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How Common Are Dog Bites and Attacks in Pennsylvania?

How Common Are Dog Bite and Attacks in Pennsylvania?

How Common Are Dog Bites in PA?

Dog bites are one of the most common injuries that occur in Pennsylvania. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dog bite victims account for approximately 7% of emergency room visits nationwide. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites result in an estimated $6 billion dollars annually in medical costs.

As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to keep those around you safe from your dog. When you fail to do so, and your dog bites someone, you can be held legally responsible for your dog's actions.

At Justice Guardians, we represent victims of dog bites. We know how to handle cases where a dog was aggressive, or even vicious. Our team of dog bite lawyers has handled thousands of dog bite cases, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

If a dog has bitten you, you should immediately seek medical attention. You may have sustained injuries such as puncture wounds, bleeding, nerve damage, or soft tissue damage. If you were not injured but your dog was, you should contact a dog bite lawyer right away.

Local medical centers that treat dog bite injuries:

Why Do Dogs Attack People?

Dogs are animals that naturally feel threatened by strangers. Therefore, they often react aggressively towards anyone unfamiliar to them.

Regardless of the type of dog, it is important to understand why your dog was acting aggressively. A dog that feels threatened may lash out at its owner or another human. Some dogs may simply act out of fear or confusion. In some cases, a dog may become aggressive due to bad training.

What Kind of Dog Breeds Attack People?

Dogs are often referred to as man's best friend. They provide companionship, protection, and comfort. And most importantly, dogs are commonly loyal and loving animals. However, sometimes dogs attack people. So what kind of dog breeds attack people, and how can you avoid them? 

Aggressive Dogs

Aggression is defined as a dog's tendency to show hostility toward other animals or people.

Some dogs are naturally aggressive. Others become aggressive due to poor socialization or training.

Guard Dogs

Guard dogs are trained to protect property and livestock. Because of their job, guard dogs are usually large, muscular, and intimidating animals.

Territorial Dogs

Territorial dogs are usually larger than average dogs. They are usually dominant and possessive of territory.

Some breeds of dogs are known to be aggressive. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Chow Chows are common examples of these types of dogs. Other breeds of dogs are generally friendly. Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles are among the most popular breeds.

Despite common labeling, any size or breed of dog can become a threat to others if they feel threatened or provoked. The bottom line is that no dog is 100% safe.

What Are Common Injuries from Dog Bites & Animal Attacks?

Dog bites and animal attacks happen every day across the world. Some common injuries sustained by victims of dog bites or attacks include:

  • Broken Bones
  • Infections
  • Lacerations
  • Puncture Wounds
  • Swollen Joints

How Can You Protect Yourself From a Dog Bite?

Fortunately, many dog bites are preventable. If you live in Pennsylvania, here are some tips to protect yourself against dog bites.

  • Dogs are known for their friendly nature, but sometimes dogs become aggressive. Approach all dogs only with permission from their owner. 
  • Avoid confrontation with dogs. Do not approach a strange unleashed dog unless you are prepared to defend yourself. Instead, back away slowly and calmly.
  • Report any unusual behaviors to the authorities. They can help determine whether or not the dog poses a threat to others.
  • Walking your dog should be done safely. Always walk your dog on a leash. Never leave your dog unattended.
  • Teach children about safety around dogs. Explain that dogs are unpredictable animals and that they can act aggressively without warning.

What Are Pennsylvania Dog Laws?

Pennsylvania dog laws are designed to protect dogs and their owners. If you live in Pennsylvania, you may find yourself wondering what the state has to say about dogs.

First things first, let's talk about the basics of Pennsylvania dog law. There are two types of dog laws: municipal ordinances and state statutes. Municipal ordinances apply to cities and townships within Pennsylvania. State statutes apply to counties and municipalities outside of Pennsylvania.

  • Municipalities are responsible for enforcing their own dog laws. They usually enforce these laws through fines or citations issued by police officers.
  • State statutes are enforced by the Department of Agriculture. Enforcement occurs through inspections conducted by animal control officers.

There are no rules about keeping your dog on a leash in the state. However, PA Code 459-305 states that a dog must be confined to its owner's premises and that it must be secured to the property, such as with a collar and chain so that it cannot stray.

What Happens After a Dog Bites Someone in Pennsylvania?

In most cases, dog bite victims receive medical treatment after an incident occurs. However, sometimes the victim may suffer serious injuries such as broken bones, puncture wounds, lacerations, and internal bleeding.

Pennsylvania has strict laws regarding animal attacks. If you are bitten by a dog, you may file a claim against the owner of the dog. This means you can sue the person responsible for the injury caused by the dog.

How Much Can I Recover From a Dog Bite Injury?

There are several factors that determine how much compensation you can recover from a dog bite injury. These include the severity of the injury, whether you were wearing any protective gear, and the amount of pain you experienced. For example, if you suffered a severe injury such as a broken bone, you may be entitled to a higher settlement than someone who received minor cuts and bruises.

Likewise, if you were wearing a helmet or other protective gear, you may be eligible for additional compensation. Finally, if you were experiencing extreme pain, you may be entitled to more money.

When filing a lawsuit, you should provide evidence that supports your claims. For instance, if you were wearing protective gear, you should show pictures of your injuries. Additionally, you should document the extent of your injuries. This may involve taking pictures or video footage of your injuries. It is also helpful to obtain copies of hospital records. These documents can prove that you did indeed go to the doctor following the attack. 

Furthermore, you should ask witnesses about the circumstances surrounding the attack. Witnesses may remember details that you don't. Lastly, you should contact the police department involved in the case. They may have information that helps you win your case.

Finding a Dog Bite Attorney in PA

If you were bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress. An experienced Philadelphia dog bite lawyer can review your case and advise you whether you have a claim against the dog owner.

At Justice Guardians in PA, our dog bite lawyers have handled numerous dog bite cases and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We have a team of medical professionals that can review your medical records. Contact us today if you have been bitten by a dog and need a lawyer to help you through this difficult time.

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David Petrone
Date Published: August 23, 2022
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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