The last thing anybody thinks about when they start their day is that they will be injured due to a dog bite. However, there are times when the careless or negligent actions of a dog’s owner lead to dangerous situations. At the Dan Doyle Law Group, our Philadelphia dog bite attorney is ready to help if you or somebody you care about has been harmed due to the negligence of a dog owner. These incidents are more common than most people realize, and we will help to ensure you receive full compensation for what has happened.
DOG BITES OFTEN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES
With more than 90 million dogs living in US households as pets, it is inevitable that some of them will cause bite injuries. While most dogs do not bite people, there are still approximately 4.5 million people bitten every year by dogs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every five dog bite victims requires medical attention at a hospital or doctor’s office. Other studies indicate that around 1,000 people require emergency medical care for serious dog bite injuries every day.
It is not uncommon for the Philadelphia dog bite lawyer at the Dan Doyle Law Group to help clients who have sustained the following injuries:
- Severe damage to soft tissue
- Broken bones
- Finger amputations
- Severed ligaments, veins, arteries, and tendons
In many cases, dog bite victims are significantly disfigured. This is especially true for those who are bitten on the face. Victims often require extensive reconstructive surgery in order to regain mobility and physical appearance after a dog bite.
More than half of all dog bite victims in the US are children. Smaller children are not able to defend themselves or get away from an aggressive dog quickly, often leading to devastating injuries.
PHILADELPHIA DOG BITE LAWS
In Pennsylvania, a person who is injured due to an adult bite is usually able to recover compensation for their medical expenses through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner. This is the case even if the dog did not have a history of aggression or if the dog owner was not negligent in the incident.
A dog bite victim will not be able to recover pain and suffering damages in these cases unless they file a personal injury lawsuit and prove that the dog has “unmistakably vicious tendencies” and that the dog’s owner failed to properly control the animal.
TIME LIMIT FOR FILING DOG BITE INJURY CLAIMS IN PHILADELPHIA
In the event you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by a dog bite, you need to be aware there are various timelines in place to file these claims. First, if you are making a claim against the dog owner’s homeowners insurance, you need to file your claim as soon as possible. Insurance carriers have very strict reporting deadlines, and failing to file a claim could result in a claim delay or denial.
Additionally, the overall personal injury statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a dog bite injury victim fails to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner within this two-year timeframe, they will not be able to recover the compensation they are entitled to. A skilled dog bite injury lawyer in Philadelphia will be able to help ensure that these deadlines are met so that the victim does not lose any compensation.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER SUSTAINING A DOG BITE INJURY
If you have been bitten injured by a dog, there are various steps you should take both immediately and in the days and weeks that follow the incident to help ensure that you recover the compensation you need.
- Seek immediate medical care: It is crucial for all dog bite injury victims to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Even if the injuries seem relatively minor, please know that a small dog bite injury can lead to a massive infection. Additionally, seeking immediate medical care can help establish a direct link between the incident and your injuries.
- Contact animal control or the police: If the incident is an emergency, you need to call 911 and report a dog bite. Additionally, look up your local animal control number and make sure that they know about the incident and conduct an investigation. You may be able to find information about whether or not that particular dog has had any prior bite incidents. Additionally, the authorities can go through the process of determining whether or not the dog should be considered dangerous.
- Gather evidence: If you are able to do so, you should gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the incident, including photographs of where the dog bite happened, the dog, and the injuries. Keep any clothing that may have been bitten by the dog.
- Continue all medical treatment: You need to continue all medical treatment recommended by a doctor until you have reached what they consider maximum medical improvement. Discontinuing care after a dog bite in Philadelphia could be taken as a sign that you were not seriously injured.
- Contact an attorney: You should contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you have an advocate by your side with the resources necessary to handle every aspect of these claims.
TYPES OF COMPENSATION AVAILABLE IN THESE CASES
There may be various types of compensation available after sustaining a dog bite injury in Philadelphia. Victims should be able to recover a range of economic and non-economic damages in these situations, including the following:
- Complete coverage of all hospital and doctor’s office bills
- The cost of any necessary surgical procedures or rehabilitation
- Lost income if a victim cannot work while they recover
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
The total amount of compensation available in these situations will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each dog bite incident. Those who sustain more severe injuries will typically receive higher compensation amounts.
CALL A PHILADELPHIA DOG BITE INJURY LAWYER TODAY
If you or somebody you care about has been bitten and injured by a dog, you need to turn to the trusted team at the Dan Doyle Law Group for help as soon as possible. Our Philadelphia dog bite lawyers have the resources necessary to handle complex injury claims, and we will get to the bottom of what happened. We have no problem standing up to aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault parties to ensure that you are properly cared for.