What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
Dog bites are fairly common in the United States, and Philadelphia is no exception. A dog bite is painful, emotionally disturbing and can causs serious injury and disfigurement. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says up to 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year. The Science Daily News reported recently that one percent of all visits to the emergency room are the result of dog bites. About 44,000 of those dog attacks caused facial injuries. Reconstructive surgery was required for two-thirds of those victims.
Children between five and nine years old are the most common victims of dog bites. They’re more likely to be bitten in the neck and head, and they frequently require medical treatment. After the wounds have been treated, the question of legal responsibility must be addressed. Dog bite victims are entitled to collect compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs, physical disfigurement and loss of income.
Dog bites are covered by personal injury laws. Contacting a dog bite lawyer is the best way to find out about your rights and how to receive compensation for your damages. Professional dog bite lawyers know that every case is unique due to several factors.
The following factors affect the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive if you or a loved one were attacked by a vicious dog.
- Where the attack took place
- How old the dog was at the time of the incident
- Whether the dog has a history of biting people
- The age of the victim
- Whether the dog is current on its vaccinations
The laws concerning dog bites vary from state to state. The outcome of a dog bite case in Philadelphia could be quite different than the consequences of a similar case in San Diego. In some states, legal responsibility is determined by the court. In other states, statutes dictate who’s responsible in the event of a dog attack. Pennsylvania uses both case history and laws to assign responsibility. For this reason, it’s important to consult a professional, experienced Philadelphia attorney who has a history of handling dog bite cases in the area.
Pennsylvania laws provide compensation for attack victims and penalties for the owners of vicious dogs based on the extent of the injuries. Minor injuries are only compensated by reimbursing medical expenses. Victims with more serious injuries are entitled to receive additional compensation.
Pennsylvania law no longer recognizes the statute that permitted one free bite to a dog before the owner would be held responsible. Numerous other states have also dropped that law because it did not consider the variables of each situation. Plus, certain breeds were penalized more if they were considered to be more likely to attack. Owner negligence and the circumstances of the attack must also come into play when assigning responsibility.
The only way to be sure you get the compensation you deserve is to consult a qualified Philadelphia dog attack lawyer. Call us if you need some advice. We’ll let you know how to proceed with your case.