Many individuals understand that when a child experiences a traumatic event, the repercussions of that event could prove long-lasting. For cases in which a child has suffered serious injuries due to a dog attack, physical and emotional scars could follow the child well into adulthood. In many cases, victims of such incidents may develop a fear of animals that could hinder parts of their everyday lives.
Soon after such an attack takes place, you, as a parent, will undoubtedly fear for the well-being of your child. In addition to seeking immediate medical attention, you may also wonder who could face liability for the attack and how you could potentially seek compensation for damages.
When severe injuries occur due to dog bites in Pennsylvania, the owner of the dog faces strict liability for damages that result from the attack. Additionally, if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior or has injured someone in the past, the owner also faces strict liability.
Other parties could also be held liable for an attack, such as:
- Animal caretakers: If the animal was in the care of a pet sitter, dog walker, doggie day care or other similar party at the time of the attack, the individual or individuals could face responsibility.
- Property owners: If the owner of the property where the attack occurred allowed the animal on the premises, the court may hold him or her liable.
- Landlords: Similarly to property owners, if a landlord had knowledge of a tenant owning an aggressive or dangerous animal, the landlord may face repercussions as well.
When it comes to proving that a certain party or parties knew of the dog's aggressive behavior while pursuing a lawsuit, you may have the ability to argue the following:
- History of biting: If the animal has bitten an individual in the past, this information may work toward proving that the owner or other parties were aware of the aggressive behavior.
- Animal fights: If the animal has not bitten a human, presenting proof that the animal often had involvement in fights with other dogs may prove effective.
- Owner statements/warnings: If you have heard the owner or other parties comment on the aggressive nature of the animal, acknowledge previous injury-causing incidents or warn others to stay away from the animal, these statements may indicate the owner's awareness of the animal posing a risk to others.
If you hope to achieve justice and compensation for the damages your child suffered due to a dog attack, you may wish to fully explore your legal options. Conferring with an experienced attorney could help you gain valuable information on compensable damages and legal strategies.