Pittsburgh Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog bites are a serious problem in the United States, with an estimated 1,000 dog bite accidents occurring every day. Although the vast majority of dogs are peaceful, dependable animals, there are exceptions. Even a trusted family dog can unexpectedly attack. Pittsburgh dog bite lawyers at the Moyles Law Firm understand the fear and uncertainty that plague the victim of a dog bite, often for life. Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses as well as for your pain and suffering.
Dogs Must Be Controlled, Confined and Restrained
In Pennsylvania, dog bites are considered a strict liability in certain circumstances, such as when a dog has previously exhibited aggressive behavior and its owner fails to take reasonable steps to keep visitors and passerby safe. Medical bills are also fully recoverable regardless of whether a dog owner was negligent or a dog has a history of biting, Pittsburgh dog bite lawyers note.
This is because all dog owners in Pennsylvania are legally required to comply with the confinement provision of the state’s Dog Law. According to the terms of the statute, owners must maintain reasonable control over their dogs, keep their dogs confined on their premises and restrain their dogs when out in public. When a victim has been bitten by a dog and the dog’s owner was not in compliance with the Dog Law, the owner can be sued for negligence.
Victims Can Recover More When Injuries Are Severe
The state’s Dangerous Dog Statute, a subsection of the Dog Law, makes a distinction between severe and non-severe injuries. A single dog bite can exert several hundred pounds of force per square inch. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a dog bite victim to suffer crushing injuries, such as broken bones. Dog teeth can also do substantial damage, leaving victims with facial lacerations so severe that they require stitches or even cosmetic surgery. Both categories of dog bite victim – those with broken bones and those who are left disfigured – will often qualify as severely injured, triggering the availability of not only reimbursed medical expenses but also other compensatory damages.
Not all dog bites will result in a severe injury. Occasionally, a dog bite will cause bruising or a laceration that requires stitches to an area of the body other than the face or head. Non-severe injuries can still result in a claim under the Dangerous Dog Statute, but non-severely injured victims are permitted only to seek reimbursement of their reasonable medical expenses. The damages framework established by the Dangerous Dog Statute is applicable in cases of severe injury, even when a dog has never bitten a person before. Moreover, an owner can be held liable when their dog causes non-severe injuries if the dog was previously known to be aggressive.
Pittsburgh Dog Bite Accident Lawyers at Moyles Law Represent Dog Bite Victims
With some dog bite accidents, a dog owner’s liability is clear. Yet other times, the question of liability is considerably less clear. Prevailing in a close case requires competent counsel. Pittsburgh dog bite lawyers at The Moyles Law Firm are well versed in all relevant state and local dog laws, and will work tirelessly to pursue a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog that attacked you. Even when your injuries are relatively minor, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us at 412-281-1055 or 717-233-5400, or complete an online questionnaire to schedule a consultation today. We represent dog bite victims throughout Central Pennsylvania, including the towns of Carlisle, Millersville, Hanover, Gettysburg, Lancaster, York, Shippensburg, Hershey, Linglestown and Dillsburg.