Were you or your child bitten by a dog in Lancaster, PA? Dog bites can be extremely traumatic. If you were injured, the dog owner may owe you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. An experienced Lancaster dog bite lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates can help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Dog bite victims have trusted our legal team to protect their interests since we opened our doors back in 2008. Our lawyers have over 120 years of experience between us–and we’ve helped our injured clients recover tens of millions of dollars.
We know how important it is to recover fair compensation after an injury. Contact our law offices in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at (717) 616-2954 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.
Why Should I Hire Marzzacco Niven & Associates for Help After a Dog Bite in Lancaster?
The lawyer you choose to represent you can make a big difference in your case. It’s important to hire a lawyer with enough experience to understand the law and know how to protect your legal rights.
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, our team includes lawyers who have been recognized by Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars,” and the National Trial Lawyers. Our Lancaster personal injury attorneys have helped thousands of clients in similar situations–and we’re well-prepared to fight for you.
When you trust our team to represent your interests, we will:
- Help you understand your legal options and rights
- Defend you when the dog’s owner claims you provoked the dog
- Investigate to determine whether the dog owner’s negligence caused your injuries
- Gather evidence to document your losses and prove liability
- Bring in experts to help us assess your case value
- Handle all paperwork, communications, and negotiations with the insurance company
Our goal is to get the best possible outcome in your case. We’ll work tirelessly to convince the insurance company that you deserve full compensation. All you have to do is call for a free consultation with our Lancaster personal injury lawyers today.
Are Dog Bites Common in Pennsylvania?
According to CDC research, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. About 800,000 victims suffer injuries that are serious enough to require medical attention.
In 2021, 777 Pennsylvania dog bite victims filed a claim with insurance companies. That makes Pennsylvania seventh in the U.S. when it comes to dog bite injury claims. The average insurance payout in these cases was $47,353.
How Much is My Lancaster Dog Bite Injury Claim Worth?
Some of the factors that are most relevant in assessing the value of your personal injury claim include:
- How severe were your injuries?
- How much does your medical treatment cost?
- Will you require future medical care?
- What types of emotional trauma and physical pain have you suffered?
- Did you lose income during your recovery or to care for a child?
- Will the injury impact your future earnings?
The identity of the victim can also be important. Young children often suffer more severe injuries. They can also suffer the most severe types of emotional trauma after an animal attack.
Do you have questions about your case value? Call our legal team to set up a free case evaluation today.
What Kinds of Damages Are Available To Dog Bite Victims in Lancaster, PA?
Dog bite victims are always entitled to recover compensation to cover their medical expenses under Pennsylvania law. That includes past medical bills, future medical care, rehabilitation, surgeries, and more.
Additional damages may be available if the dog was classified as “dangerous” or if the dog owner was negligent.
Examples of those damages include:
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement or scarring
- Anxiety disorders
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Homeowners’ insurance policies typically cover the cost of a dog bite injury. Our Lancaster dog bite attorneys at Marzzacco Niven & Associates will help you document your damages and identify all sources of insurance coverage.
After being bitten by a dog, contact our law firm for a free case review to learn more about your legal options.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for Provoking a Dog Attack in Pennsylvania?
You don’t have to prove negligence to recover compensation to cover your medical bills. However, Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence laws can impact your case value if you’re trying to establish that the dog owner was negligent.
In the typical case, the dog owner will claim that you provoked the dog. They’ll argue that you were only injured because you provoked the dog to bite, so you should not recover full compensation.
Under Pennsylvania law, you could lose your right to compensation entirely if they can prove that you were at least 51% responsible for your own injuries. If you were less than 51% responsible, your compensation can be reduced in proportion to your share of blame.
Dog Bites Can Cause Severe and Long-Term Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be very serious. They’re often much more extensive than bite wounds, especially if the victim is pushed to the ground.
At Marzzacco Niven & Associates, our lawyers often represent clients who have suffered:
- Puncture wounds
- Infections, which can lead to a need for amputations
- Crushing injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
Fatal dog bite injuries are extremely rare. However, it is possible that a dog bite injury can be serious enough to cause wrongful death. If you lost a family member because of a dog bite, our lawyers in Lancaster will help you fight to recover full compensation from the responsible party.
How Do I Prove the Dog’s Owner Should Be Held Liable for My Injuries Under Pennsylvania Law?
All states have their own laws when it comes to dog bite liability. Some states have a “one-bite rule.” In these states, dog owners are only liable if their dog has bitten someone before or shown aggression, so they have reason to know about the dog’s dangerous tendencies.
Other states have strict liability laws. In these states, dog owners are liable for all damages regardless of whether the dog has ever shown any vicious propensities.
Pennsylvania dog bite laws are slightly different. While dog owners are strictly liable for medical bills when a dog bites someone for the first time, they aren’t strictly liable for all damages.
To recover full compensation for all of their damages, victims must show that the dog owner was negligent. If the dog has bitten someone in the past, however, the dog bite victim can recover full compensation without proof of negligence.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Case?
To recover damages above and beyond your medical expenses, you must prove that the dog owner was negligent.
The dog owner is negligent if you can establish the following four elements:
- The dog owner’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach of duty allowed the dog bite to occur or caused the dog bite
- You sustained injuries or damages due to the dog bite
All dog owners have certain duties and responsibilities. A breach of duty occurs when they fail to satisfy those responsibilities.
For example, a breach of duty could occur because the dog owner:
- Allowed the dog to roam off their property freely
- Failed to keep a dangerous dog confined in a secure area
- Ignored local leash laws in Lancaster
- Failed to keep the dog under control, allowing the dog to wander onto public property or someone else’s private property
Our lawyers will investigate to help you prove your dog bite claim. We’ll interview neighbors, locate witnesses, and determine whether any prior complaints were filed against the dog’s owner.
Are Cases Involving “Dangerous Dogs” Different?
Yes. Owners of dangerous dogs are strictly liable for all damages caused by these dogs.
A dog is classified as “dangerous” under Pennsylvania law if the dog has:
- Attacked or seriously injured a person without provocation on public or private property
- Severely injured or killed another animal on public property
- Been used to commit a crime
Dog owners are also required to carry special liability insurance if their dog has been classified as dangerous.
How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit If I Was Bitten by a Dog in Pennsylvania?
Dog bite victims generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.
After two years from the date of the injury, you can no longer sue for damages.
Contact an Experienced Lancaster Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
The dog owner may owe you compensation if you were attacked by a dog. Contact an experienced Lancaster dog bite lawyer to learn more about your legal rights. Remember, your initial consultation at Marzzacco Niven & Associates is always free.
Our personal injury law firm in Lancaster, PA also provides:
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