Injuries from dog bites can range from non-severe, to severe, or even fatal. Some injuries can result in long periods of recovery, often leaving the victim with disfiguring scars. A victim of a dog attack can rightfully seek compensation, but that requires determining who is at fault.
In just about every case, the dog’s owner is liable for damages resulting from his or her dog attacking another person. A dog owner’s homeowners insurance may have coverage to pay for damages in such an incident. The policy limits may determine the maximum amount of recovery possible, although other compensation may be possible through a lawsuit against the negligent party. There may also be other parties who can be held liable.
Is the Dog’s Owner the Only Person Liable?
What if you are injured by someone’s dog, and it is established that the owner is liable, but the insurance payout is insufficient to pay for your medical bills and other related costs, or what if the dog owner does not carry insurance at all? It’s possible there may be other people or entities that could be held liable. If so, the victim’s lawyer can take action to establish negligence in third party cases.
Third Party Liability: Trainers, Walkers, Breeders, Landlords
There are several possibilities for third-party liability. One example could be a dog walker, or someone who has agreed to care for a dog. A dog owner could leave his pet with someone while he goes on a trip for several weeks or longer. The caregiver could possibly be held liable for damages.
Dog breeders and trainers could also assume potential third party liability. If they knowingly breed aggressive dogs or train them in that type of behavior, these trainers or breeders are potentially liable. Even people or businesses that sell dogs could possibly be held liable for negligence if they knew of the vicious character of the dog and didn’t disclose this fact to the buyer.
A business that is open to the public, such as a store or restaurant, could be found at fault if a dog on the premises bites or attacks a patron on the premises. Also, in some cases, a landlord could have third party liability if he was aware that a dangerous animal was present on the premises. Property owners hold a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to keep residents, patrons, visitors and guests safe from harm.
Dog bites and attacks, especially where traumatic and severe injuries or death have occurred, present a complicated legal problem that often requires an extensive investigation. It makes sense to have a professional managing all the details. The victim, especially if severely injured, would want to pursue full compensation, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Philadelphia Attorney if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
You do not need to just accept the fact that someone else’s dog has injured you or your loved one. Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. has 20 years of experience helping dog bite victims pursue the compensation they deserve. Contact us at 215-771-0430 (cell) or 215-987-3550 (office). Or reach us online today.