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Pennsylvania Among Top Five States With Highest Dog Bite Claims

May 27, 2021

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

According to a recent report from a National Insurance Company, dog bite claims are on the rise in Pennsylvania. In fact, Pennsylvania ranked fourth in a list of the top five states with the highest amount of dog bite claims for 2020. Behind each of these claims are injuries. Dog bite injuries are not only very serious, but they are also sometimes unique from other types of injuries in personal injury claims.


Abrasions are scrapes that do not penetrate the outer layers of the skin so there is not usually a lot of bleeding. However, abrasions can still leave you with permanent scarring, and there is always a chance of infection because the dog has still scratched the skin.


Lacerations are cuts that reach deep within the outer layers of the skin and can even cause damage to bones, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Lacerations bleed excessively and are often uneven. Lacerations typically require stitches so it is important to seek medical attention immediately.


Avulsions occur when a dog rips or tears tissue or skin away from the body. Avulsion injuries are very serious and often they require reconstructive surgery to repair the portion that has been ripped off or torn away.


Infections are very common in dog bite victims. A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria and when a dog tears the skin with their mouth, that bacteria can enter the victim’s system.

Rabies is one of the most serious infections a person may suffer from a dog bite. While the risk for contracting rabies is low in the United States, if a dog owner is not responsible enough to ensure their dog does not bite someone, they may also not be responsible about vaccinating their dog. Symptoms of rabies can show up right away, or they may take up to one year to develop.

Tetanus is another infection a person may suffer from a dog bite or attack. Unlike rabies, tetanus is not the result of bacteria in a dog’s mouth, but the victim’s own skin flora or the environment they are in.

Crushing Injuries

Crushing injuries are more common in claims that involve bites from large dogs. Large dogs exert an extreme amount of pressure and force when they bite someone, which can cause bones to become crushed, as well as damage to the surrounding soft tissues.

Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement

Dog bites are much more likely to result in permanent scarring and disfigurement, which can cause a victim a lifetime of embarrassment or shame. While these losses are considered non-economic damages, you are still entitled to compensation for them.

Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Pennsylvania Can Help You Claim Damages

There are many different types of injuries you may suffer during an attack, and you deserve full damages for all of them. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our knowledgeable Philadelphia dog bite lawyers will accurately evaluate your claim and hold the liable party accountable for paying full damages. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.



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