A dog bite victim or their family has the legal right to pursue compensation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Regardless of this right, many dog bite victims assume that they do not need an attorney or are unsure as to when they should contact one. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to settle with a dog bite victim long before they contact an attorney – and they will ensure the settlement is as little as possible. While an insurance company may seem interested in a victim’s losses, they are taking actions that benefit themselves, and you can be absolutely certain that their goal is not to compensate you, but to save themselves as much money as possible. When you have legal representation, this will not happen, especially if that representation is Jeffrey H. Penneys, The Dog Bite Lawyer.
Dog Bite Laws are Complex
One of the primary reasons you should hire an attorney is that the laws in Pennsylvania make it difficult to prove an owner is liable for injuries to you that have been caused by their dog. Pennsylvania’s dog bite statutes state that owners are liable as long as the plaintiff can prove that the injury was not provoked and the plaintiff had a legal right to be on the property where they were attacked.
There are also specific elements that must be present to establish the defendant’s liability, which include:
- The plaintiff may need to establish that the owner knew their dog was vicious to help prove their claim.
- The plaintiff may be required to show the dog’s history of bites or establish that the owner’s actions led to a bite.
- The plaintiff may also need to prove that the owner failed to prevent an attack – such as not leashing their dog.
Proving an owner’s liability for a dog attack often means relying on circumstantial evidence. If the circumstantial evidence is not strong enough, it may become even more complicated to prove a valid claim.
An attorney can evaluate all county and applicable city codes and ordinances regarding the dog and their owner’s actions that led to a dog bite or attack.
Accounting for Damages
An attorney can also account for all damages associated with the injury. Some damages that should be assessed include:
- Initial medical costs
- Future medical costs and treatments – including plastic surgery for scars
- Ambulance services
- Emergency room treatments
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional and mental trauma
- Physical pain
A dog bite attorney knows what applicable damages can be considered – including permanent disfigurement or disability. By hiring an attorney, you can ensure that all of your physical, financial and emotional losses are adequately compensated for.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in PA Now
It is difficult to understand the laws regarding dog bites, let alone ensure you get adequate compensation. To determine if you have a valid dog bite case, meet with The Dog Bite Lawyer Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esquire today for a free case evaluation. Schedule your appointment online or call 215-771-0430 (cell) or (215) 987-3550 (office). I will answer all of your questions, free of charge in our consultation. And you can have as many consultations as you’d like until you feel confident that you have chosen the right lawyer to help you in your Pennsylvania dog bite case.