Dog Bite Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
4.7 million people get bitten by dogs in the US each year. Approximately two-thirds of dog bites occurred on or near the victim's property, and most victims knew the dog. The insurance industry pays more than $1 billion in dog-bite claims each year. Out of all fatal dog bites, approximately 25% involved chained dogs; 24% involved unrestrained dogs off of their owners' property; and 58% involved unrestrained dogs on their owners' property. 50% of dog attacks involved children under 12 years old. 70% of dog bite fatalities occurred among children under 10 years old and 82% of all dog bites treated in the emergency room involved children under 15 years old. Newborns are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. They are more than 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog.
Several statistical studies showed that more than 25 breeds of dogs were involved in fatal dog bite accidents over the past few years. But the dogs responsible for the majority of the fatalities are pit bulls, Rottweilers and Presa Canarios. Pit bulls were involved in approximately a third of human dog bite related fatalities, while Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human dog bite related fatalities. Other breeds that killed people are German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers, chows, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Akitas. Some dogs that appear not dangerous may still kill a person, especially an unsupervised child or an unattended infant. Thus, in 2000, a 6-week-old baby was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. However, Pomeranian dogs were bred to be watchdogs. The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards.
Because a high percentage of dog bite victims are children, it is important for families with young children to exercise extreme caution if they own a dog or if the family's neighbors own a dog. It is also important to educate the children about the dangers dogs may present and about the proper behavior around dogs.
Safety Rules to Avoid Dog Bites
- Don't hit, kick, slap or bite a dog.
- Don't pull on his ears, tail or paws.
- Don't tease a dog when he is busy.
- Don't bother dogs with puppies or dogs that are playing with or guarding toys, eating or sleeping.
- Don't tease service dogs while they are working.
- Don't approach a dog you don't know.
- Don't approach a dog that is tied up, behind a fence or in a car.
- Don't run when you're around dogs, as this gets them excited and they may accidently hurt you.
- Don't shout.
- Be calm around a dog.
- Talk in a quiet voice or whisper.
- Be still.
- If an unrestrained dog approaches you, don't run, stand still, keep your hands at your sides, and stay quiet and calm. Look away from the dog.
- If you are on the ground, curl up into a ball, keep your knees to your chest and your hands over your ears. Stay quiet and calm. Look down at your knees, not at the dog.
- Make slow movements, set things down carefully.
Dog owners have the responsibility to supervise, restrain and train their dogs. Many fatal dog attacks occur when loose dogs ran off of their owner's property. Dogs that are allowed to roam unrestrained outside the yard may perceive the entire neighborhood as their territory and may defend it aggressively. Dog owners must obey leash laws and take care to properly fence a yard in order to avoid dog bits on innocent children.
Dog bite accidents are categorized under an area of law referred to as premises liability. Premises liability laws govern the responsibility of dog owners to maintain safe conditions and to forewarn trespassers of aggressive pets. In cases involving dog bite accidents, it is up to dog owners to watch over their pets and ensure the general safety of people passing by. If a dog attacks another person, and the dog owner did not do everything possible to prevent the bite, the dog owner can be held responsible for all injuries sustained by the dog bite victim.
After a person has been injured from a dog bite caused by the dog owner negligence, the injured person is legally entitled to seek compensation from the dog owner. A dog bite victim may seek monetary damages for his/her: medical expenses, injuries, lost wages, lost future income, physical and mental impairment, and pain and suffering.
Pennsylvania Dog Bite Law
Under Pennsylvania law, dog bite victims may recover full compensation for their severe dog bite injuries or compensation for medical bills if the injuries are considered non-severe. In addition, Pennsylvania imposes strict liability for all damages where the dog previously bit another person. Also, dog bite victims can recover full compensation if the dog owner was negligent or violated an animal control law.
The Dangerous Dog Law
Under the Dangerous Dog Law, it is unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog to fail to keep at all times such dog either:
(1) confined within the premises of the owner;
(2) firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other devise so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or,
(3) under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition or field training.
Harboring a Dangerous Dog
Any person who has been attacked by a dog, may file a complaint in court, charging the owner or keeper of such a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of a dog will be guilty of the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog if it is proven that:
(1) The dog has done one or more of the following:
(i) Inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.
(ii) Killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner's property.
(iii) Attacked a human being without provocation.
(iv) Been used in the commission of a crime.
(2) The dog has either or both of the following:
(i) A history of attacking human beings and/or domestic animals without provocation.
(ii) A propensity to attack human beings and/or domestic animals without provocation. A propensity to attack may be proven by a single incident of the conduct described in paragraphs (1)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv).
(3) The defendant is the owner or keeper of the dog.
Personal Injury Lawyer Pennsylvania
If you have been severely injured from a dog bite or dog attack, the last thing you or your family should have to worry about is your financial security. At the Lassen Law Firm, we believe that our clients should be allowed to focus on getting better without having to stress over their future well being. We are skilled Philadelphia personal injury attorneys who will aggressively fight for maximum recovery of damages for our clients' serious injuries.
The Lassen Law Firm is comprised of leading Philadelphia personal injury lawyers who have extensive legal training and experience in personal injury law. We have handled hundreds of dog bite accidents over the years and have obtained extremely large settlements for our clients. If you have questions about a Philadelphia dog bite injury, call the Lassen Law Firm today for your free consultation.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
Stop Searching. Start Calling. 215-510-6755.
Authored by: Christian Lassen