The Dangers of Dog Attacks
Samuel Fishman EsqDog bites can cause intense physical and emotional distress to victims. Unfortunately, estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that nearly 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Nearly 20 percent of those people need medical attention for their injuries. In 2006 alone, almost 31,000 people required reconstructive surgery because of dog bites. While anyone can be bitten by a dog, the most frequent victims are children between the ages of five and nine years old. Children in this age group are also usually the most likely group to need medical attention.
While medical treatment for the victim is usually the first concern, families must also consider their legal responsibilities and expenses. People often need to know which party is responsible for medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering, physical impairments and lost time from work.
Get Answers from a Knowledgeable Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites fall under personal injury law, and a dog bite attorney is the best person to answer questions about compensation, damages and legal responsibilities. Numerous factors can affect the rules for each particular situation. Legal responsibility might be affected by the dog’s history, the victim’s age or the location of the attack. Professional dog bite attorneys know the law well and can help victims understand their rights and the potential compensation that could be available to them.
Liability for dog bites is different in each state. It’s important to understand that the consequences of a dog bite in Chicago could be substantially different than those of a dog bite that takes place in Pittsburgh. While some states rely on court cases to determine the legal responsibilities of each party, others have statutes in place for dog bites. Some states even use both statutes and case law. Because the rulings in each jurisdiction can vary, Pennsylvania attorneys are usually the most prepared to handle cases about dog bites in Pittsburgh.
Dog Owners Face Regulations in Pennsylvania
The state of Pennsylvania uses both case law and statutes to handle situations involving dog bites. Statutes manage the responsibilities of dog owners to control their pets. Pennsylvania statutes also offer remedies for victims and penalize owners with dangerous dogs. Any remedies the victim receives are determined by the severity of his or her injuries. Victims who have sustained minor injuries might not receive anything beyond the coverage of their medical bills. However, victims with severe injuries might also be eligible to recover further damages.
An old rule derived from English common law that granted one free bite to a dog before the owner was held responsible is no longer in effect in Pennsylvania. Many states moved away from this law because it couldn’t account for the variables of each situation. Dogs who were believed to have a propensity for violence often received different treatment regardless of their behavioral histories. Additionally, legal responsibility can depend on whether or not the victim provoked the dog in any way before the attack or the owner’s negligence.
Contact Us to Learn More about Your Options
All situations involving dog bites and injuries are different. Liability for dog bites in Pennsylvania is determined by an assortment of complex rules. Many situations are also further complicated by insurance providers and policies because many victims receive compensation from insurers. A professional, Pittsburgh dog bite lawyer from the Law Offices of Samuel Fishman is available to assist dog owners and victims in determining their legal responsibilities and rights in regard to this complicated area of law.