“Man’s best friend” or not, domesticated dogs can still be dangerous when they believe someone else might hurt them or intrude upon what they think of as their territory. If you suffered severe injuries because someone else’s dog attacked you, holding the owner legally liable could be vital to protecting your long-term interests.

While Pennsylvania law allows dog bite victims to pursue civil restitution for their injuries, achieving a positive outcome in these sorts of claims could still be challenging without the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney. Retaining an Erie dog bite lawyer can dramatically improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you need.

When Are Dog Owners Liable for Bite Injuries?

Pennsylvania law takes a somewhat unique approach to dog bite litigation, and in Erie, owners are “strictly liable” for their dog’s actions. This means owners are automatically at fault for their dog biting and injuring someone else without a potential plaintiff needing to prove they were careless or reckless. However, dog owners are only strictly liable to pay for medical expenses incurred by anyone who gets hurt because their dog bit them. Strict liability does not extend to other economic and non-economic losses a dog bite may cause.

Furthermore, dog owners are not automatically liable for medical bills or any other losses sustained by someone their dog bites while trespassing or otherwise breaking the law. Owners are also not strictly liable if the bitten individual provoked or harassed the dog into attacking them. As an Erie dog attack attorney can explain, people who own or are in control of police dogs or service dogs typically do not hold strict liability for injuries their dog causes someone else while performing job-related duties.

Pursuing Full Compensation After a Dog Attack

Anyone seeking compensation for losses other than medical expenses from a dog bite injury must prove the dog’s owner was “negligent” in some way. This process generally involves proving the dog’s owner knew their dog was capable of aggressive or vicious behavior and failed to control it properly. Establishing that someone’s dog has bitten someone else in the past could be key evidence in a case built around proving that the dog’s owner was irresponsible leading up to the bite. An experienced Erie lawyer can provide crucial assistance in evaluating the circumstances of the dog attack to determine what evidence is needed to establish legal liability.

A successful dog bite claim built around negligence can help recover compensation for losses such as:

  • Physical pain from injuries
  • Lost work income or ability to work
  • Psychological trauma and distress
  • Personal property loss or damage
  • Lost enjoyment or quality of life

If a dog’s owner was egregiously negligent or intentionally directed their dog to attack someone else without cause, a court may impose additional punitive damages to be awarded to the injured plaintiff.

Talk To an Erie Dog Bite Attorney About Recovery Options

Being attacked by someone else’s dog can be a traumatic experience. In serious situations, you or a loved one may suffer extensive physical and psychological harm. Understanding and proactively enforcing your right to civil recovery can make a massive difference in how you and your family move forward.

Speaking with an Erie dog bite lawyer should be your top priority after getting hurt by another person’s pet. Schedule a free consultation with Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys by calling today.


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