Dogs are a man’s best friend, unless you’re unlucky enough to be attacked by one. Thousands of dog attacks happen every year, and some cause severe injury or permanent scarring.
If you were harmed in an animal attack, you could have a case against the owner. Trying to handle a dog injury case without a skilled personal injury attorney on your side is not in your best interest. The winning lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law will fight to get you the maximum payout for your dog injury claim. We have handled these cases all over Pennsylvania, including one case where our client from Lehigh County was slammed into the pavement by a pit bull, as she was trying to protect her small dog from an attack. Her hip was broken in the incident, requiring surgery. Founding Partner Jon Ostroff was able to settle the case for $375,000, after obtaining crucial evidence from the scene of the attack.
Give yourself the best chance at fair and prompt compensation by working with a seasoned Bethlehem dog bite lawyer like Jon Ostroff. Call today to get started on your case.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Dog owners are responsible for their animals, but holding a pet owner legally accountable requires evidence. You can help your case by taking a few simple steps after the incident.
Get Medical Care
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after an animal attack is crucial. Even when an injury does not seem serious, getting a medical evaluation is key for two reasons. First, many dog-inflicted injuries may be far worse without treatment. Second, a medical record showing that you got treatment for animal attack injuries soon after the incident helps document the areas that were injured.
Identify the Dog
If you are unsure of who owns the dog that attacked you, there are steps you should try to take to identify the owner:
- Take a picture of the dog if you can do it safely
- Note the exact location where the attack happened
- If there are witnesses to the attack, get their contact info and find out if any of them know where the dog lives
- If someone is with the dog or seems to be its owner or handler, try to get their contact information
Make a Report
If you saw a doctor for your dog bite injuries, they likely reported the attack to the Bethlehem Health Department. The Health Department works with the Bethlehem Animal Control Officer to investigate animal attacks. Making a report of the incident to the animal control officer yourself is a good idea, as the officer can help you identify the dog and find out whether it was up to date on vaccinations.
Call a Bethlehem Dog Bite Attorney
You might be hesitant to take legal action right away, especially if you know the dog and its owner. It might seem simpler to try to handle the matter privately. However, an attorney is very likely to dramatically increase your financial recovery. Your attorney and the owner’s insurance company may be able to work out a private settlement.
Understanding Dog Owner Liability
Dog owners must pay the medical expenses of anyone their dog injures, even if the injuries were accidental or partly the victim’s fault. The dog does not have to be acting aggressively for the owner to be responsible for medical expenses.
3 Pennsylvania Statute §459-305 requires dog owners to keep their animals on their property or, if off the property, under controlled by a leash. If the dog was unleashed when the incident happened, or on a leash, but the handler did not control the dog, that is evidence of negligence. A negligent dog owner owes you for your physical pain, emotional injury, lost wages, property damage and your medical care. A knowledgeable Bethlehem dog bite attorney can help you understand whether you have a viable case and pursue compensation from a pet owner accordingly.
Trust a Bethlehem Attorney to Handle Your Dog Bite Claim
Dog attacks are terrifying experiences. They leave physical and emotional scars. Even if a friendly dog injures you or your child accidentally, it is often life-changing.
A Bethlehem dog bite lawyer can take the legal burden off of you, making sure that you receive the payments you are entitled to. Reach out today to learn more about what our team at Ostroff Injury Law can do for you.