Wyomissing Dog Bite Lawyer

Dealing with a dog bite can be a traumatic experience for anyone, especially if the bite results in significant injuries. In Pennsylvania, the laws surrounding dog bites and owner liability can be complex. 

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Wyomissing, PA, understanding these laws and your rights as a victim is crucial. An experienced attorney can explain your options for securing compensation for your dog attack injuries. 

Our personal injury law firm provides a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Contact an experienced lawyer from Marzzacco Niven & Associates to schedule an appointment with a Wyomissing dog bite lawyer at (717) 388-2325.

How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help With a Dog Bite Claim in Wyomissing, PA

How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help With a Dog Bite Claim in Wyomissing, PA

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Wyomissing to help with a dog bite case can greatly increase your chances of receiving proper compensation. The team at Marzzacco Niven & Associates has over 120 years of combined legal experience to put into your claim for damages.

Here are a few vital steps our lawyers in Wyomissing can take to help you through this difficult time:

  • Investigate the Incident: An attorney will gather all the necessary evidence, such as medical records, photographs, and witness statements, to build a strong case in your favor. 
  • Determine Liability: In Pennsylvania, the dog owner may be held responsible for the injuries caused by their dog, regardless of whether they had prior knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies. We will determine if this is the case.
  • Evaluate Damages: We can help calculate the total economic and non-economic damages associated with your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
  • Negotiate with Insurers: Our lawyers will communicate with the dog owner’s insurance company on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement. 
  • Represent You in Court: If necessary, we will be prepared to take your case to trial to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

For help after a dog bite in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates to schedule a free consultation with a Wyomissing dog bite attorney.

How Common Are Dog Bites in Pennsylvania? 

Dog bites are a serious issue in Pennsylvania. In 2020, Pennsylvania reported 787 dog bite claims. The total cost of these claims was $35,520,458. 

Nationally, homeowners insurers paid out $1.136 million in liability claims for dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2022. 

Approximately 1,000 individuals receive treatment in hospital emergency departments daily for nonfatal injuries caused by dog bites. 

What is My Wyomissing Dog Bite Case Worth?

It’s difficult to predict the exact value of a dog bite case, as each situation is unique and depends on various factors. 

However, some key elements that can influence the worth of your case include:

  • The severity of injuries: More serious injuries typically result in higher compensation amounts.
  • Amount of medical expenses: Higher medical costs can lead to larger settlements.
  • Loss of income: Victims who must miss a significant amount of work due to their injuries are likely to receive greater compensation.
  • Degree of fault: In situations where the victim is found to be at least partially at fault, the victim’s settlement may decrease.
  • Insurance policy limits: The dog owner’s insurance policy will typically dictate the maximum amount available for a claim.

Our dog bite lawyers in Wyomissing will calculate the fair value of your personal injury claim.

What Kinds of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in Wyomissing, PA?

Victims of dog bites in Pennsylvania may be entitled to seek various types of economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes any medical costs related to the dog bite, such as emergency care, surgery, medications, physical therapy, and ongoing future treatment.
  • Lost Wages: If the victim is unable to work due to their injuries, they can seek compensation for their lost income, including lost future wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: Emotional and physical distress, as well as any long-term effects from the injuries, can be included as part of the settlement.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Dog bites can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, leading to additional compensation.
  • Property Damage: If personal property was damaged during the incident, victims can seek compensation for those losses.

The exact damages you can recover from a dog bite injury depends on the liability of the owner – whether they were negligent or they’re being held strictly liable. Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine what you’re entitled to. 

Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Being Blamed For a Dog Bite in Pennsylvania?

It’s not uncommon for dog owners to try to place the blame on the victim in the case of a dog bite. Fortunately, you can recover compensation even if you’re partially at fault. 

Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. As long as you were less than 51 percent at fault for the dog bite incident, you can recover damages from a negligent dog owner (unless you were trespassing or provoked the dog, for example). 

For example, if a court decides that you were 30 percent at fault for the bite, you may still recover up to 70 percent of your damages from the dog owner.

We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation For All of Your Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can result in a wide range of injuries, depending on the severity of the attack and the size and breed of the dog involved. 

Some common injuries sustained from dog bites include:

  • Puncture wounds: Deep punctures created by the dog’s teeth can result in significant bleeding, pose a risk of infection, and in severe cases, can damage nerves, muscles, and tendons.
  • Lacerations: Jagged or deep cuts from the dog’s teeth or claws can also lead to scarring and disfigurement.
  • Fractures: Dog bites can result in broken bones, particularly if the dog crushes the victim’s hand or arm in their mouth.
  • Infections: Dog bites can introduce bacteria into the victim’s body, leading to infections.
  • Emotional trauma: A dog bite can be an emotionally scarring event that leads to anxiety, PTSD, or a fear of dogs. This lasting psychological impact can have a severe effect on their day-to-day life.

Our Wyomissing dog bite attorneys will fight for you if you suffer these or other injuries in an attack.

What Causes Most Dog Bite Accidents in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania?

Several factors can contribute to a dog attack or bite. Understanding these factors can help you better protect yourself and your loved ones and provide a clear view of potential owner negligence. 

Some common causes of dog bites include:

  • Improper socialization: Dogs may bite people due to inadequate socialization with other animals or people. This can lead to aggressive behavior and an increased likelihood of biting.
  • Territorial instincts: A dog may bite if they believe their territory is being invaded or threatened by an individual.
  • Fear or anxiety: Dogs can bite when they feel scared or anxious, particularly if they believe they have no other option for escape.
  • Pain or illness: A dog may become aggressive and bite if they are suffering from pain or illness.
  • Lack of supervision: Inadequate supervision or containment of a dog by its owner can lead to attacks.

We can investigate the dog’s history and determine whether it has a propensity for biting or other aggressive behavior.

Negligence and Strict Liability for a Dog Bite in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania implements a concept known as strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This means that the dog owner is held responsible for their dog’s aggressive behavior even if they didn’t have reason to know it would occur. 

Exceptions to Pennsylvania’s Strict Dog Bite Liability Laws

While the strict liability dog bite statute is robust, there are exceptions to consider. 

In certain instances, the victim of a dog bite may not collect compensation, including if they:

  • Intentionally provoked the dog (e.g., by attacking the dog, startling the dog in its sleep, taking away its food/toys, or abusing it)
  • Were trespassing or otherwise breaking the law at the time of the bite

These exceptions ensure that the liability does not always fall solely on the dog owner.

Limits on Strict Liability and Recovering Damages

Pennsylvania’s dog bite laws outline that dog owners are only strictly liable for covering injury-related medical expenses. This means that victims may not seek compensation for pain and suffering, property damage, or other damages linked to the dog bite.

To recover additional damages, the victim must prove the dog owner’s negligence. Here’s what you need to demonstrate:

  1. The dog is considered a dangerous dog, which is often shown through knowledge of a previous bite or attack; and
  2. The dog owner didn’t control the dog properly, leading to the incident

For example, if the owner allowed their dog to run at large off-leash and the animal attacked you in a local park, the owner may be found negligent.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for dog bite lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you have two years to file a lawsuit seeking damages for your injuries. 

If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, the court will not allow your claim to proceed, barring you from any potential financial recovery.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

While the general rule for the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years, there are some exceptions to this rule:

Minors: If the victim of the dog bite is under 18 years old at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations can be tolled until they turn 18. This means that they would have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.

Mental Incapacity: If the dog bite victim is mentally incapacitated at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be paused until they regain capacity. In this case, the individual would have two years from the time they regain the capacity to file a claim.

Discovery Rule: In some cases, the discovery rule may apply. If the victim did not discover (and could not have reasonably discovered) the harm caused by the dog bite until after the two-year period, they may still have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.

Contact Our Wyomissing Dog Bite Lawyers For a Free Consultation

An experienced Wyomissing dog bite attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, ensure your rights are protected, and provide guidance on whether or not you have a viable claim. 

For help with a dog bite case in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates to schedule a free initial consultation.