Who’s responsible when a dog attacks and hurts a human?

| Mar 20, 2020 | Personal Injury |

There are thousands of dogs enriching the lives of people all over the state of Pennsylvania, and most of them never cause any more serious issues that occasionally having an accident in the house or eating something they shouldn’t. 

Unfortunately, some dogs can become aggressive and violent, either due to a sudden change in personality or due to trauma in their upbringing. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a vicious attack by a dog either on public land or while on private property, you may have certain rights under state law.

If you can show it was a dangerous dog, the owner may be responsible

Like many states, Pennsylvania only penalizes owners whose dogs become vicious without provocation. If you or the victim of the attack harassed or mistreated the dog immediately prior to the incident, you likely don’t have any grounds to see compensation. The same is true if you violated the law or were attempting to trespass on someone else’s property during the attack. 

In most other circumstances, the owner will be liable provided that you can show the dog itself was dangerous. If the dog has previously attacked a human or animals, those incidents will be adequate proof of the dog being dangerous. Additionally, if the attack you suffered was particularly vicious, that one incident may be enough to demonstrate that the dog poses a threat to the public. 

Many other details, including the way the owner trained the animal, their use of fencing or restraints and even a sign warning of the dog at their home could influence whether or not you can successfully bring a claim against a dog’s owner for the injuries the animal causes.

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