If you sustained dog bite injuries in Harrisburg, PA, you could be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced Harrisburg dog bite lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates can help you fight to recover fair compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Our legal team has decades of combined experience fighting for injured clients across Central Pennsylvania. We’ve worked hard and recovered tens of millions of dollars for those clients.
You don’t have to handle your injury claim alone. To get the high-quality legal advice you deserve, call our law firm at (717) 231-1640 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to schedule a free consultation today.
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How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help After a Dog Bite in Harrisburg
Even a friendly dog can attack without warning. It’s possible that these attacks and bites can cause significant injuries that could impact you for a long time to come. If you or your child were bitten, it’s important to seek compensation for your losses.
Pennsylvania dog bite laws are complex. Most of the time, the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will cover at least part of your damages. Even so, you should be prepared for a fight to get the full amount you deserve.
Our injury lawyers in Harrisburg at Marzzacco Niven & Associates are ready to help you win that fight. Collectively, we have over 120 years of experience. Our lawyers have been recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers of America, and the National Trial Lawyers.
We can help strengthen your case by:
- Conducting an investigation into the dog’s past behavior
- Calculating the full value of your personal injury claim
- Determining whether the owner violated Pennsylvania dog bite laws
- Negotiating with the insurance company to maximize your settlement
Hiring an experienced Harrisburg personal injury attorney can make a big difference in the amount of money you take home. Call for a free consultation today to learn more about our practice.
How Common Are Dog Bites in PA?
According to the CDC, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog each year. At least 800,000 of those dog bites are serious enough to require medical attention.
In a single year, 780 dog bites were reported in the state of Pennsylvania—that’s more than 2 a day. That puts Pennsylvania at fifth in the nation when it comes to dog bite claims, which makes having pet insurance something very important to consider.
What Is My Harrisburg Dog Bite Case Worth?
It’s always difficult to put a price tag on a serious injury. Before making an estimate, your lawyer will carefully review the facts of your case. Like any car accident case, certain factors tend to be more important when determining how much your personal injury case is worth.
Examples of relevant factors include:
- The type of injuries you’ve sustained
- The cost of your medical treatment
- The circumstances of the attack
- Whether the dog has a history of vicious behavior
- How the dog bite and injuries have impacted the victim’s work, education, and quality of life
- Available insurance coverages
- Whether you did anything to provoke the dog
Our lawyers may work with leading experts in the Harrisburg area to calculate the value of your personal injury claim. These experts can offer insight into the more complicated aspects of your injury.
Ready to learn more about your case value? Just call our Harrisburg dog bite attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
All dog bite victims in Harrisburg are entitled to recover compensation to cover past and future medical costs.
Examples of the types of damages you may recover include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, we’ll work hard to identify all of your damages. Call our law offices to schedule a free case review today to learn more about how we can fight for your family.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite in Pennsylvania?
Dog bite victims can often recover compensation for medical bills — even if the dog owner wasn’t negligent. However, in some cases, Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws can be important.
Suppose you’re trying to prove the dog owner was negligent. The owner may claim that you provoked the dog. If the insurance companies can prove that you share partial responsibility, your compensation could be at risk.
Under Pennsylvania state law, you can recover damages if you’re less than 51% responsible for an injury. Your damages will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. However, if you’re 51% or more responsible, you lose your right to recover damages beyond medical treatment.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites and animal attacks can cause serious damage. We represent dog bite victims who have sustained any type of injury, including:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Facial injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries
- Back injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Dog bite injuries can be much more significant than you might imagine. It’s important not to underestimate the damage these injuries can cause–especially if the victim was a child.
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, you can count on us to carefully evaluate all of your injuries–both physical and emotional–and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
What Causes Most Dog Bite Injuries in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?
Dogs bite humans for any number of reasons.
Some of the most common reasons dogs bite include:
- Lack of proper training or restraint
- The dog is scared or threatened
- Someone provokes the dog by teasing or threatening
- The dog is trying to protect themselves or their owner
- The dog isn’t feeling well
Understanding those reasons can help you avoid future dog bites. It’s also possible that the cause of the bite could be relevant to your legal case.
How Do I Establish Liability for Dog Bite Injuries in Pennsylvania?
All dog owners have responsibilities. Dog owners in Harrisburg must:
- Keep their dogs on a leash when in public places, in accordance with local leash laws
- Exercise reasonable control over the animal to keep it from becoming a public nuisance
Establishing liability for a dog bite can be complicated in Pennsylvania. Unlike some states, Pennsylvania doesn’t follow a “one bite rule.” States with one bite laws essentially give each dog one “free” bite before the owner can be found strictly liable for dog bite injuries.
Instead, dog owners can be held strictly liable for dog bite injuries under Pennsylvania dog bite laws. That’s true even if the dog has never displayed any vicious tendencies or aggressive behaviors in the past. However, the owner can only be held strictly liable for medical bills.
To recover additional damages, the victim must prove that the dog owner was somehow negligent–unless the dog has bitten before.
Liability for Dangerous Dogs in Harrisburg
Dogs that have attacked others before can be classified as “dangerous dogs” under Pennsylvania state law.
A dangerous dog is one that has:
- Attacked or seriously injured another human without provocation on public or private property
- Severely injured or killed another animal while on public property
- Been used to commit some type of crime
In other words, owners can be liable for all damages inflicted by dogs that have a history of attacking. The dog owner must also carry special liability insurance and take steps to make sure the animal is confined to keep others safe.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Case?
Usually, dog owners are only strictly liable for the victim’s medical bills if a dog bites another person. That means you don’t have to prove the dog owner was negligent to recover compensation for medical expenses. However, the owner may be responsible for the full extent of your damages if you can prove that the owner was negligent.
Someone is negligent if you can prove:
- They owed you a legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach caused the dog bite
- You suffered injuries, or damages, as a result
For example, a dog owner might be found negligent if they allowed their dog to wander the streets or failed to warn guests about an animal’s vicious propensities.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Even if you were seriously hurt, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. After a dog bite, most victims have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Harrisburg Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you bitten by a dog? Call a Harrisburg dog bite lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates to learn more about an attorney-client relationship today. Your initial consultation is always free, so pick up the phone to learn more today.
Marzzacco Niven & Associates also has one of the best workers’ compensation attorneys in Harrisburg, PA and they can also handle social security disability cases.
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