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Are Pennsylvania dog bite victims eligible for injury compensation?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Personal Injury

Bites sustained in a dog attack often result in horrific injuries, especially in young children. Although financial compensation will never erase what happened, it can help you cope with the economic and emotional aftermath.

Unfortunately, the legal aspects of dog attacks are often fraught with complications and hurdles. However, you should know that injury compensation may be within reach after a dog bite. Knowledge of the law could help to strengthen your claim.

A strict liability state

Unlike some states, Pennsylvania follows the strict liability standard instead of the “one-bite rule.” It means qualified victims can obtain compensation from the dog owner without proving negligence. For example, if they never knew the animal was dangerous, dog owners are still strictly liable for attack injuries.

Two types of injury

Pennsylvania puts dog bite victims into two injury categories—severe injuries and non-severe injuries. In cases of non-severe injuries, victims can probably not expect a big payout. However, severe harm (disfigurement, broken bones, etc.) typically leads to greater awards.

Possible damages for victims

A successful claim probably means you will get enough restitution to cover much of the medical expenses associated with your bite injuries. Victims with severe injuries may also be eligible for other damages, such as:

  • Mental anguish
  • Continuing pain
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent disfigurement

The element of negligence can strengthen dog bite claims. For instance, if the dog owner knew the animal was dangerous yet failed to protect others, their negligence could improve your bid for full damages.

Complex legal landscape

You can be sure the defense side of a dog bite claim is working to reduce their liability. For this reason, it is usually wise to have a knowledgeable individual guide you through the claims process.