Dog bites are a major cause of injuries in the United States, and about half of the 4.5 million people injured every year are children. Some even die from their injuries. However, many victims and their families get compensation from dog owners for physical injuries, lost wages, and emotional pain and trauma. The laws vary from state to state. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about dog bites.
What if I was bitten at someone’s house?
Most dog bites happen in or around the home, which means that homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will in most cases cover all of your damages with money compensation. If you were working at the person’s home or business and not just visiting, you could also have a workers’ compensation case. Regardless of fault, the insurance company will always pay for medical expenses, up to the amount the insured purchased on their insurance policy. This “medpay” amount is typically $1,000.00, but can be virtually any amount. The insurance policy will show what that amount is.
What if I don’t know who owns the dog that bit me?
Regardless, ALWAYS report a dog bite incident to Animal Control. After you give them a description of the dog, they will search for the animal and its owner if it’s not a stray. If Animal Control finds the dog, they will test it for rabies and look for identifying tags or microchips implanted under the skin to find the owner. If Animal Control cannot locate the owner, Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq., will. I will do a thorough investigation, which will include canvassing the neighborhood where the incident occurred, and speak with any witnesses to the dog bite incident. It is VERY rare that I cannot track down the owner of the offending dog.
What happens when a dog bites another dog?
If your dog was bitten because the owner of the attacking dog did not obey leash laws, then that person must pay you for veterinary expenses. If your dog has to be euthanized, you may be be compensated for the cost of the dog as well. Many people are injured while trying to protect their pet from an aggressive animal during a walk. The other dog’s owner must pay for your medical expenses in most cases.
Which dogs bite?
Any dog could bite, even a Poodle or a little Chihuahua. However, dogs bred for guarding, hunting, or fighting tend to be more aggressive. Many people even train dogs like German Shepherds and Rottweilers to attack strangers. All dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain.
How can I prevent bites?
To prevent a bite, don’t approach an unfamiliar dog. If a dog approaches you, avoid eye contact and calmly walk away. Running or screaming could encourage the dog to chase you. Never leave young children alone with a dog, and teach them to be gentle. Behaviors like hugging a dog too hard are common causes of bites. Make sure your dog is well trained, and be sure to obey local leash laws.
Dog bites cause serious pain and emotional distress. Many require plastic surgery to repair the damage. If a dog has bitten you or a family member, contact the law offices of Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq. at 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) to discuss the ways you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.