While dogs have long been known as man’s best friend, we have to remember that they are still animals with animal instincts. Whether the dog never bit before, or if the dog had a history of biting, it is still the dog’s owner’s responsibility to keep their animal contained and others safe from injury In many cases a dog bite will occur while someone is visiting their friends or family, or on public property. Unfortunately, small children are at the greatest risk of dog bite injuries because of their small stature. When children are bitten and attacked by dogs, most of their injuries are to the face, neck, and head areas. When children are attacked by a dangerous dog, they can suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement, not to mention serious psychological effects from the incident. Whenever a dog bites or otherwise injures someone acting lawfully, the victim has the right to pursue damages.
In most cases, a dog bite claim resulting from an injury on private property will be filed with the homeowner’s insurance carrier. This is often not such a simple case, especially when insurance companies deny or limit paying or if the incident happened in public. Knowing the laws of Pennsylvania can help ensure that your rights are protected. Ilkhanoff & Silverstein have handled countless dog bite accidents, always focused on protecting the rights of clients as they pursue compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath of a dog bite. If you need to consult with an attorney, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein for a free consultation.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Laws
Dog owners can be found legally liable when their dog bites or attacks innocent people. Whether the dog injured the victim while they were lawfully on the dog owner’s property or attacked the victim unprovoked while running loose, wandering the neighborhood or while on public property, the dog’s owner can be held financially and legally liable for the injuries incurred by the victim. The victim will need to prove their case of negligence. In Pennsylvania, a dog owner is considered to act negligently if they knew the dog had vicious tendencies and they neglected to control it properly. This includes having adequate fencing on one’s property and following the state’s clear law requiring that dogs be restrained in public at all times. In addition, if the dog in question has already been declared “dangerous” and the owner does not meet the legal requirements to harbor it, that could also be an act of negligence.
Dog Owner’s Defense
Dog owners have some ability to defend themselves against these cases. For one, if a person was to act unlawfully, including trespassing or the attempted or successful commision of a crime on one’s property, they could be denied any right to recover. In addition, an owner can argue that the victim was injured when the dog escaped a properly fenced yard or the party was partly to blame. Comparative negligence limits the victim’s compensation to the percentage of fault.
Contact a York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love was injured by a dangerous dog, you are urged to contact an experienced personal injury attorney from Ilkhanoff & Silverstein right away. Our firm consists of seasoned trial attorneys ready to assess your case, guide you through your options, and passionately represent you in and out of court. If you are entitled to compensation, you need an attorney that can fight for what you deserve. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein for a free consultation.