About five million people are bitten, attacked, or mauled by dogs every year in the United States. Of those victims, nearly one in five must visit a doctor or go to an emergency room to receive medical care. Contrary to popular belief that focuses on “dangerous” breeds like Dobermans or Rottweilers, any dog is capable of seriously injuring or killing human beings. Not only can dog bite injuries be physically and psychologically difficult, they can also result in a significant financial burden. However, Pennsylvania dog bite victims may recover compensation if the owner’s negligence was to blame for the attack.
The Philadelphia dog bite attorneys at Reiff & Bily can help you file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member attacked by a dog. We have researched and handled thousands of injury cases since 1979, and support our clients with over three and a half decades of experience. To set up a free and confidential consultation, call Reiff & Bily at (215) 274-0072 today.
Dog Bite Statistics and Common Injuries
According to the American Humane Association, there are more than 4.5 million dog bites each year, and while the dog population may be declining, attacks are on the rise. Sadly, many of these attacks are preventable. While injuries can vary in severity, close to 30,000 reconstructive surgeries were performed in 2013 alone to repair dog bite injuries.
Children, the elderly, and postal carriers are the most frequent victims of dog attacks, in fact 50% all injuries associated with dog bites and attacks occur in children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dog bites were among the leading causes of nonfatal injury to children between the ages of one to 14 from 2003 through 2012.
Dog bite injuries can vary from mild to severe, and in some grave instances, even cause fatalities. The most common dog bite injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Severed Limbs
- Facial Injuries
- Physical Disfigurement
- Permanent Scarring
- Permanent Disability
Dog bites are physically, emotionally, and psychologically traumatic for victims, especially children, and have even been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological burdens can require costly medical treatment and interfere with important parts of daily life like employment and relationships.
Liability and Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in Philadelphia
In Pennsylvania, dog owners are not responsible for dog bites, unless they knew, or had reason to know, of their dog’s deliberately violent nature. Under PA law, dogs are seen as domesticated animals, so they are deemed harmless, unless otherwise indicated by a vicious tendency or past history of attacks.
Dog owners, are legally obligated to restrain, control, or take other safety precautions, in order to prevent harm, if they have any indication that their dog may be a physical threat. If a dog is not secured on a leash, properly secured on their owner’s premises, or under reasonable control, the owner can be held liable by a state court, for any unprovoked attack.
There are also laws in effect, in which dog owners may be charged with ‘harboring a dangerous dog’, if their dog has a propensity to violence, has a history of unprovoked attacks, or has been used in a crime. Landlords, may be liable if they knew of the dog’s vicious nature or dangerous history.
As the innocent victim of a dog bite or dog mauling in Pennsylvania, you may be able to entitled to damages, for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and other related expenses,. In one instance, we were able to recover $50,000 for our client’s child who was bitten and permanently scarred by a dog bite. The dog in this case had never bitten anyone prior to this incident. Our legal team is highly experienced in handling dog bite liability claims and understand the physical, emotional, psychological, and financial difficulties they can often lead to.
Establishing liability can be complicated by factors like the dog’s previous bite history and the severity of the injury. It is important to contact the experienced Philadelphia dog bite lawyers at Reiff & Bily to handle your injury so that you don’t have to navigate the legal complexities on your own. We have the knowledge, dedication, experience, and compassion to help you fight for justice and fair compensation.
We do not recommend trying to settle a dog attack directly with the dog’s owner or their insurance company. Insurance companies are known for trying to settle injury claims out of court, so the compensation they offer may not always have your best interests fully in mind. Often, insurance companies will offer to pay far less compensation to a victim of an attack, than the money they may have been awarded had they worked with an attorney. Furthermore, as a dog attack victim you may have to involve your own health insurance company, which can add frustration and anxiety to an already stressful situation. At Reiff & Bily, we strive to ease our clients emotionally while helping them navigate their liability claims.
Contact Our Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyers
If you were seriously injured by a dog bite, attack, or mauling, or if someone you loved passed away due to their injuries, we may be able to help you recover compensation. To arrange for a confidential case evaluation completely free of charge, call the law offices of Reiff & Bily at (215) 274-0072 or contact us online today.
Dog Bite Case Results
- $50,000 Dog Bite: Dog bites child and leaves small scar. Dog had never bitten anyone prior to this incident.