A dad and his 6-year-old are playing catch at the park. A nearby trail system is being enjoyed by dozens of runners, cyclists and dog walkers. It’s a beautiful day.
An unleashed lab mix trots over to the man and his son. The animal’s owner is close behind. The child asks pet the dog and the owner gives a green light. As the boy reaches his hand toward the lab, it snarls and bites him, breaking the skin. The child is bleeding and crying, horrified. The woman apologizes, hands over her business card and rushes off with the dog.
The child ends up in the emergency room. He needs stitches and antibiotics to prevent an infection. He’ll have a permanent scar. The father, furious, and tries to contact the woman, who doesn’t return his call. Now what?
More than five million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, according to InsuranceQuotes.com. Many people don’t report the attack to authorities.
Unless a dog was protecting its owner or assisting law enforcement, most states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, impose liability on a canine owner if a bite occurs. That rings true even if the animal has never bitten anyone before. The owner usually compensates a victim through his or her homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Still, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than a third of all insurance claims in 2014, according to data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm. Those claims amounted to more than $530 million. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationally was $32,072 in 2014, compared with $27,862 in 2013.
If a domestic animal has bitten you or a relative, you may be entitled to damages. Determining your legal rights can be complicated, especially if the pet owner is resistant.
The man whose son was bitten was unsure what to do or whis his rights were. He contacted an experienced personal injury attorney who was able to help him track down the dog owner, file a claim and obtain damages for medical care for his little boy.
If you or your family were bitten or injured by someone else’s dog the attorneys at The Fighting for People Injury Law Group of PollackSteinberg, LLP can help. We will investigate your claim and help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other costs and damages.
To schedule your free consultation, contact our office today by calling 800-549-4LAW.