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How does Pennsylvania handle dog bites?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2024 | Personal Injury

Dog attacks can cause severe injuries and leave psychological and physical scars. It can be a traumatic and distressing experience. Although dogs and people typically coexist peacefully, dogs attack millions of people every year. Children are especially vulnerable to these attacks, and they make up the majority of those who suffer from them.

Pennsylvania does not have a “one bite” rule. Instead, the law of strict liability applies. This means that the victim is entitled to compensation without proving fault or the owner’s failure to take reasonable precautions. The victim may file a claim to recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, along with economic damages, including the costs of medical treatment.

Documenting the attack

After a dog bite, taking action to secure your rights and health is crucial. In addition to receiving proper medical treatment, you’ll want to have the following information documented:

  • Identify the owner as quickly as possible. Ask the owner for the dog’s licensing and immunization records if they are available at the time of the incident. Then, obtain the owner’s contact details, including their address, phone number and email
  • Gather the contact information of any witnesses to the incident.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible, or go to the emergency room or urgent care facility, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe. Medical records offer important proof that you will need for your claim.
  • Take pictures of your wounds and any damaged clothing or items.
  • Notify the local animal control authorities. This will help ensure the safety of others and support your legal claim against the dog’s owner.

When you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, consider seeking guidance to help you with your claim.