenth birthday.

Call 215-575-9237 to speak to a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer or 570-714-HURT to speak to a Wilkes-Barre dog bite lawyer.  Our consultations are always free and confidential.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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