If you were attacked by a dog, contact a dog bite lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.
Any type of animal attack can be devastating. Often, the victim of an animal bite will have both physical and emotional scarring. This is where our experienced dog attack attorneys can help.
For over 60 years, the lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have represented injury victims, including dog bite victims, throughout Pennsylvania. We understand how complicated these cases can sometimes be and are ready to answer any questions you may have about your case.
Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies cover bite injuries, so let us help you recover the damages you deserve for your scarring, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages from your injury.
Our injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We have received accolades for our work from our peers and prestigious legal organizations such as Best Lawyers, the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and U.S. News and World Report.
If you want a lawyer for dog bite in Pennsylvania who will fight for your rights, then you want Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today, submit a chat, or fill out our online contact form.
What is Pennsylvania’s Dog Bite Law?
Most states, including Pennsylvania, have laws that make dog owners strictly liable for all bites. This means that if a dog bites you unprovoked, its owner is automatically responsible for any injuries and the owner must compensate you for medical expenses. Because Pennsylvania is a strict liability state, the bite victim does not need to show that the owner knew of a dog’s tendency to bite without provocation and the dog’s biting history is irrlevant
However, if the injury victim is seeking to recover compensation for damages in addition to medical expenses, Pennsylvania requires the injured victim to show the dog owner was negligent when the attack occurred. In other words, the injured party must show that the dog owner made some kind of mistake, such as:
- failing to keep a dog restrained
- failing to warn others of a dog’s known dangerous propensity or aggressive disposition
- or failing to keep a dog known to be dangerous away from others.
If negligence is proven, the victim may receive both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are compensation that you can receive for any monetary losses you experienced. This includes but is not limited to current and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and loss of future earning potential. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for any non-monetary losses that you may have suffered. This includes but is not limited to pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.
This is why it is so important to speak with a dog bite injury lawyer — so you can receive all the compensation you need and deserve after being bitten by a dog.
What is the “One Bite Rule”?
The “one bite rule” and “first bite free rule” are deceptive terms. Pennsylvania law does not require an actual “bite.” Dog bite claims are a kind of personal injury claim and fall under strict liability tort. What this means is the owner will be held liable if the dog attacks someone, as long as the victim was not breaking the law at the time of the incident, and did not provoke the dog.
For example, let’s say your neighbor’s dog barks at you every time you walk past their house but is usually on a leash. One day, as you walk past the house, the dog breaks its leash and runs after you. It attacks your foot, causing a deep puncture wound in your ankle. Although the dog’s owner had the animal tied up, they are still responsible for the bite.
It’s also important to note that strict liability only pays for your medical costs. If the owner or caretaker of the animal had acted in a negligent manner or had known about the dog’s violent tendencies, you can file for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Using the previous example, let’s say the dog was not tied up at the time of the attack and was just running around loose in the year. The dog had a history of attacking neighbors and since its owner failed to properly leash the dog, your dog bite lawyers can file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
How Long Do Dog Bite Victims Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Dog bite victims must file their lawsuits within 2 years of the attack. Victims who are minors must file their lawsuits within two years of turning 18. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. If you do not file your dog bite case within this timeframe, you will not be able to seek compensation for your injuries. It is important to speak with a dog bite injuries lawyer soon to make sure you file your claim on time. Contact the dog bite injury attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for your free consultation.
What Do I Do Following a Dog Bite?
If you are the victim of a dog attack in Pennsylvania, your first action is to get as far away as possible from the animal. Then, do the following:
- Your first step is to get medical treatment right away. A puncture wound can easily become infected and there may be a chance the dog is not up to date with its vaccinations. Remember to take a photo of the dog bite injuries before treatment.
- Try to get the owner’s name and contact information. You’ll also want to verify the dog’s vaccination history. Try to get as much information about the dog as you can, such as what type of breed they are and if they have a history of biting.
- If there were any witnesses to the attack, remember to get their information as well. When filling out the insurance claim, a witness’ testimony can help prove your story.
- Your next step is to call animal control or the local police department to fill out an incident report. This will not only help your case but prevent any future attacks from happening.
- It’s always smart to document everything. This includes an account of what happened before, during, and after the attack and a record of any medical treatment or lost time at work. Also document any conversations you may have had with the owner or witnesses.
- Finally, call an experienced dog bite lawyer to learn about your legal options. An animal bite lawyer will discuss your case, examine the evidence, and give you a rough estimation of how much your dog bite claim may be worth. We will negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Are Some Common Injuries from Dog Attacks?
Animal attack injuries can range from a minor scratch to severe injuries that could take months, even years to recover from. Dog bites can cause serious injury to a person’s skin and soft tissues. Because the dog’s jaws are very powerful, the wounds inflicted can crush or tear muscles, tendons, and skin. Some common injuries caused by a dog attack include:
- Infections in the puncture wound
- Nerve damage
- Tendon and muscle damage
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
If the animal is not up to date with its vaccinations, there is the danger of the injury victim receiving rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that causes inflammation of your brain and spinal cord. It can be fatal if not treated right away.
In addition, a dog’s mouth contains bacteria. Any bite that punctures the skin, especially a deep puncture wound, contains bacteria that can spread on and under the skin of the bit victim. If left untreated, this bacteria an multiply and spread in the body. This can cause an abcess or tissue infection in the bite area.
An experienced dog bite law firm will be able to help you understand how serious your injuries may be and how much compensation you may need in order to cover all current and future medical expenses. Dog bite law firms also work with medical experts to assess your injuries and prove how much compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries.
What Compensation is Available in Dog Bite Cases?
Compensation depends on whether the dog’s owner is negligent at the time of the accident. To prove negligence, you will need to show that the dog owner had known the dog was violent yet failed to take any action to control and prevent a bite from occurring.
If negligence can be proven, the dog bite victim may receive full compensation for their injuries. This includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are compensation that you can receive for any monetary losses you experienced. This includes but is not limited to current and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and loss of future earning potential.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for any non-monetary losses that you may have had. This includes but is not limited to pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.
How Much Is My Case Worth Under Pennsylvania Dog Bite Law?
It is impossible to know how much a case might be worth before investigating the extent of any injuries sustained, medical costs, lost wages, future expenses, and pain and suffering. This is why it is important that you hire a dog bites lawyer who will complete a thorough investigation and who will never advise you to accept a settlement for less than you truly deserve. Each case is unique, so the best way to learn about what compensation you may be entitled to is to speak with one of the dog bites attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for free.
How Can an Attorney for Dog Bites at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Help You With Your Claim?
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we understand that the financial burdens following a serious dog bite injury can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to understand what your next steps should be. That’s why our personal injury lawyers always take the time to discuss your legal options during your free consultation. Once you hire our animal bite attorneys, we will aggressively go after the insurance company to make sure you are properly compensated for your injuries.
If you are worried about the cost of hiring a dog bite injury attorney, please know that we work on a contingent fee basis. This means that we do not collect a fee unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. You pay nothing upfront.
If you think you may have a personal injury case, or if you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit, we will evaluate the details of your situation at no charge and let you know what legal options are available for you. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire the Best Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me?
Some personal injury law firms, including Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, operate on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only charge a fee if we win your case. In other words, our getting paid is “contingent” upon our success. The fee is a percentage of the total amount of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, that fee will never be greater than the sum paid to you. We pay all upfront costs so you never have to pay anything out of your own pocket. If for some reason our attorneys for dog bites can’t get you the compensation you need, you owe us nothing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Injuries
Q: Are Dog Bite Cases Common in Pennsylvania?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 48 million houses in the U.S. own a dog. In fact, dogs are the number one companion animal in our country. Based on those numbers, the danger of dog bites is not surprising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention each year. According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Dog Attack Facts & Figures, that means there are 2,400 dog attacks every day, 100 each hour, or one every 36 seconds.
Q: Who Are the Most Common Animal Attack Victims?
Over half of dog bite victims are children. Additionally, children suffer greater injuries than adults when a dog bites them. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh reports that only 12% of adults need medical treatment. In contrast, 26% of children who receive a dog bite must seek immediate medical care. Most dog bite incidents occur at the victim’s home or the victim’s friend’s home.
Q: Which Lawyer for Dog Bites in Pennsylvania Should I Choose to Represent Me?
In the event of dog bites, the physical and emotional damage can be devastating. An experienced lawyer for dog attack at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will answer your questions, guide you through the legal process, and work to get you the compensation you are owed.
Call us today for a free evaluation of your personal injury claim, or fill out our easy-to-use contact form. Someone from our firm will be available to chat or answer your call 24/7. We have lawyers for dog bites throughout the state.
Q: Is PA a Strict Liability State?
Yes. Under PA dog bite laws, the owner of a dog that bites will be held responsible for medical expenses of the victim so long as the dog was not provoked by the victim. But, if the victim wants to pursue compensation in addition to medical expenses, the victim of the dog bite must show that the dog owner was negligent in some way. For example, dog injury lawyers may show that the dog owner:
- failed to keep a dog properly restrained,
- failed to warn others of a dog’s known dangerous propensity or aggressive disposition, or
- failed to keep a dog known to be dangerous away from others.
In addition, dog owners who knew of a dog’s tendency to bite without provocation will be liable under Pennsylvania dog bite laws.
Because you must prove in a dog bite claim that the owner of the dog was negligent in order to receive full compensation for economic and non-ecomomic damages, it is important to discuss your claim with a dog bite attorney. An experienced attorney for dog bite claims will know how to collect evidence, interview the dog owner, work with medical experts, prove your case, and more.
Q: Does Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Handle Dog on Dog Attack Claims?
Yes. Not all victims of dog bites are people. Sometimes, dogs attack other dogs. The injuries can be serious and even fatal, resulting in expensive veterinarian bills and rehabilitation. Our law firm provides dog on dog attack lawyer services. If your dog was injured by another dog, Munley’s lawyers for dog attacks can discussion your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Q: Do I Need a Pennsylavania Dog Bite Lawyer?
As the injured victim, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party to obtain maximum compensation for your injury. Unfortunately, you will likely face legal hurdles without a personal injury lawyer on your side. Many victims never get the total compensation they are entitled to when they handle their claim without a dog attack attorney.
The legal process can be confusing. Most homeowners insurance policies cover dog bites. This means you will need to negotiate with the dog owners’ insurance company. And the insurance company will have professional adjustors and their own dog injury lawyer. It is much better when you have a PA dog bite lawyer on your side.
Insurance companies profit by settling claims for as little as possible. As an injury victim, you may be concerned about paying your current medical bills, especially if you’re missing a lot of time from work. So a quick settlement from the insurance company can solve that problem instantly. But what about any future expenses? Will that settlement cover lost earning potential or property damage?
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers for dog bite cases will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, which could include both present and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and negotiate for you so you can focus on healing.
Q: What Questions Should I Ask When Hiring a Dog Bite Attorney Near Me?
- Do you have experience with cases similar to mine?
- What were the outcomes in similar cases?
- What are your fees?
- Are there upfront fees? What about upfront costs?
- Do you work on a contingency-fee basis?
Why Choose Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for Your Personal Injury Cases?
With so many dog bites lawyers to choose from, how do you know who you can trust to fight for you and your loved ones? Consider these factors that set Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys apart:
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has earned national recognition for our large settlements and verdicts. Our entire staff works diligently to make sure you get the maximum compensation owed to you in your dog bite lawsuit, Pennsylvania.
When it comes to complex personal injury cases under dog bite law in PA — experience counts. Each of our partners has decades of experience representing individuals and families who have suffered serious injury or been denied benefits. Because we are a family firm, we often work closely together on our cases to achieve the best possible results for you.
Our board-certified personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are among the highest-rated and most respected legal advocates in the country. Other dog bites law firms regularly look to us as the industry experts in many complex areas of the law. All of our credentials (including Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum) reflect the fact that we are an exceptional law firm.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we utilize resources that are typically available only to big law firms for dog bite. We work closely with our network of investigators, experts, and in-house medical personnel to build your dog bite personal injury case.
Perhaps the best testament to our success is the satisfaction of our past dog bite personal injury clients. Learn what former Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys clients have to say about their experience with our firm.
Our No-Fee Promise.
We do not collect a fee unless we win your dog bite personal injury case. If we do not produce results for you, you owe us nothing.
I Need a Dog Attack Lawyer Near Me. Contact Us Today.
Contact us today to speak with a dog attack injury attorney about your dog bite lawsuit, PA and your options under dog bite law, Pennsylvania. We offer free consultations.