Are you a victim of a dog bite? You have rights!
A dog attack can cause serious injuries. A victim of such an attack will often have legal rights against the dog’s owner and keeper when serious harm has resulted. This article discusses some of those rights.
By law, the owner or keeper of a domestic animal has a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injuries that might be caused by the animal. In order to be reasonable, the care exercised by the dog owner or keeper must be equal with the risk of harm posed by the animal. For example, an owner of a large dog that can kill someone must be more careful than a frail pet which is too weak or small to cause harm. An animal with vicious tendencies may present foreseeable harm and therefore the owner is on notice to take appropriate steps to prevent the animal from harming others.
In addition, under the Pennsylvania Dog Law, the dog owner or keeper must keep the dog at all times under the following conditions:
(1) confined within the premises or
(2) firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so
that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or
under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in
lawful hunting, exhibition, performance events or field training.”
When a dog owner or keeper fails to meet these legal duties, he or she may be held responsible for the harm caused. The harm that can be recovered may include the following: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, embarrassment and humiliation, lost wages, and medical expenses.
As with all injury claims, it is advisable that the victim consult an attorney. To recover damages, the victim must file suit in a timely manner. Since it is the victim’s duty to demonstrate unreasonable conduct, it is often necessary to conduct extensive investigation as to the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s tendencies.
At The Seach Law Offices, we represent injury victims. Attorney Stephen Seach secured a jury verdict in the amount of $341,418.00 for the victim of a dog attack. The victim was a professional realtor arriving at a house he was scheduled to show to potential buyers. His presence excited three very large dogs (with past histories) inside the house. Instead of penning the dogs, the homeowner opened the front door and allowed the dogs out. They rushed and attacked the realtor, who was knocked to the ground and sustained a fractured arm and other injuries. That case is believed to have been the largest injury award in Monroe County that year. Call The Seach Law Offices at 570-359-3283 with questions about your rights.