Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers Who Can Help You With Your Case
Dog bites can cause severe injuries and death, especially when children are attacked. Recently, a baby and toddler were mauled to death by their family’s pet pit bull. Their mother was seriously injured while trying to protect her children. It only takes a few seconds for a dog to attack and cause devastating injuries. According to witnesses, the attack lasted longer than 10 minutes. This is one of several recent cases in which victims have been mauled severely or even to death by vicious dogs.
Dog bites can cause painful injuries that can require multiple surgeries and rehabilitation. Expenses for treating dog bite injuries can add up quickly. If another person’s dog seriously injured you or your loved one, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries under Pennsylvania’s dog by law.
Who Is Legally Responsible When a Dog Bites a Victim in Philadelphia?
In Pennsylvania, dogs must be on their leash if they are outside of their home area. When dogs roam freely or escape their yard, dog bite victims can suffer disfiguring cuts, broken bones, deep bruises, and other serious wounds. In most cases, victims can hold the dog’s owner legally responsible or liable for the injuries they suffered.
Even if the owner had no previous knowledge that the dog had vicious tendencies, the victim could still pursue compensation from the owner. Many recent mauling incidents covered in the news involve dogs who did not display aggressive tendencies or bite anyone before they snapped and mauled one or more victims.
Generally, this rule does not apply to military and police dogs acting in the line of duty, but even that legal role does have some exceptions. If someone else’s dog has injured you or your child, you should discuss your case with an attorney to understand your legal rights.
Proving Liability After a Dog Bite Injury
Every state has its laws regarding dog bite liability. In Pennsylvania, victims of dog bites can hold the dog’s owner strictly liable for their medical expenses. As the victim of a dog bite, you will not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent, leading to the dog bite. Instead, you only have to prove that the owner or caretaker was responsible for the dog at the time of the attack. By doing so, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses.
However, victims of serious dog bites often experience expenses beyond their medical bills. These expenses may include permanent disfigurement, lost income, and physical and mental pain and suffering. In order to recover these additional types of compensation, you will need to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent in handling the dog, such as allowing the dog to roam off-leash. You will also need to prove that the dog had a propensity for violence.
Physical Wounds Caused By Dog Bites
Dog bites can cause a wide range of injuries. Mild dog bites can require a few stitches, while other incidents result in permanent disfigurement and disability or even death. Dogs can cause various physical wounds at the location of broken bones, puncture wounds, lacerations, torn muscle tissue, and severed or torn tendons or ligaments can occur.
Serious mauling incidents can require hundreds of stitches and multiple surgeries to reconstruct a victim’s face. This is especially true when children are injured. They are usually attacked in the face and can require skin grafts, surgeries, and other painful treatments.
Infections Caused By Dog Bite Injuries
In addition to the physical wounds caused by dog bites, infection is always a serious concern. Bacteria from the dog’s mouth can be transferred into the victim’s bloodstream during a dog bite. Some dog bite wounds can be difficult to clean thoroughly, such as puncture wounds that go deeper than the victim might realize. As the wound begins to heal, it can trap bacteria in the wound, causing a serious or life-threatening infection. Even when a victim has had their dog bite wounds cleaned by a professional, they could still be at risk for infection.
Disfigurement and Scarring
Permanent disfigurement is another serious risk of dog bites. If a small child suffers a dog bite on their face, they may have to contend with permanent scarring for the rest of their life. Some dogs have extremely powerful jaws that can maintain a victim easily in a violent attack.
In other cases, victims may lose fingers, toes, or even a limb because of a dog bite or amputation resulting from infection. Disfigurement, scarring common amputation can cause multiple physical and psychological issues. Reconstruction surgery may be necessary to repair disfigurement, but in many cases, the victim will have to live with a disfigured appearance from the dog bite.
Dog Bites Can Cause Psychological Injuries
In addition to all of the physical injuries discussed above, dog bites can also cause serious psychological injuries. Many dog bite incidents, like the one discussed at the beginning of this page, happen quickly and suddenly. Victims of dog bites can be left terrified. Severe dog bites can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause many additional symptoms, such as:
- Irrational fears
- Irritability and anger outbursts
- Depression and anxiety
- Avoidance of triggers
- Violent nightmares and flashbacks of the attack
Many PTSD sufferers require extensive psychological treatment and medication to begin recovery. Victims may need to take time off of work or their regular activities while they recover. Leaving the house could even cause debilitating panic attacks. Dog bite victims can also struggle with an intense fear of dogs for the rest of their lives, causing serious complications.
Contact Our Philadelphia Dog Bite Attorneys To Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Philadelphia, you may be able to recover compensation. You can pursue compensation through the homeowner’s insurance policy or a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania civil court. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.