Dog bites are very common in Pennsylvania, but it is not always humans who are the victim. Perhaps even more common than dog attacks on people are dog attacks on other dogs. This can result in serious injuries to the pet, as one woman recently learned. The woman was outside of her own home with her 12-year-old Pomeranian when a pit bull attacked the smaller dog. The woman and the dog were both injured as she tried to free the Pomeranian from the pit bull’s mouth. The small dog had to be taken to the vet to be treated for multiple lacerations and punctures.
The story is an interesting one. Although many people understand that they can claim compensation after they are hurt by a dog, they often wonder if this same protection extends to their pets. In Pennsylvania, it does.
You Can Claim Compensation for Your Dog’s Injuries
Most people consider their dogs as not only their best friend, but also a member of the family. As such, when an animal is hurt, owners will spare no expense for their treatment so the dog can recover. Vet bills are extremely costly and the expenses can quickly add up, even if your dog’s injuries are fairly minor.
The Pennsylvania dog bite law states that when a person is injured or their property is damaged by a dog, they can claim compensation. Also under Pennsylvania law, dogs and other pets are considered personal property and not the family members as owners often view them. As such, you are able to claim compensation when another dog injures your animal.
Strict Liability vs. Proving Negligence
Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania combines strict liability law with the law of negligence in dog bite cases. Under the strict liability portion of the law, dog owners are liable for paying a victim’s medical expenses when they are injured by a dog. Vet expenses fall into the category of medical expenses and so, you can likely recover these when your dog is attacked by another animal.
To claim additional damages, such as lost income, you will have to prove the dog owner was negligent. This means you must show that the dog owner knew the animal was dangerous or that they failed to take the necessary action to restrain the dog. You may have to claim lost income if you missed work to take your animal to the vet or care for them afterwards.
Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Allentown Can Help with Your Case
While you can claim compensation for injuries to your dog after they have been bitten and attacked, these cases always have the potential to become complex. At van der Veen, Hartshorn & Levin, our Allentown dog bite lawyers can advise on your claim, and we know how to overcome any challenges they may present. Call us now at 215-515-6892 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.