Philadelphia Dog Bite Laws: What Victims Need to Know

Getting bitten by a dog while walking in the neighborhood of Philadelphia can be governed by dog bite law that this state implements. So, if your child or loved one has been bitten by a dog, here are a few critical issues that you need to know according to an experienced personal injury attorney in Philadelphia.

What to do after being bitten by a dog?

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite, the first thing to do is seek immediate medical attention. You should also inform the Division of Disease Control about this incident because they will need to assess if there is a possible risk of rabies infection. To protect your legal rights, be sure you put into writing the following details:

  • Precise description of the animal concerned;
  • Whether the animal is wild, a stray or household pet;
  • If a pet, the name of the owner and address must be disclosed;
  • How the biting arise.

What happens to the biting animal?

If the dog that caused severe injury or fatality to a human or any domestic animal, this dog may be removed under the care of the owner, either by a police officer or state dog warden according to a Philly injury attorney. The biting animal will be put in quarantine and be subjected for euthanasia if the judge decides it to be the most appropriate action. The fees for quarantine and euthanasia will be shouldered by the dog’s owner.

What is animal confinement law?

According to a top performing personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania observes a statewide animal law confinement to any animal to be confined within the premises of his or her owner’s property and be secured by a collar and chain to prevent straying beyond the premises where the animal is secured. The exception to this law applies if the dog is engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, performance or field training.

The animal confinement law covers dog bite cases when we consider the doctrine of negligence wherein anyone who is found to break this law can be held accountable for injuries that arise from breaking the law such as not putting a leash or not securing properly the premises where the dog stays and led to this animal from roaming around and inflicting harm to any passerby. On the other hand, if the dog accidentally broke free from its secured chain and attacked someone, the victim must provide evidence that the owner of the animal failed to check the integrity of the dog’s chain.

How about dogs with a history of being violent?

If you or a loved one has been a victim of dog bite with a history of violence or aggression or the dog’s owner already knew the biting could occur, then, the victim can be entitled to compensation based on injuries inflicted according to a Philly injury attorney.

How about if the dog has not bitten anyone prior the incident?

However, if the dog concerned has not bitten anyone prior the reported biting incident, the Pennsylvania law is divided into categories;, based on how serious the injury. For example, if the dog bite injury resulted to broken or fractured bones, disfigurement in the form of lacerations where multiple stitches are required, the victim who suffered severely can receive full compensation if he or she can prove the dog was not provoked when the attack happened.  If the dog bite victim isn’t seriously harmed, he or she will only be entitled to medical expenses that should be paid in full by the pet owner.

Are there limitations to the animal bite law?

The animal bite law in Pennsylvania adheres to a two-year statute limitations for dog attach cases. If the victim is a minor, the case can be filed within the two years when the victim turns eighteen. If the lawsuit was not filed within this statutory duration, the victim loses his or her right to file a lawsuit for that dog bite injury.

Should you consult a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia?

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by an animal in Philadelphia, you need to consult a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia to know your legal rights and options.


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