Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer

While many people have positive encounters with dogs, there are times when these interactions can lead to injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one in five people bitten by a dog will require medical attention.

In some cases, the dog bite is so severe that you will need extensive medical treatment to recover from these injuries. In these situations, you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible dog owner.

If you have been injured, disfigured, or lost a loved one in an animal attack, the legal team at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan can help. Reach out to a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer to find out about your legal options. Your initial consultation with our attorneys is free, so contact us now.

Where Do Dog Attacks Happen?

Unfortunately, dog bites can happen at the most unexpected times and in both public and private spaces, including:

  • When visiting another person’s home or yard
  • At a park
  • Walking down the street
  • Navigating a sidewalk

While an aggressive, stray animal may suddenly approach you, many times, it is a poorly restrained pet that bites someone.

Canine attacks that occur at individuals’ homes generally occur because the dogs feel threatened or protective of their homes and yards. If you enter these spaces, even with the owner present, a friendly dog can attack under these circumstances.

Even individuals doing their jobs can be attacked by dogs. According to the United States Postal Service, 5,400 postal workers were injured by dog attacks in 2021.

During a dog attack, certain parts of the body are susceptible to injuries. As cited in a Scientific World Journal study published by the National Library of Medicine, the hands and arms receive the most damage in these incidents. This is often due to the victim shielding themselves from the dog or pushing it away. Legs and feet are commonly targeted by canines, especially if you try to run away from the attacking animal.

Facial, chest, abdomen, and back bites are very typical in these attacks. The severity of injuries depends on the size and aggression level of the dog, as well as the age and health of the victim.

Unprovoked Canine Attacks Leave Behind Physical and Emotional Scars

When a dog attacks someone, it can result in physical injuries and emotional scars. While sometimes, the individual will only have superficial scratches, others may suffer deep, potentially life-threatening cuts, wounds that require stitches or surgical intervention.

Any issue with dog bites is the risk of infection. Bacteria from the dog’s mouth can lead to redness, swelling, discharge, and intense pain. Immediate medical attention is needed to prevent any potential complications. If infections are not treated, they can lead to more health problems in the future.

Along with cuts and infection risk, serious attacks often leave victims with broken bones or fractures. Many dogs have a strong bite grip, and that can cause severe injuries, especially when a person tries to escape or defend themselves. Many times, these injuries will also need surgery to help in the recovery process.

Even after treatment, these attacks can leave victims with long-lasting injuries, such as nerve damage. They may experience weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in those spots. Sometimes, rehabilitation can restore function, but other times, the damage could be permanent.

Along with physical injuries, victims must also deal with the psychological impact of these attacks. Due to the traumatic nature, some people will have flashbacks, nightmares, extreme anxiety, and fear related to the incident. As a result, that can disrupt a person’s daily life and affect their normal activities and interactions.

Even after physical wounds heal, some individuals can develop a fear of dogs or experience anxiety when encountering them. This can also lead to depression and impact relationships with loved ones.

When these physical and emotional injuries occur, they can leave victims struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. Along with that, they may struggle to pay the substantial medical bills that often accompany these attacks. If you have been injured in a dog bite incident in Philadelphia, you have options. Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan may be able to help you recover compensation in your case. Contact us today to learn more.

Philadelphia Dog Laws

The City of Brotherly Love has implemented strict regulations for dog owners. Philadelphia leash laws mandate all dogs to be leashed whenever they are outside their owner’s property. This rule applies whether you take your dog for a stroll around the neighborhood or any public space.

Other city ordinances mimic state laws outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. One example is 3 Pa. Stat. § 459-305, which makes it illegal to allow your dog to roam freely outside of your property boundaries. These laws are designed to prevent dog-related attacks and conflicts with other animals or people. Philadelphia’s Animal Control Officers actively enforce these regulations. Violators may face fines or other penalties.

Who Is Liable When Bites Occur?

In Pennsylvania, the state’s laws regarding dog bite liability adhere to the “strict liability” principle. With that, dog owners are held entirely responsible for any injuries caused by their pets, regardless of the dog’s past behavior. As a result, these owners are liable for any injuries caused by the pets from the first incident.

Unlike the “one-bite rule” in some states, which requires prior knowledge of a dog’s aggressive behavior, Pennsylvania’s laws require pet owners to take responsibility and ensure their dog does not bite anyone; otherwise, they’re liable for the victim’s medical bills.

However, under those laws, you might not get enough compensation for your damages and other losses. If the owner was negligent, then you could recover additional compensation. In these cases, the owner failed to exercise reasonable care and did not prevent their pets from attacking others. For example, this could include an owner who allows their aggressive dog to roam freely, leading to a bite.

There is a “dangerous dog” distinction to consider. The PA Department of Agriculture highlights how a dangerous dog is one that:

  • Has attacked and inflicted injuries on a person without provocation
  • Injured or killed a domestic animal on the owner’s property
  • Been used to commit a crime

Many times, the owners will need to carry special liability insurance or properly restrain the animal. If they fail to do so and the animal attacks another person, they can be strictly liable for any injuries.

Understanding legal constructs like the strict liability standard can be challenging. This is where a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer can be of great assistance to you in deciding if you have a pursuable claim. At Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, we offer free consultations, so contact us to review your case and advise you of the legal remedies available to you today.

Getting Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries

Under strict liability, dog owners are liable for the injuries caused. In these cases, you don’t have to prove negligence. Instead, the burden of proof is lowered, only requiring you to show that the owner was responsible for their pet.

However, you may be entitled to additional damages if the owner was negligent. In these cases, you might receive additional compensation for:

  • Emotional distress from the trauma of a dog attack. Compensation may cover the medical costs and counseling fees to recover from the incident.
  • Pain and suffering include the emotional and physical pain suffered as a result of the attack.
  • Lost wages and disability may be included if the attack caused you temporary or permanent disability, resulting in lost income.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life compensation can be awarded when the dog bite affects your quality of life.
  • Disfigurement and scarring occur during vicious attacks, and you can seek compensation for the emotional and physical impact of these injuries.

Unfortunately, not all attacks result in the victim walking away from the incident with just injuries. In some cases, these attacks are so severe that they result in fatalities. Over the years, many people, especially children, have lost their lives to these incidents. If this is the case with your situation, you may be able to file a wrongful death case against the pet’s owner.

Get Assistance if a Dog Attacked You in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, all dog owners are responsible for their pets’ actions. In most cases, they will need to cover the costs of any associated medical treatment related to the accident. However, if the pet owner was negligent, then you may be able to recover other losses, such as lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

In these cases, you will want to seek assistance from a skilled law firm that has handled these cases and helps its clients get compensation.

At Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, we are familiar with the laws that focus on these incidents. With our assistance, we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Dog attacks are distressing, and many of them could be prevented. Reach out to a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer to determine how we can assist in your case.

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