After a dog bite or attack, victims are often left with many questions. While it is in their best interest to seek legal counsel right away, some victims need answers before scheduling a consultation with an attorney. Dog attack victims have the right to know their legal options – including whether they have a case, if they need an attorney and anything else that can help them better understand their options.
FAQs About Dog Bites and Attacks
There are some common questions dog attack victims may have before filing their claim or even speaking with an attorney. These can include:
- Who is legally responsible for the dog bite and associated injuries? Dog owners are responsible for controlling and keeping their dogs maintained. They are required to protect the public from their dog, which means they must follow all applicable leash laws, dog bite laws, etc. Anyone that allows their dog to wander without a leash or owns a dog that they know is vicious or has a dog that attacks another can be legally liable for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Also, if an owner knows they have a vicious dog and/or trained that dog to be vicious, they could face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties.
- What compensation can I collect for a dog bite or attack? Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that include medical costs, lost wages, scars, plastic and reconstructive surgeries and pain and suffering.
- What if the dog that attacked me was a friend or neighbor’s animal? Most people are bitten by a dog they know and often they know the owners well. While this is a tough situation, it is important to understand that you are not filing a claim against the owner themselves – instead, you are filing a claim against their renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy. After all, this is why people have insurance.
- What will happen to the dog that bit? Not all dogs are put down immediately after an attack. The dog owner is required to report the attack to the local police and the dog may be deemed dangerous after a hearing with the local magistrate. If, however, the dog is considered a severe threat to public safety or has committed multiple attacks, the owner may be forced to put the dog down.
- What if you do not know the owner of the dog that bit you? Sometimes attacks happen when a dog is wandering the streets, local parks and neighborhoods. If you are not sure of the owner, you must report that dog to local animal control as soon as possible. Give them a full description of the dog so that they can attempt to locate it and its owner. Identifying the dog and where it lives is critical to your claim! We cannot seek compensation if we do not know this information.
Get More Answers to Your Questions – Speak to a Dog Bite Injury Attorney
After a dog attack, you are likely to have dozens of questions that cannot always be addressed online. It is in your best interest to speak with a dog bite injury attorney to explore your legal options and assess your case. Contact Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq., Pennsylvania’s Premier Dog Bite Attorney regarding your potential dog bite claim at 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) or online by clicking here.