Erie, PA Dog Bite Lawyers
Although man’s best friend, whether a Pit Bull or a Poodle, a poorly-trained or negligently-supervised dog can cause extremely serious injuries—or even death—to adults and children alike. Dog bites often result in serious injuries, including lacerations requiring stitches and permanent scarring that requires expensive plastic surgery to correct. Our firm is located in Downtown Erie, PA and has been representing dog bite victims since 1985.
Many people don’t realize that, if you’ve been injured by someone else’s dog, you can make a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies to compensate you for your pain, suffering, scarring, medical bills, and lost wages—even if the bite occurred outside their home. However, in Pennsylvania, liability for dog bites is not automatic; there still needs to be negligence. Our Erie, PA dog bite lawyers can help you find insurance coverage, prove liability, and establish your damages. When the victim is a child, our firm can obtain the necessary court-approval of the minor’s settlement.
What should I do after a dog bite?
Although it goes without saying, the first thing you should do after you our a loved one is bitten or mauled by a dog is to receive medical treatment. While dog bites can seem minor at first, you need to ensure that the dog wasn’t carrying any communicable diseases, such as rabies. You also need to ensure you’ve had the proper vaccinations and that you get the necessary boosters to minimize long-term damages and sickness.
Obtaining medical treatment after a dog bite also serves another important purpose: documenting the injuries and the facts surrounding the bite. Many people wait to receive medical treatment until after the injury becomes dire, at which point it becomes difficult to prove the source of the injury and the identity of the dog that bit you. Additionally, waiting can just make your injuries worse.
The next step after getting medical treatment is contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to put the appropriate insurance carrier on notice, preserve the evidence, interview witnesses, and protect your rights. Waiting and trying to talk to the insurance companies yourself can complicate the issue and cost you friendships and money.
What if I was bitten by a friend’s dog and I don’t want to sue my friend?
Most of the dog bite cases we see involves a family or friend’s dog biting you or your child at a family get-together. Many of our clients express this concern at our first, free consultation: they don’t want to sue their friend. What most people don’t realize is that their friend’s Homeowner’s Insurance and Renter’s Insurance typically covers dog bites; we are often able to negotiate an amicable settlement with the friend’s insurance carrier rather than having to file suit. Sometimes, of course, filing a lawsuit is necessary. If that happens, their insurance company will typically hire them an attorney and pay all costs and fees.
If you or a friend has been bitten by a dog and has lost wages or piling medical bills, it’s important to contact one our Erie, PA Dog Bite lawyers to discuss the facts of your case to find out if a lawyer is right for your and your case. Call our firm at 814-452-6232 and schedule an appointment with a lawyer to discuss your rights. The consultation is free!