Dog bite injuries and your rights
Dogs are often more than just a pet – they are an integral part of families. Dogs and other animals can be loving, safe and wonderful companions. It’s important to remember, though, that dogs can also be dangerous and can bite when they feel threatened or if they are defending their territory. Dog bites and injuries caused by other animals are serious and can have a dramatic impact on the lives of the victim. In Pennsylvania, owners are responsible for their animals and could be held accountable for incidents that occur. If you or a member of your family has been the victim of dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation for physical and/or emotional injuries resulting from the incident.
Dale E. Anstine, personal injury attorneys in York, PA, can help
The experienced dog bite injury attorneys at Dale E. Anstine, serving the greater York, Gettysburg and Hanover areas, are ready to fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to speak with an experienced attorney. Our dog bite lawyers are prepared to stand up to the insurance company to make sure each client receives the compensation they deserve.
Dog bite law in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s dog confinement and housing law holds dog owners liable for damages if they fail to keep their dog in the house or yard, on a leash or “under the reasonable control of some person.” Pennsylvania is a “strict liability” dog bite state. A dog’s owner is responsible for injuries the dog causes, even if the dog has never bitten or acted aggressively before, and even if the owner had no idea the dog would bite or act aggressively. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to take the steps to protect all those around your dog.
Protect yourself from unfamiliar dogs
There are ways to protect yourself from dog bite attacks. Animal behavior experts recommend the following if you are ever approached by an unwanted or aggressive dog:
(source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- Curl into a ball with your head tucked, and your hands over your ears and neck if a dog knocks you over.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
- Say “No” or “Go home” in a very firm, deep voice.
- Stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Directly facing a dog can make the dog feel threatened.
- Slowly raise your hands to your neck with your elbows in.
- Wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away from the dog.
- Approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Run from a dog.
- Panic or make loud noises.
- Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Pet a dog without allowing it to get to know you (sniffing, seeing you first.)
- Encourage your dog to play aggressively.
- Let small children play with a dog unsupervised.
Contact Us Today
If you have been bitten by a dog, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, especially if the wound is serious, becomes red, painful, swollen or if it has been more than five years since your last tetanus shot. You should also report the dog bite to your local animal control agency and police department, and, if possible, ask the owner if the dog has a current rabies vaccination. Be sure to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records of the recovery process as well as collect names of any witnesses to the incident. Finally, contact us to speak with an experienced animal attack lawyer.