Wilkes-Barre Dog Bite Lawyer | Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
Dog Bites

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Dog Bites

Dog bites may result in a range of serious injuries including death, disfigurement, fractures, nerve damage, infection, crushing, blood loss, scarring, and emotional trauma. A dog bite victim may incur other damage as well, such as financial damage from missed work and ongoing medical expenses or emotional damage from PTSD and long-term fear. Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.’s experienced dog bite attorneys and personal injury lawyers in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, provide legal counseling and representation to dog bite victims and their loved ones.

What is PA Dog Bite Law?

According to Pennsylvania’s dog laws, dog owners and keepers must have reasonable control over their pets at all times. They should also confine their dogs on their premises and restrain them with a collar, chain, or other tools to prevent them from leaving the property.

Additionally, the ‘Dangerous Dog’ statute classifies any dog as legally dangerous when they’ve done the following:

  • Killed another domestic animal without being provoked
  • Attacked a person without provocation
  • Assisted in the commission of a crime

Pennsylvania also follows the strict liability dog bite statute, wherein the dog owner is liable for their pet’s aggressive actions regardless of its history of violent behavior. For example, even if a dog has never been aggressive in the past, the owner should still take precautions to prevent a potential attack. If a bite does happen, they must take full responsibility for it.

Dealing with a dog bite can be traumatic. Talk to a competent dog bite attorney to know what steps to take next.

What Injuries Can Occur from a Dog Bite?

Dog bites can cause several horrific injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • Rabies
  • Tendon and muscle damage
  • Lacerations
  • Scarring
  • Internal damage

While some of these injuries can be surface-level, others might require multiple painful surgeries and procedures. For victims who end up with scars, the emotional distress can be devastating and take a serious toll on their mental health.

In most dog attacks, especially those involving children, there may be long-term conditions that could take years to resolve. Hence, it’s crucial to pursue comprehensive physical and mental treatment. As medical bills can cost more than many people can afford, you may need all the help you can get. That’s why it’s important to discuss your legal rights with a Wilkes-Barre dog bite lawyer and fight for compensation. With the right game plan, you can recur your losses from the dog’s owner.

What to Do After a Dog Bite Accident?

Clients often ask our dog bite attorneys in Wilkes-Barre about what they should do after suffering a dog bite injury. Here’s the advice we give them.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

This is the most important part of all. Seek medical attention as soon as you can, especially if you have painful puncture wounds. You don’t want to leave room for a potential infection. Also, take pictures of the injury before you get treatment if you can. Our Wilkes-Barre dog bite attorney can use them as evidence to back your claim during the negotiation phase.

Identify the Dog’s Owner

For obvious reasons, you can’t file a claim against the dog: you’ll need to locate its owner. In case the dog is running free without the owner in sight, call Animal Control for help. They might be able to identify the owner through their sources. If this is a stray dog, there isn’t someone you can legally pursue.

Record Evidence

Photograph your injuries at various stages of healing to use as evidence later. Moreover, keep your medical records, prescriptions, and bills handy. In case you’re incapacitated, your Wilkes-Barre dog bite lawyer can help you.

Consult a Dog Bite Attorney

Chasing settlements for dog bites is not easy, which is why you should choose a seasoned Wilkes-Barre dog bite lawyer without delay. A dog bite attorney will:

  • Investigate your claim
  • Determine how much compensation you can get
  • Draft an injury demand letter to send to the insurance company as a third-party claimant
  • Negotiate a proper settlement
  • Go to trial if necessary

What Compensation Can You Expect for Your Dog Bite Case?

Most dog bite claims in Pennsylvania involve economic and non-economic damages. Based on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Recovery expenses
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses (OTC medications, personal care, supplies)

Severe dog bites can also cause damages that cannot be quantified. The dog owner must pay for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Permanent disability

Again, these amounts may vary drastically from case to case. A reputable dog bite attorney will help you calculate the value of your claim.

A dog owner can be held liable for your damage even if this is the first time their pet has bitten someone. The dog does not have to be legally dangerous for the owner to be found responsible for your expenses.

But you must file your lawsuit within two years from the date of the attack if you are 18 years or older. Minors can wait till their 20 th birthday to stake their claim. However, we recommend you don’t wait that long. Get in touch with a dog bite attorney in Wilkes-Barre, PA, to get started on your case immediately. Doing this helps preserve key evidence and improves the chances of a win.

Get in Touch with a Wilkes-Barre Dog Bite Attorney Today

Our attorneys are familiar with Pennsylvania’s unique dog bite statute and Wilkes-Barre dog bite attorneys understand the complex interplay of state law, local ordinances, and legal principles such as negligence.

We possess the skill and knowledge to help dog bite victims pursue maximum compensation, understanding the seriousness of dog bites and the trauma that dog bite victims experience.

Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. also assists dog bite victims in dealing with insurance companies when seeking recovery for dog bite-related losses. If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a dog bite, we encourage you to contact our dog bite attorney today.