Pittsburgh Dog Bite Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured because of a dog bite in Pittsburgh, our Pittsburgh dog bite attorneys can help you secure the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries. Dogs may be man’s best friend, but dogs are also quite capable of inflicting severe wounds and even killing people in some situations. If a dog in the Pittsburgh area has bitten you or otherwise injured you, it’s important to understand Pennsylvania dog bite laws so you know what your options are when it comes to pursuing legal recourse.
Navigating a Pittsburgh Dog Bite Case
Pennsylvania operates with a “one-bite” law in regard to dog attacks. If a dog has bitten or injured someone in the past or has displayed unusually aggressive behavior, the dog’s owner is liable for any damages or injuries the dog causes after the first bite. The dog’s owner may be accountable for the dog’s first bite or injury-causing incident as well, if the injury is severe enough. In order for this to happen, the dog must have acted without any provocation and caused a severe injury.
To build a one-bite claim in a Pennsylvania court, the plaintiff (the injured party suing) must establish several facts for the judge:
- The plaintiff must prove that the injuries were inflicted directly by the dog in question.
- The plaintiff must then establish that the dog’s owner knew about the dog’s history of violence or aggression.
- The plaintiff was lawfully present at the location of the incident and did not provoke the dog in any way.
A dog owner will not be liable for injuries inflicted upon unlawful trespassers on private property. For example, if a person breaks into a home, and the homeowner’s dog attacks him, the burglar cannot file a lawsuit against the dog owner, because he or she was not lawfully present on the property. If a dog’s owner is found guilty of failing to protect the public from a dog that has a recorded history of attacks and is dangerous according to Pennsylvania state laws, that person can face criminal charges for any subsequent attacks on others.
Defenses for Dog Owners
If you own a dog that has bitten another person, and that person attempts to sue you for those injuries, there are a few ways to build a defense if you think your dog isn’t at fault. The two most common defenses for dog owners are:
- Provocation – If the victim provoked or appeared to be threatening the dog, or the dog was acting protectively, the animal may not be deemed dangerous.
- Trespassing – Dog owners are not accountable for the injuries their dogs inflict on anyone who is trespassing illegally on their property.
What to do After a Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite injuries can be scary and confusing and often happen very quickly. If you or a loved one are attacked by an aggressive dog, it’s important to do the following:
- Seek any necessary medical attention immediately
- Verify you’re able to identify the dog or dogs involved in the attack
- Get all contact information for the dog’s owner (including insurance and dog license information if available)
- Get contact information for any witnesses to the attack
- Take photos or videos of the injuries sustained during the attack
- Contact a dog bite lawyer at Ronald J. Bua & Associates before signing anything or speaking to anyone
Winning Your Dog Bite Injury Case
When it comes to winning a dog bite case against a negligent owner of a dangerous dog, you’ll need to prove that the dog was in violation of the state’s one-bite law and the owner did not properly restrain the dog or otherwise prevent it from harming others. Additionally, dog owners defending against such claims must be able to prove that their dog’s actions were understandable given the circumstances of the incident, and that the dog is not categorically “dangerous.” On either side of the table, success in your case will largely depend on the skill and knowledge of your legal representation. Contacting a Pittsburgh dog bite lawyer can help you get the compensation you need.
For residents of the Pittsburgh area, the law firm of Ronald J. Bua & Associates has more than 30 years of experience handling a vast number of personal injury cases, including dog bite injuries cases. It’s crucial to connect with reliable and experienced attorneys for your dog bite case, and the lawyers in our law firm are committed to our client’s success. To schedule a free consultation or get more information about Pennsylvania dog bite laws, contact us about your dog bite case.