Where to start claiming damages after a dog bite in PA?
The initial claim was accepted by my employers insurance company and I’d like to think that my employer or the insurance company would offer a settlement since I am now “permanently disfigured”. I missed one day of work directly after the bite, but the vaccine and antibiotics have wreaked havoc on my already compromised immune system as I have RA. I have had to stop treatment these last 7 weeks and I missed a fair amount of work as a result.
My second question is as to whether the customer himself can also be held liable- the dog was clearly excitable and was wearing a choke chain- I assume that the owner knew the dog could be dangerous.
I won’t spend a lot of time explaining the emotional trauma, but it is there. It is real. It does exist. And I’ll be working with my therapist to sort this out, which of course will be a drain on my free time. Do I have recourse?
4 attorney answers
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Of course you have legal recourse available and deserve to be compensated. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who handles a LOT of dog bite cases. They are very unique and not every lawyer who handles run of the mill accident cases has experience in handling them. Take photos of your injuries and don’t sign anything or give any recorded statements without permission of your own lawyer.
Find a great lawyer here on Avvo using the search tool. Good luck!
Legal disclaimer: The statement above provided by Sandra Worthington, Esq. is general information and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by Sandra Worthington, Esq. and Worthington Law Group does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state or under Federal law.
Yes, the owner can be held personally responsible, if the dog has bitten anyone before or if it has a known vicious propensity i.e. excessively aggressive. These claim are usually submitted to the owner's Home Owners Insurance Company if he is a homeowner. If successful you are entitled to compensated for your personal injuries including pain and suffering, scars and disfigurement and any other economic losses. You should consult with an attorney specializing in personal injury cases. AVVO is a great place to locate attorneys in your area. Be sure to pay attention to Client Reviews.
You have 2 cases here. First, A disfigurement claim through workers compensation. Take photos please! Document it’s hearing and your appearance regularly. Second, you do have a claim (homeowner’s) against them dog owner if you know who that person is and have an address.
Some law firms, including ours, handle both types of cases. I strongly recommend you consult with and hire an attorney ASAP.
An attorney will also be able to get you to a plastic surgeon of your own choosing to decided if you want surgery to correct the disfigurement.
There is no fee unless you recover.
Depending on how significant the scar is you potentially have good claim(s). I suggest you contact an attorney in your area who does dog bite cases. Good luck.
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