If a dog bites you, you may fear you have no recourse against their owner. They may claim their animal is a “good dog,” and their attempts to appease you may make you hesitant to seek damages. The bite may be a one-time incident for the dog if they felt scared or spooked. Yet, your attack may have been by a repeat offender. Either way, it’s crucial to know your options for recourse.
The dog’s owner is liable
By Pennsylvania law, a dog’s owner holds liability for any bite you receive. This statute stands no matter if you were the first person the dog attacked. The dog may enter confinement and their owner could face charges of negligence, even for a single incident. If you were bit by a dangerous dog – a dog with a pattern of attacking humans or other animals – their owner’s consequences may be greater. The owner may face misdemeanor charges. And law enforcement officials may quarantine or euthanize the dog.
Compensation depends upon your injury
You may have suffered deep lacerations or broken bones as a result of the dog’s bite. If so, you can pursue their owner beyond the scope of your injury, and they may be responsible for any damages and legal expenses you incurred. But if the dog did not seriously injure you, your compensation may remain limited to medical expenses. In this case, a settlement might not cover any pain and suffering you incurred as a result of the bite.
Most dogs are friendly and present no risk to humans. But encountering a vicious or startled canine can lead to physical and financial pain. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you achieve the recourse you deserve.