The United States Postal Service estimates that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year across America. According to recent research by State Farm Insurance Company, Pennsylvania ranks fifth among all states for insurance claims made by dog bite victims.
Owners of dangerous dogs must behave responsibly
Pennsylvania law describes a dangerous dog as a dog that has attacked another animal or human without provocation or has a propensity to do the same. Prudent requirements for owners of dangerous dogs include:
- The dog must be confined at all times within the owner’s property or within a secured outside enclosure
- If outside the owner’s property or enclosure, the dog must be muzzled and restrained on a leash
- Warning signs advising passers-by and visitors that a dangerous dog is present must be displayed
- The dog’s collar must display a tag identifying it as a dangerous dog
If you have been attacked by a dangerous dog because the owner has not complied with his or her responsibilities, the repercussions for the owner of the dog can include fines, criminal proceedings, confiscation and destruction of the animal.
What if the dog has not been classified as “dangerous”?
If a dog has attacked you but has never attacked anyone before, you still have options for recovery. Under Pennsylvania law, you can make a negligence claim for medical expenses, legal costs and other damages.
The law firm Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP has been handling personal injury cases in Northeastern Pennsylvania for more than 50 years. Call us for a free initial consultation at our offices in Wilkes-Barr or Hazelton.